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My French Film Festival returns this weekend for a month-long streaming celebration of modern French cinema.
After a record year with 6.5 million views in 2016, the seventh edition of the annual event brings a selection of the best new French films fresh from festivals to your living room.
The online festival, which runs until 13th February, consists of several feature films and shorts, including the return of Cowboy, Indian and Horse from A Town Called Panic. The selection was unveiled on Thursday night by Argentinean director Pablo Trapero, who is president of this year’s Filmmakers’ Jury. Alongside him are Bertrand Bonello, director of Nocturama, and Rebecca Zlotowski, director of Planetarium. Other jury members are Belgian director Fabrice du Welz, which won the 2016 MyFrenchFilmFestival.com Filmmakers’ Jury Award, and Shlomi Elkabetz, responsible for the trilogy To Take a Wife, 7 Days, and Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem.
This year’s line-up is as diverse as its jury. The collection is organised into themes, from Coming of Age, We Are Family and Love and Friendship to Psycho and A Woman’s Life. For the first time, My French Film Festival also includes a selection of “Midnight Screenings”, which offer an off-the-wall, blood-soaked, sex-stuffed and darkly hilarious strand of French cinema, for adults only.
The festival has teamed up with Curzon Home Cinema and Amazon Instant Video to release all the feature films for pay-per-view streaming. The festival has also partnered with MUBI To release six of the movies on the subscription VOD service, which costs £5.99 a month. (You can read our full guide to those films on MUBI here.) All the shorts are available for free on the festival website (Myfrenchfilmfestival.com), which is also the exclusive home of the Midnight Screening films.
Here’s a rundown of the films available:
Coming of Age
From sex to journeys of discovery, this selection ranges from Eva Husson’s stylish orgy flick Bang Gang to Danielle Arbid’s portrait of a young Lebanese woman in the City of Lights, Parisienne.
The New Kid by Rudi Rosenberg 1992 by Anthony Doncque Overpass by Patrice Laliberté (Out of Competition, a Canadian film presented in partnership with Telefilm Canada)
Available on MUBI: Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) by Éva Husson – Read our review Parisienne by Danielle Arbid The Demons by Philippe Lesage (Out of Competition, a Canadian film presented in partnership with Telefilm Canada)
We Are Family
From Jean-Luc Godard to François Truffaut, the family home has always provided a prime setting in French cinema – and, in the case of a brief return to A Town Called Panic, a prime opportunity for stop-motion hilarity.
Prejudice by Antoine Cuypers (in Competition, a Belgian film presented in partnership with Wallonie-Bruxelles Images (WBI)) In Deep Waters by Sarah Van Den Boom A Town Called Panic: Back to School by Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier (in Competition, a Belgian film presented in partnership with Wallonie-Bruxelles Images (WBI))
Available on MUBI: Marguerite et Julien by Valérie Donzelli The Ogres by Léa Fehner
Love & Friendship
In the Love & Friendship section, groups form and break apart according to the rhythm of encounters and departures.
This Summer Feeling by Mikhaël Hers Juliet’s Band by Aurélien Peyre The Geneva Convention by Benoît Martin The Last Frenchman by Pierre-Emmanuel Urcun Of Shadows and Wings by Eleonora Marinoni and Elice Meng (Out of Competition, a Swiss film presented in partnership with Swiss Films)
From obsession to obsession, the Psycho section explores the imagination of characters searching for vengeance or redemption.
A Decent Man by Emmanuel Finkiel Faultless by Sébastien Marnier (not available in the UK) Group Violence by Karim Boukercha
Available on MUBI: Moka by Frédéric Mermoud (Out of Competition, a Swiss film presented in partnership with Swiss Films)
A Woman’s Life
Present in front of and behind the camera, a broad range of French women can be encountered in this collection:
I’m All Yours by Baya Kasmi Cleo from 5 to 7 by Agnès Varda (Out of Competition, a classic French film) Flesh and Volcanoes by Clémence Demesme Veil of Silence by Julie Gourdain Mother(s) by Maïmouna Doucouré
All available exclusively on the festival platform:
In Search of the Ultra-Sex by Nicolas Charlet and Bruno Lavaine A Done Deal by Pierre-Marc Drouin and Simon Lamarre-Ledoux (a Canadian film presented in partnership with Telefilm Canada) The Plumber by Méryl Fortunat-Rossi and Xavier Seron (a Belgian film presented in partnership with Wallonie-Bruxelles Images (WBI))
MyFrenchFilmFestival.com pays homage this year to Françoise Dorléac. The young actress, who died in 1967, is honoured through a segment, unseen until now, of the short film 4XD – Françoise Dorléac, commissioned by UniFrance in 1964 and directed by the then novice filmmaker Philippe Labro. This gem from the UniFrance achives is offered to all film enthusiasts across the globe on MyFrenchFilmFestival.com.
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