ArtMag.co.uk went along to the official Edinburgh launch of the 27th French Film Festival UK at the Edinburgh Filmhouse.
The French Film Festival takes place in independent cinemas over 35 towns and cities across the UK with a curated feast of the best of new and old French-language cinema. It’s a truly global affair with films from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec, Africa and elsewhere in a spirit of friendship and collaboration with colleagues and film-makers across Europe and beyond. It is this spirit that infused the opening night with an intimate, convivial and friendly atmosphere.
The opening night screening was César-nominated Nicolas Bedos’ latest feature film La Belle Epoque, a genuinely heart-warming gem shown at this year’s Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Starring the incomparable Daniel Auteuil and Fanny Ardant, this is a witty, charming, imaginative tale which is both heart-warming and heart-breaking in equal measures. It shows the perks and dangers of being given the chance to revisit your favourite memories.
La Belle Epoque is also screening in Glasgow (GFT), Inverness (Eden Court), Dundee (DCA) and Aberfeldy (The Birks).
Each screening throughout the Festival will be preceded by a short (one-minute) film from France on the theme of human rights, shot on a mobile phone or tablet as part of a continuing inspirational collaboration with the Paris-based Mobile Film Festival. Accompanying the festival in the Filmhouse cafe bar is a series of posters created by Edinburgh College of Art students. Each illustrates a selection of the one-minute shorts. The festival is divided into strands: Panorama – the global stars of Francophone cinema; Discovery – new and emerging directors; Classics; Animation; shortCuts.
Attending this year’s Festival is 19-year-old Nathan Ambrosioni, director of Paper Flags, screening at the French Institute on 25th November. Belgian director Joachim Lafosse will attend Keep Going on Sunday 10th November at The Filmhouse, and other highlights include Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire (screening in Glasgow). Further details on guest appearances, events and screenings can be found in the brochure.
With grateful thanks to Julie Boyne for writing this piece.