GUIDE: French Film Festival 2016

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Now on its 21st year, the French Film Festival in the Philippines presents the best of contemporary French film and honors the excellence of Philippine cinema. It has long since been offering an alternative venue for Filipinos to discover and appreciate a different kind of cinema, culture and language. While a loyal audience of cineastes and Francophiles has been following the festival annually, more and more casual moviegoers have been attending the French Film Festival, with over 15,000 recorded individual ticket sales in Manila and Cebu last year.

Screening Venues

  • June 8 to 14 at Greenbelt 3 Cinemas, Bonifacio High Street Cinema, and Cinematheque Centre Manila
  • June 22 to 25 in Ayala Center Cebu
  • June 28 to 30 in Abreeza Mall in Davao

Screening Schedules

The following are the screening schedules of French Film Festival 2016 at Greenbelt 3 and Bonifacio High Street cinemas (click the image for higher resolution):

french film festival 2016 screening schedules

Opening Night

To formally open the French Film Festival in Manila, the red carpet will be rolled out on June 8 in honor of the cast and crew of Ma’ Rosa, a film by director Brillante Mendoza which was selected in the Cannes Film Festival’s Official Competition.

The glamour and prestige inspired by the Cannes Film Festival are brought to Manila’s red carpet event at Central Square by the SSI Group, Inc.’s collection of top French brands headlined by Lacoste.

The Peugeot Red Carpet Ride completes the experience as Peugeot Philippines provides a fleet to transport VIPs to Central Square.

A special screening of French director Maïwenn’s film, Mon Roi, will end the evening. For her role in the film, French actress Emmanuelle Bercot was given the Best Actress Award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

Ticket Price

Similar to last year, tickets for Greenbelt 3 and Bonifacio High Street cinemas are priced at 100 PHP to cover the operational costs of the theaters. Tickets can be purchased at the cinema lobby or online through www.sureseats.com.

Discount for French language classes

A greater appreciation for French cinema comes with a better understanding of the French language. Because of this, the Alliance Française de Manille will be offering a 10% discount for French language classes for every viewer of the French Film Festival at the Greenbelt 3 or Bonifacio High Street cinemas.


Featured Films

Belles familles (Families)

Director: Jean-Paul Rappeneau
Production year: 2015
Running time: 1 h 53 mins
Rating: PG

Cast: Matthieu Amalric, Marine Vacth, Gilles Lellouche, Nicole Garcia, Karin Viard, Guillaume de Tonquédec, André Dussolier, Gemma Chan

Synopsis: Jerome Varenne lives in Shanghai. During a quick trip to Paris, he learns that his childhood home in the village of Ambray is at the center of a local conflict. He heads there to straighten things out. This escapade will change his life forever…


Bird People

Director: Pascale Ferran
Production year: 2014
Running time: 2 h 7 mins
Rating: R-13

Cast: Josh Charles, Anaïs Demoustier, Roschdy Zem, Camélia Jordana, Akéla Sari, Anne Azoulay, Manuel Vallade, Hippolyte Girardot

Synopsis: In transit in an international hotel near Roissy airport on the outskirts of Paris, a computer engineer coping with a huge amount of professional and emotional pressure decides to radically change the direction of his life. A few hours later, a young hotel maid, who is at an in-between period of her life, finds her existence turned upside down by a supernatural event.


Encore heureux (Hopefully)

Director: Benoït Graffin
Production year: 2016
Running time: 1 h 33 mins
Rating: No rating

Cast: Sandrine Kiberlain, Edouard Baer, Bulle Ogier, Carla Besnaïnou, Mathieu Torloting, Benjamin Biolay

Synopsis: Yes, Marie is a little tired of the carefree attitude of her husband Sam, an senior executive who has been for 2 years. Yes, she is very tempted to allow herself to be seduced by a handsome anonymous man who courts her. There is also her daughter’s piano competition. This crazy light and balance stands more or less, as unexpected events cast the whole family on an even crazier path.


