My French Film Festival (January 14th through 29th) is a low-cost online film festival of ten French-produced films that haven’t a prayer of getting theatrical play in the States. Such a festival could play at MOMA or the Film Society of Lincoln Center, of course, but filmgoers aren’t nearly as queer for French films as they were in the ’60s and ’70s so online makes sense, and it’s brassy to offer these films not just to New Yorkers but the world.
The festival is the brainchild of uniFrance, and is being called a co-venture between uniFrance and Allocine with the support of the Centre National de la Cinematographie, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Alliance Francaise.
I’ve looked at all ten trailers , and it’s obvious that at least four have something extra: (a) Christopher Thompson‘s Bus Palladium, an ’80s rock-tour romantic drama that may have been influenced by Cameron Crowe‘s Almost Famous ; (b) Frederic Mermoud‘s Partners (Complices), winner of a best fiction film at the Chicago International Film Festival; (c) Leah Fehner‘s Silent Voices (Qu’un Seul Tienne Et Les Autres Suivront), which had a Venice Days slot in 2009; and (d) Patrick Mario Bernard & Pierre Tridivic‘s The Other One (L’Autre), a 2008 Venice Film Festival entry that won Dominique Blanc a Volpi Cup for Best Actress.
Manhattan’s Alliance Francaise will launch the festival with a screening of Bus Palladium on Thursday, 1.13, followed by a q & a with Christopher Thompson.
The trailers for the other films suggest either comme ci comme ca material or formulaic commercial lungings. The Eloi virus has spread throughout Europe, Asia…it rules so much of world cinema.
The how of My French Film Festival is fairly simple. Viewers will stream directly from www.myfrenchfilmfestival.com with no link to You Tube or Netflix or any other platform. It will all come directly from that site. You can choose individual films or the whole program. The site will be live in the next day or so, I’m told, with tons of extras; interviews, clips, trailers, etc. The trailers are on YouTube for promotional purposes and that’s all.
There’s some kind of fee structure for individual films but the festival as a whole is only 20 dollars for more than…what, 20 films? I thought it had ten. Whatever. Nice deal.
Charlotte Rampling in a still from All About Actresses.