Tuesday, November 22, 2011

We're halfway through the IFI French Film Festival...

It's been a busy few days as we hit the halfway point at the IFI French Film Festival, but we have lots of highlights still to come...

The Silence of Joan director Philippe Ramos
with actor Liam Cunningham

After the Gala Opening last Wednesday, the Festival guests just kept on coming throughout the opening weekend. Director of The Bird, Yves Caumon participated in a second Q&A on Thursday following his film, and no sooner had he flown home that Philippe Ramos, director of The Silence of Joan, joined us to introduce his film on both Friday and Saturday. As an added bonus, Liam Cunningham - star of The Silence of Joan - also joined us for Saturday's screening. Luce Vigo, daughter of legendary director Jean Vigo and President of the Jean Vigo Prize, was here throughout the weekend to introduce the selection of screenings within this programme strand.

Luce Vigo with Laurent Marie

There were sell-out screenings to beat the band over the weekend. Romantics Anonymous was the first film in the Festival to sell out (don't worry, it will return for one week only from December 16th), but was quickly followed by queues leading out the front door for the double screenings of Declaration of War, His Mother's Eyes and House of Tolerance.


The next few days sees a range of favourites from this year's Cannes and Venice film festivals. Selected for competition at Cannes, Pater is Alain Cavalier's experimental narrative which proved an enormous hit with critics. Each month within the regular IFI programme, we host a special French Film Club screening in partnership with the Alliance Francaise, and to mark the second anniversary of this Club, Pater has been selected as the official French Film Club screening during this year's Festival. As with all Club screenings, IFI and Alliance Francaise members can avail of a special €7 discounted ticket price. We've also selected this screening as a special night for the IFI Best Members. So, to let all our blog readers in on a little secret, we'll be offereing all ticket holders a complimentary glass of French wine after tonight's screening. (Pater will also screen on Wednesday at 4pm).

A major hit at the Venice Film Festival was Abdellatif Kechiche's Black Venus which tells the true story of Sarah Baartman, an African slave exhibited as a freak show attraction  in nineteenth century London and Paris. Yahima Torries is simply astonishing in the lead role, and this is definitely one of the hot tips of this year's Festival.

Service Entrance

If you saw Potiche earlier this year, you'll recognise Fabrice Luchini (Catherine Deneuve's chauvanistic husband in the '60s comedy) in Service Entrance. This is a light-hearted and amusing comedy of worlds colliding as staid banker begins to take pity on the plight of the maids working at his mansion. If you're  a fan of Pedro Almodovar, you'll recognise a lot of the faces from his films.

It looks like the next few days are shaping up to be as busy as the last!

Ross Keane
Public Affairs & Marketing Director

To see the full programme, please visit our website.

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