The French Film Festival comes to Chichester

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

The French Film Festival is promising an exciting line-up for its 2019 programme, the 27th edition of the annual festival.

The Europe-friendly festival will run from November 8-December 8 at Chichester Cinema at New Park with a wide range of films to enjoy.

The festival as a whole will show more than 50 films in more towns and cities across the UK than ever before.

Richard Mowe, festival director and co-founder, said: “The festival screens the crème de la crème of French-language cinema from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec, Africa and elsewhere in a spirit of friendship and collaboration with colleagues and film-makers across Europe and beyond.

“Paradoxically given the mood of current times, the Europe-friendly festival began in a spirit of optimism in December 1992, the same year Edinburgh hosted the Summit of the European Council.

“Funding was awarded for an arts festival giving a cultural reference to the occasion – and the French Film Festival was one of the beneficiaries.

“Almost three decades down the line, the festival has proved the worth of that investment and confidence: the event now takes place in more than 35 different locations across the UK with an all-embracing range of films, seasons, and programmes for all ages and tastes, many accompanied by guests or highlighted by specialist introductions or workshops.

“Relationships forged with young directors have flourished as they have matured in those three decades. Many established names, such as Jean-Pierre Améris, Josiane Balasko, Michel Hazanavicius, and Bouli Lanners (currently filming in Scotland), have returned to the festival time and again to present their latest works; and audiences the length and breadth of the UK have responded with loyalty and enthusiasm as the event has expanded – from Skye and Shetland to Plymouth. In Europe relationships have been formed with like-minded festivals in Namur (Belgium) and Angers (France).

“Some of the year’s hottest titles from such major festivals as Cannes will be on offer including Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Nicolas Bedos’ La Belle Époque from Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight.

“Each screening throughout the festival will be preceded by a short film on the theme of human rights, shot on a mobile phone or tablet as part of a continuing collaboration with the Paris-based Mobile Film Festival.”

Richard added: “We are thrilled to have one of the most varied and vibrant programmes ever at this year’s French Film Festival. The French Film Festival’s work illustrates that culture and human understanding and cooperation ignores current political vagaries and knows no boundaries.

“The French Film Festival will surely be one of the first major arts events in the UK to demonstrate its ongoing support for cultural exchange with continental Europe and beyond, post-Brexit. We hope that come November there will be something to celebrate both off and on-screen.”

The programme at the Chichester Cinema at New Park is: Fri, Nov 8 18:00 Portrait of a Lady on Fire; Sun, Nov 10 18:30 The Swimming Pool; Mon, Nov 11 15:30 Portrait of a Lady on Fire; Tue, Nov 12 17:45 School’s Out; Thu, Nov 14 17:30 The Swallows of Kabul; Fri, Nov 15 20:45 Blind Spot; Sun, Nov 17 18:45 Young Ahmed; Mon, Nov 18 14:45 Amanda; Wed, Nov 20 18:30 Amanda; Thu, Nov 21 20:15 By the Grace of God; Fri, Nov 22 15:15 By the Grace of God; Sun, Nov 24 17:45 Farewell to the Night; Mon, 25 Nov 20:30 Conviction; Tue, Nov 26 15:15 Gaultier: Freak and Chic; Wed, 27 Nov 16:45 Le Brio; Fri, 29 Nov 18:30 Alice and the Mayor; Sat, 30 Nov 21:00 Persona Non Grata; Sun, Dec 1 14:30 The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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