C’est Le Printemps – Bienvenue FFF @Home 2021: a season of six French films for the perfect cultural night in.
The French Film Festival UK is the only festival dedicated to French and Francophone cinema. The 28th FFF 2020 was all due to set off again on a tour of 28 independent Art House cinemas from Aberdeen to Plymouth but unfortunately in early November, a second lockdown was announced. With cinemas suddenly closed, FFF@home was an innovative venture to view a small selection of movies on line with great success.
As a special Springtime treat, the FFF has launched another season of FFF@home, featuring exclusive online screenings of six films available to view over three weekends this month.
Richard Mowe, director and co-founder of the Festival, said: “We wanted to make sure that audiences did not miss out on some of the most anticipated films of the Festival due to the Covid disruption … and now they’re available to view online as part of the extended Festival. Bon film!”
Following the recent Golden Globes and the shortlist for the Academy Awards – the 93rd Oscars – announced on the 15,th March is movie month indeed. This online mini FFF is launched most appropriately on 12 March – the date when the French film industry celebrates the best new films, actor and creative achievements at the César awards.
Tickets to access your FFF@home cinema are available to purchase in advance – full details below. There’s an extra bonus too with subtitled conversations with the directors for a virtual FFF experience. All films are in French with English subtitles and available for 48 hours from the screening date and time listed in the schedule.
As an enticing taster, here is a snapshot of the French movies on offer across wartime drama, crime thrillers, comedy and romance.
Friday 12th March, 7.30pm (available for 48 hours)
LOVE AFFAIR(S) (Les Choses qu’on dit, les choses qu’on fait)
Official Selection at Cannes 2020 and Best Film nomination, Césars 2021.
The French title is translated as “The Things We Say, the Things We Do,” and is a classic romantic tale of two strangers thrown together by chance, set against the lush green French countryside. Exploring their notions of what real love is, the chemistry between Daphne and Maxime covers a rich tapestry of emotion. Directed by Emmanuel Mouret, the film has been described as “a more serious “Love Actually” pitching between the sexy and the silly, the philosophical and farcical.”
Saturday 13th March, 7.30pm (available for 48 hours)
Directed by Anne Fontaine and based on a novel by Hugo Boris, Night Shift focuses on three Parisian police officers charged with escorting a foreigner to Charles de Gaulle airport to be sent back to his homeland. “Am I a good cop or not?” the moody, gritty narrative, told from different points of view, explores the line between professional duty, personal conscience and moral values. A highly dynamic and stylised blend of realism and impressionism. Nightshift was premiered at the Berlinale Special Gala, 2020.
Friday 19 March, 7.30pm (available for 48 hours)
HOMEFRONT (Des Hommes)
Officially selected for Cannes 2020 and for Deauville Film Festival 2021
In 1960, Bernard, Rabut, Février were called up to fight in the Algerian War, and returned two years later to France. Fast forward a few decades to a birthday party, when an incident triggers memories for the veterans who have kept silent about what they saw, felt and endured. Directed by Lucas Belvaux, the different voices and perspectives are artfully intertwined as the men confront the past and how the traumatic African experience shaped their lives. “It’s a film about the wounds of war rather than the war itself.”
Saturday 20th March, 7.30pm (available for 48 hours)
MAMA WEED (La Daronne)
Set in Paris, this comedy caper stars Isabelle Huppert as Patience Portefeux, a French-Arabic interpreter working for the anti-narcotics Police squad, when she unwittingly becomes involved in the drug trafficking world. “Huppert is a chameleon of an actress and the transformation from world-weary translator to drug kingpin is remarkable, donning a leopard-print hijab, gold chain and massive shades. Her whimsical, light-hearted performance gives Patience an irresistible charm”. Mama Weed is directed by Jean-Paul Salomé.
Friday 26 March, 7.30pm (available for 48 hours)
THE TRANSLATORS (Les Traducteurs)
Directed and co-written by Régis Roinsard, this is an ingenious literary Agatha Christie-style whodunit in which a multi-lingual group of translators are all suspected of stealing a future best seller. This is the upcoming release of the final book in the Daedalus trilogy, which has been a global sensation. “The script is filled with twists, red herrings, false clues. Roisnard’s meticulous sense of craft and you get an altogether slick package. A thrilling ride which will satisfy audiences who appreciate a good bookish mystery.”
Saturday 27 March, 7.30pm (available for 48 hours)
IN BED WITH VICTORIA (Victoria)
In this stylish Parisian Romcom, directed by Justine Triet, Victoria is a thirty-something, divorced, single mother, juggling her work as a criminal lawyer, family life and trying to find love again. At a rather drink-fuelled wedding, she meets an old friend Vincent, who is soon charged with attempted murder, and also bumps into a former client, Sam, a drug dealer. “ An amusing watch, this has freshness and naturalism .. with just enough kookiness to set itself apart from the pack.”
This latest FFF@home season is presented in partnership with the new platform INDY On Demand powered by Shift72 and films can be viewed on all browsers and devices.
You can purchase each film separately with tickets priced at £8 or the Festival Pass gives access to all six films for £40. There are concessions for 16-25s. Films are available for 48 hours from the release date and time of the screening. Once you have bought your ticket and pressed PLAY, you have 48 hours to watch the film as many times as you like!.
Just like in a cinema, space is limited so make sure you book tickets in advance to ensure of the best seat in the house. Then time to make a large tub of popcorn and settle down to enjoy FFF@home.
Browse all movie info, watch trailers and book your tickets here:
The French Film Festival UK is on the road again: 220 films, 28 cinemas, 25 locations, 44 days – La crème de la crème of Francophone Cinema.