Five

Director: Igor Gotesman
Production year: 2016
Running time: 1 h 42 mins
Rating: R-16

Cast: Pierre Niney, François Civil, Igor Gotesman, Margot Bancilhon, Idrissa Hanrot, Pascal Demolon, Michèlle Moretti, Philippe Duclos

Synopsis: A young man paying the rent for himself and his lifelong friends at an apartment ends up flat-broke and resorts to selling marijuana to pay the bills – only to get caught up in the dangerous world of drugs.


Grand Central

Director: Rebecca Zlotowski
Production year: 2013
Running time: 1 h 34 mins
Rating: No rating

Cast: Tahar Rahim, Léa Seydoux, Olivier Gourmet, Denis Ménochet, Johan Libérau, Nozha Khouadra, Nahuel Perez Biscayart, Camille Lellouche

Synopsis: Gary is young, agile, a quick learner. He’s one of those who’s never been promised anything. After a succession of odd jobs, he’s begins work at a nuclear power plant. There, amongst the reactors and their high doses of radioactivity, he finally finds what he’s been looking for: money, a team, a family. But the team also includes Karole, Toni’s wife, with whom he falls in love. Forbidden love and radiation slowly contaminate Gary. Each day is menacing.


Human

Director: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Production year: 2015
Running time: 3 h 11 mins
Rating: No rating yet

Synopsis: Human is a collection of stories about and images of our world, offering an immersion to the core of what it means to be human. Through these stories full of love and happiness, as well as hatred and violence, HUMAN brings us face to face with the Other, making us reflect on our lives. From stories of everyday experiences to accounts of the most unbelievable lives, these poignant encounters share a rare sincerity and underline who we are – our darker side, but also what is most noble in us, and what is universal. Our Earth is shown at its most sublime through never-before-seen aerial images accompanied by soaring music, resulting in an ode to the beauty of the world, providing a moment to draw breath and for introspection. Human is a politically engaged work which allows us to embrace the human condition and to reflect on the meaning of our existence.


Imbisibol (Invisible)

Director: Lawrence Fajardo
Production year: 2015
Running time: 2 h 12 mins
Rating: R-13

Cast: Allen Dizon, Ces Quesada, Bernardo Bernardo, JM de Guzman, JC Santos, Onyl Torres, Mailes Kanapi

Synopsis: Imbisibol tells the tale of illegal Filipino immigrants in Japan and their plight to evade authorities. It weaves together several narratives about undocumented Filipino workers trying to support themselves and their families back home by taking under-the-counter work in Japan.


La Belle saison (Summertime)

Director: Catherine Corsini
Production year: 2015
Running time: 1 h 46 mins
Rating: No rating

Cast: Cécile de France, Izïa Higelin, Noémie Lvovsky, Kévin Azaïs, Benjamin Bellecour, Laetitia Dosch, Sarah Suco, Nathalie Beder

Synopsis: 1971, Delphine is twenty-three years old. A farmer’s daughter, she comes to Paris so as to be financially independent; she dreams of running her own farm, something unthinkable for a woman to do at this time. Carole is a Parisian. She’s thirty-five years old and lives with Manuel. She’s actively involved with the beginning of the feminist movement. When Delphine and Carole meet, their love affair turns their lives upside down. But Delphine is obliged to return to the family farm. Carole follows her. Once there, they’ll have to cope with another reality.


La Ritournelle (Paris Follies)

Director: Marc Fitoussi
Production year: 2014
Running time: 1 h 38 mins
Rating: No rating

Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Michael Nyqvist, Pio Marmai, Jean-Charles Clichet, Marina Foïs, Audrey Dana, Anaïs Demoustier

Synopsis:  Brigitte and Xavier farm cattle in Normandy. Brigitte’s a dreamer, with her head in the clouds, whereas Xavier’s feet are firmly on the ground and his main focus is his work. Now that their children have left home, the couple’s routine life increasingly weighs Brigitte down. One day, in a moment’s madness, she leaves the fields behind and heads for Paris. Xavier then realizes that he is perhaps going to lose her. Will they manage to get back together? And how does one reinvent oneself after so many years? To regain your wife’s affections, you sometimes have to take a crooked path.


