Presented as part of the 2020 vOilah! France Singapore Festival, the French Film Festival is back this November, now bigger and better than ever before, with its largest line up of 37 films screened across both cinemas and online in the comfort of your own home.
Running from 6th to 22nd November 2020, this year’s line-up presents a range of genres, from emotional dramas to laugh out loud comedies, to fantastic animated films and gritty documentaries. The festival continues the good work done in past editions, with over half the films made by women or featuring strong female protagonists, and a testament to how women are gaining increasing representation in the film industry, both onscreen and behind the camera. Jean-Paul Salome’s Mama Weed leads the festival as the opening film, starring celebrated Academy Award-nominated actress Isabelle Huppert (Elle) as a French-Arabic translator working for the anti-drug squad in Paris, and becomes an atypical drug dealer.
This year’s festival will also feature 20 new movies fresh from the box office in France, including some which have yet to be released. This gives local audiences the unique opportunity to experience the new wave of contemporary, ground-breaking innovation in French storytelling ahead of the rest of the world. Be sure to catch Daniel Cohen’s A Friendly Tale, a thought-provoking comedy that premiered in France last year, and sheds light on the pursuit of happiness in the real world, and how success may not necessarily translate into inner contentment, as the success of an author threatens the friendship between her group of long-term friends, and boasts an all-star cast including Vincent Cassel and Oscar nominee Bérénice Bejo. Director Daniel Cohen will also participate in a live Q&A session with the public of Alliance Française on 11th November after the 7pm screening.
Making an international premiere at the French Film Festival is The Big Hit, which is due for a theatrical release in France this December. Based on a real-life event, the film tells the story of Etienne, an actor past his prime who takes on the challenge of directing a group of inmates from a high security prison. An official selection at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival, audiences can look forward to the stellar performance that brings the unique relationships between the characters to live.
Other films to look out for at the French Film Festival includes the coming of age, romantic gay drama Summer of 85, and drama Love Affairs, both part of the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival 2020. Audiences can also enjoy the historical biopic De Gaulle, that follows General Charles De Gaulle as he decides to lead the Free French Forces against Nazi Germany during World War II; or follow a fantastical love story of The Mermaid in Paris, in which a man crosses path with an injured mermaid along the River Seine in Paris.
Audiences can enjoy the films at Shaw Theatres, who have been a long supporting partner of the French Film Festival, Alliance Française de Singapour, Gardens by the Bay and The Projector. In an expanded partnership with Shaw Theatres, audiences are now also able to catch their favourite films from the line-up at Paya Lebar Quarter. The Projector will also be presenting critically-acclaimed French classics such as Cleo from 5 to 7, Contempt and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. These films were specially selected by The Projector to provoke thoughts and conversations around important issues in our society, and to introduce the golden-era of La Nouvelle Vague in the 1960s to Singaporeans.
Plus, the festival will also be offering ‘The Best of French Film Festival’ for the first time this year. This section is presented by both Shaw Theatres and The Projector as a specially curated selection of 12 films from the current and past editions of the festival that people can enjoy in the comforts of their own home. These include the 2017 festival opening film Back to Burgundy, about siblings coming together to inherit a Burgundy vineyard, as well as favourites such as family film Fanny’s Journey, which follows a group of brave Jewish children as they attempt to escape Nazi-occupied France. These films are hosted on KinoLounge and The Projector Plus.
“French cinema holds an important place in our hearts and over the past editions of French Film Festival, we have seen many locals grow a greater appreciation for it. With our specially curated selection of films this year, the biggest ever, we hope to showcase the sensitive and beautiful elements of French storytelling, delving into topics that expose the vulnerabilities that make us human,” said the Ambassador of France to Singapore, Marc Abensour. “We are thankful for our faithful partners who have come onboard to make the French Film Festival the best experience for everyone – for the first time both in theatres and on line – and we hope that the stories from this edition will continue to excite and inspire film enthusiasts.”