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Relationships and family are the focus of the French Film Festival

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A SCENE from L’Incroyable histoire du Facteur Cheval (The Ideal Palace).

FOR ITS 24th year, the French Film Festival will have a slate of 15 films which “explore the depths of human relationships and the importance of family.”

The festival will run from June 12-18 at the Bonifacio High Street Cinemas in Taguig and Greenbelt 3 Cinemas in Makati.

“For nearly a quarter of a century, the French Film Festival has been attracting audiences to discover films that offer a particular French aesthetic — those that tell stories that make you laugh, cry, or reflect on the human condition in our society,” French Ambassador Nicolas Galey said during his message at the festival’s media launch on May 30 at Greenbelt 3, Makati City.

This year, French director Nils Tavernier graces the festival’s opening night on June 11 to formally open the 24th French Film Festival with the screening of his latest film, 2017’s L’Incroyable histoire du Facteur Cheval (The Ideal Palace). Set in Southern France in 1879, the film recounts the true story of an ordinary mailman who devotes 33 years of his life to build a castle for his daughter. This “Ideal Palace,” located in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, was named a Historical Monument by the French government in 1969.

Another film by Mr. Tavernier will also be screened in the festival: De Toutes nos forces (The Finishers) (2014) which tells the story of a paraplegic teenager who wants to finish the Ironman triathlon in Nice.

Other films to be screened in the festival are: 2018’s Le Grand bain (Sink or Swim) by Gilles Lellouche, a group of men setting up the local pool’s first men’s synchronized swimming team; 2014’s Bande de Filles (Girlhood) by Céline Sciamma, about a conservative girl who joins a gang of liberated girls; 2017’s




La Promesse de l’Aube (Promise at Dawn) by Eric Barbier about a novelist and his relationship with his mother.

Justine Triet’s 2016 film Victoria (In Bed with Victoria), tells of a criminal defense attorney looking for stability and true love, while Le Brio (2017) by Yvan Attal is about a woman who dreams of becoming a lawyer and a mean professor who helps her.

Jean Paul Civeyrac’s 2018 film Mes Provinciales (A Paris Education) follows three friends who are apart by love, friendship, and art. Barbara (2017) by Mathieu Amalric is about a director sets out to make a film about a singer, but both he and the actress find themselves overwhelmed by the project. Serge Bozon’s Madame Hyde (2018) is about a teacher who becomes Mrs. Hyde due to a lightning strike.

Xavier Legrand’s 2018 film Jusqu’à la Garde (Custody) is the story of a young boy caught in the middle of his divorcing parents. Robert Guédiguian’s 2017 movie La Villa (The House by the Sea) is a family drama about an old man whose children stay with him in his seaside villa for the last of his days. Daniel Roby’s 2018 movie Dans la brume (Just a Breath Away) tells the story of a father who needs to rescue his daughter after an earthquake

Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert’s 2017 film Le Grand Méchant Renard (The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales) is the only animated film the slate. It tells about the chaos brought about by a fox who thinks it’s a chicken, a pig that acts like a stork, and a duck who wants to replace Father Christmas.

And finally, Varda by Agnès by Agnès Varda (2018) is a documentary about her experiences as a director and her journey from Paris to Los Angeles to Beijing.

The film festival will also screen select Filipino films during its run: Pepe Diokno’s Above the Clouds (2014) which was co-produced with funding from the Aide aux Cinémas du Monde program of Institut Français; Carlo Catu’s Waiting for Sunset (2018) which received the Audience Award at the 2019 Vesoul Festival of Asian Cinema; Carlo Manatad’s Jodilerks Dela Cruz, Employee of the Month (2017) which was featured in last year’s Semaine de la Critique at the Cannes Film Festival; and National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik’s Mababangong Bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare) (1978) which was partly filmed in Paris.

On June 14, a screening of Bande de Filles will be followed by a forum, co-organized with SPARK! Philippines, about issues faced by young girls in France and the Philippines.

The French Film Festival will run from June 12-18 at the Bonifacio High Street Cinemas and Greenbelt 3 Cinemas. Screenings will also be held at the Ayala Center Cebu from June 20 to 22; the Abreeza Mall, Davao from June 28 to 30, and Ayala Capitol Central Mall, Bacolod City on July 10 to 12. Tickets are P150 per screening and can be purchased through the box office or via sureseats.com

For details on the film-line-up, synopses, trailers, and screening schedule, visit www.ph.ambafrance.org or www.facebook.com/FrenchEmbassyManila or @FrenchEmbassyPH on Twitter and Instagram.

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