La vie très privée de Monsieur Sim (The Very Private Life of Mr. Sim)

Director: Michel Leclerc
Production year: 2015
Running time: 1 h 42 mins
Rating: No rating

Cast: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Mathieu Almaric, Valeria Golino, Linh-Dan Pham, Isabelle Gélinas, Vimala Pons, Félix Moati, Vincent Lacoste

Synopsis: Mister Sim is of no concern whatsoever. At least, this is what he thinks about himself. His wife has left him, his job has left him, and when goes to see his father in a remote part of Italy, not even Dad has the time to have lunch with him. He then receives an unexpected offer: to travel through France selling toothbrushes that will “revolutionize oral-dental hygiene.” He takes advantage of the job to catch up with people from his childhood, to meet the first big love of his life, along with his daughter, and to make amazing discoveries and, in so doing, rediscover himself.


Le Fantôme de Canterville (The Canterville Ghost)

Director: Yann Samuel
Production year: 2016
Running time: 1 h 35 mins
Rating: G

Cast: Audrey Fleurot, Michaël Youn, Michèle Laroque, Lionnel Astier, Mathilde Daffe, Julien Frison

Synopsis: In the depths of legendary Brittany, Aliénor de Canterville’s ghost is condemned to haunt his family’s castle and to scare away any new inhabitants. She fulfills this mission wonderfully, assisted by Gwilherm, her faithful servant. But when the Otis family, fleeing from Parisian life, buys the castle, Aliénor is upset that she doesn’t manage to frighten this 21st century tribe… Only fifteen-year-old Virginia Otis, moved by the Canterville ghost’s fate, will try to free Aliénor from the curse affecting her life.


Les Nouvelles aventures d’Aladin (The New Adventures of Aladin)

Director: Arthur Benzaquen
Production year: 2015
Running time: 1 h 47 mins
Rating: G

Cast: Kev Adams, Jean-Paul Rouve, Vanessa Guide, William Lebghil, Audrey Lamy, Arthur Benzaquen, Eric Judor, Michel Blanc

Synopsis: On Christmas Eve, Sam and his best buddy Khalid dress up as Santa to steal as much as they can from a department store. But Sam gets cornered by some children and has to tell them a story, the story of Aladin – his version, at least. Taking on the character of Aladin, Sam heads off on a voyage to the heart of Baghdad, city of a thousand and one riches. But alas, behind the colorful folklore, the people are suffering the tyranny of the terrible Vizir, known for his cruelty and his dubious breath. Will the young thief Aladin, helped by his genie, be able to thwart the Vizir’s diabolical plans, save Khalid, and win the heart of Princess Shallia? Actually he will. But we won’t lie to you: it’s not going to be easy!


Les Souvenirs (Memories)

Director: Jean-Paul Rouve
Production year: 2015
Running time: 1 h 36 mins
Rating: No rating yet

Cast: Michel Blanc, Annie Cordy, Matthieu Spinosi, Chantal Lauby, William Lebghil, Flore Bonaventura, Audrey Lamy, Jean-Paul Rouve

Synopsis: Romain is twenty-three years old. He’d like to be a writer, but, for the moment, he’s night watchman in a hotel. His father is sixty-two years old. He is retired and seems to not give a damn about anything. He shares an apartment with a twenty-four-year-old guy whose sole aim in life is to seduce a woman, no matter who, and no matter the cost.  His grandmother is eighty-five years old. She’s in an old people’s home and wonders what on earth she is doing with stuck with all these old people. One day, Romain’s father turns up in a fluster. His grandmother has disappeared. In fact, she kind of escaped. Romain sets out to find her, somewhere in his memories…


Manang Biring

Director: Carl Joseph Papa
Production year: 2015
Running time: 1 h 28 mins
Rating: PG

Cast: Erlinda Villalobos, Mailes Kanapi, Alcris Galura, Lance Raymundo, Bea Benedicto, Patricky Sugui, John Carlo Tan, Cherry Pie Picache

Synopsis: Manang Biring is a comedy-drama about a feisty but terminally-ill old lady who has learned to accept her imminent demise. Until one day, she receives a letter from her long-estranged daughter abroad announcing of her return for the holidays. As she races against time with her declining health, Biring will go to great lengths to prolong her life and gift her daughter and grandson a happy Christmas.