After the cancellation of all the Edinburgh Festivals this year, and with most theatres still closed, it is most welcome news that the French Film Festival UK decided to plan ahead in positive spirit. The 28th edition is back again, from Wednesday 4 November until Thursday, 17th December, 2020.
The inaugural Festival was in December 1992, as one of the selected cultural events as part of the Summit of the European Council in Edinburgh. Almost three decades later, the French Film Festival UK has developed into a major annual celebration of French-language cinema.
The FFF is due to take place across the UK in independent Art House cinemas from Aberdeen to Plymouth*, screening a hand-picked selection of new movies from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec and Africa.
(N.B * Cinemas may be affected by changing national and regional health and safety restrictions.)
The programme is distinctly diverse with a good deal of comedy to offer the much needed feel good factor, as well as romance, thrillers, family drama, documentaries, Shorts and Classic retrospectives.
The UK premiere in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen will kick off the Festival with Mama Weed / La Daronne. This zany crime caper stars Isabelle Huppert as a police interpreter for the anti-drug squad in Paris. When she gets embroiled in a failed drug deal, inheriting a pile of cannabis, she crosses to the other side to become a well-known drug dealer.
An award winner at the Cannes Film Festival, My Donkey, My Lover & I /Antoinette dans les Cévennes is already a smash hit in France, seen by 600,000 people since opening last month.
When a planned vacation with her secret lover is cancelled, Antoinette sets off to walk the same the route described in 1879 by Robert-Louis Stevenson in Travels With a Donkey in the Cévennes – humorous tales of his stubborn, slow, travel companion and baggage carrier, Modestine. Accompanied by her donkey, Patrick, Antoinette experiences an emotional journey of self- discovery against a panoramic landscape.
Juliette Binoche stars in How to be a Good Wife/ La Bonne Épouse as the immaculate Paulette, who runs the Van der Beck’s School of Housekeeping and Good Manners in Alsace. The year is 1968: a satirical comedy about teaching traditional family values in the era of Women’s lib.
Director Valérie Donzelli had just completed filming at the iconic location for Notre-Dame, before the catastrophic fire at the Cathedral in April, 2019. The unwittingly topical narrative is about an architectural competition to re-design the square in front of Notre-Dame in which Donzelli plays Maud, the winner of the prestigious project. “Sizzling, unconventional comedy, which turns sadness into shared joy“. Cineuropa
Love Affairs/ Les Choses qu’on dit, les Choses qu’on Fait is a charming, romantic Brief Encounter tale, in which two strangers are thrown together by chance, set against the lovely, lush French countryside.
If you can only dream of a winter sports trip this year, enjoy the cinematic experience instead in Slalom. Lyz, a 15 year old student, is put through competitive training at an elite ski club in the French Alps. The title refers as much to downhill racing as to Lyz’s conflicting feelings for her coach, Fred, when their après-ski relationship develops.
The heritage of French Cinema has always a part of the FFF, represented this year by two influential Film Noir classics from the 1960s.
To celebrate its 60th anniversary is a new 4K restoration of Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless. Jean-Paul Belmondo plays Michel, a cool, suave, bad guy on the run from the police, hiding out with his girlfriend, Patricia (Jean Seberg), at her Paris apartment to plan an escape to Italy.
“This movie liberated the cinema — as clearly and cleanly as Picasso freed painting and the Sex Pistols rebooted rock.” Boston Globe
Franco-Greek director Costa-Gavras made his debut in 1965 with The Sleeping Car Murders/Compartiment Tuers starring Yves Montand and Simone Signoret. Reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s chillingly gruesome plot line in “Murder on the Orient Express,” six people travel in a railroad sleeping car from Marseilles to Paris.
When a woman is found strangled, police investigate the other five passengers as prime suspects. With stylish camera work, flashbacks and internal monologues in Hitchcockian moody manner, this fast-paced whodunit is described as “Maigret on speed.”
The Mobile Film Festival also presents a snappy, one minute mini movie on the subject of Climate Change, each filmed on a mobile phone, to be shown as a curtain raiser before each cinema screening.
The series of Short Cuts has been selected this year by the FFF team with the help of university students. Between 3 and 21 minutes, they cover animation, comedy and Sci-fi.
Following the success of Netflix and Amazon Prime, an innovative venture this year is FFF @ home. Seven movies will be able to be viewed in your own home from 27th November to 4th December. This online Festival is ticketed with a limited number of subscriptions – so book ahead asap.
Guest directors and actors have always attended selected cinemas for Q/A sessions during the FFF. As it is not possible to travel to the UK without quarantine just now, interviews are being pre-recorded. A line up of Virtual Guests include Valérie Donzelli, Anne Fontaine, Emmanuel Mouret and Jean Paul Salomé.
Richard Mowe, the Co-founder and Director of the FFF UK commented:
“Despite the challenges, we are delighted to have one of the most varied and vibrant programmes ever at this year’s French Film Festival. We hope audiences will respond to the selection in cinemas ..and will appreciate the option of fff @ home. In these dark times we need the light and reflection that cinema can offer.”
For the full list of Films, what’s on where and booking tickets: www.frenchfilmfestival.org.uk
Printed brochure available.
Funders and sponsors – including Screen Scotland, Creative Scotland, Institut française, Alliance Française, Total, TV5Monde, Unifrance, agnès b, and Côte.
L’Ecole du Cinema: the FFF UK’s Learning Programme inspires young students to engage in the French language and culture through films and online resources as part of the Modern Language curriculum.