Mon roi (My King)

Director: Maïwenn
Production year: 2015
Running time: 2 h 8 mins
Rating: R-16

Cast: Vincent Cassel, Emmanuelle Bercot, Louis Garrel, Isild Le Besco, Patrick Raynal, Paul Hamy, Yann Goven, Chrystèle Saint-Louis Agustin

SynopsisTony is admitted to a rehabilitation center after a serious skiing accident. Dependent on the medical staff and pain relievers, she takes time to look back on her turbulent relationship with Georgio. Why did they love each other? Who is this man that she loved so deeply? How did she allow herself to submit to this suffocating and destructive passion? For Tony, a difficult process of healing lies ahead of her, physical work which may finally set her free…


Party Girl

Director: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis
Production year: 2014
Running time: 1 h 35 mins
Rating: No rating

Cast: Angelique Litzenburger, Joseph Bour, Mario Theis, Samuel Theis, Séverine Litzenburger, Cynthia Litzenburger, Chantal Dechuet, Alyssia Litzenburger

Synopsis: Angélique is sixty years old. She still loves to party and she still loves men. At night, to earn a living, she gets them to drink in a nightclub on the German border. With passing time, clients have become few and far between. But Michel, her regular, is still in love with her. One day, he asks her to marry him.


Toute première fois (I Kissed a Girl)

Director: Noémie Saglio, Maxime Govare
Production year: 2015
Running time: 1 h 30 mins
Rating: No rating

Cast: Pio Marmai, Lannick Gautry, Adrianna Gradziel, Camille Cottin, Franck Gastambide, Frédéric Pierrot, Isabelle Candellier, Sébastien Castro

Synopsis: Jérémie, 34, wakes up in an apartment he doesn’t know, next to a woman he doesn’t know. She is Adna, a stunning Swedish woman who is as funny as she is sweet. Is this the beginning of a fairy tale? Not quite, since Jérémie is about to get married—to Antoine.


Un Homme Idéal (A Perfect Man)

Director: Yann Gozlan
Production year: 2015
Running time: 1 h 37 mins
Rating: No rating yet

Cast: Pierre Niney, Ana Girardot, Andre Marcon, Valeria Cavalli, Thibault Vincon, Marc Barbe, Laurent Grevill, Sacha Mijovic

Synopsis: Twenty-five-year old Mathieu has always aspired to become a famous author. It’s a dream which seems inaccessible because, despite all his efforts, he has never managed to be published. Meanwhile, he earns his living by working for a moving company. His destiny takes a new turn the day he stumbles across the manuscript of elderly and solitary man who has recently died. At first Mathieu hesitates, then finally decides to steal the text and pretend he wrote it. He becomes the bright new star of French literature. Everyone is now eagerly anticipating his second novel, and as each day passes and pressure mounts, Mathieu plunges ever deeper into a criminal spiral of lies in order to keep his dark secret hidden.


Un + Une

Director: Claude Lelouch
Production year: 2015
Running time: 1 h 53 mins
Rating: PG

Cast: Jean Dujardin, Elizabeth Zylberstein, Christopher Lambert, Alice Pol, Rahul Vohra, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Abhishek Krishnan, Venantino Venantini

Synopsis: Antoine ressembles one of the heroes in the films whose scores he composes. He’s charming, successful, and goes through life with as much humor as lightheartedness. When he travels to India to work on a very original version of Romeo and Juliette, he encounters Anna, a woman with whom he has nothing in common, but who he finds devastatingly attractive. Together, they’ll live an incredible adventure. 

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