The 23rd edition of the French Film Festival continues to offer the best of French cinema and, at the same time, pays tribute to Filipino talents.
From June 6 to 12, 2018, the festival will screen 22 French films ranging from critically-acclaimed titles to blockbusters, as well as films by Raymond Red, as a nod to his return to the Cannes Film Festival after 18 years.
Raymond's short film Anino was awarded the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Fest in 2000. It will be shown at Greenbelt 3 cinemas and Bonifacio High Street cinemas on Independence Day, June 12, together with his 2009 full-length film Himpapawid.
“It's important that Anino is back because 18 years since he won, it's the first time he came back to Cannes,” said Martin Macalintal, Audiovisual Attaché of the Embassy of France to the Philippines. “It's very symbolic, and it's always good to be reminded of the importance of Cannes because it gives recognition to Philippine cinema.”
Director Zig Dulay also joins the lineup on June 12 with his film Bagahe, which won Cyclo d'Or, the grand prize of the Vesoul Asian Film Festival this year.
Based on true events, Bagahe is a Cinemalaya 2017 entry starring Angeli Bayani and Arnold Reyes. It revolves around an OFW named Mercy who is suspected of abandoning a newborn child in a trash bin of an airplane toilet.
The French Film Festival also highlights the action-packed blockbuster, Taxi 5, which will be screened for the first time in Manila at the red-carpet premiere on June 8, 2018.
This year's lineup includes French films that made the rounds at international film festivals: La Prière (The Prayer) (Silver Bear for Best Actor, Berlin Film Festival 2018) and the jazz biopic Django (Opening Film, Berlin Film Festival 2017). There's also the Kristen Stewart-starrer Personal Shopper (Official Competition, Cannes Film Festival 2016).
As France is also the country where art continuously flourishes, the festival also highlights films about artists, such as painter Paul Cézanne and writer Emile Zola in Cézanne et moi, fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent in Yves Saint Laurent, and a Russian ballerina and a French dancer in Polina.
The festival also offers dramas Orpheline (Orphans) and Une Vie (A Woman's Life), comedies Epouse-moi mon pote (Marry Me, Dude) and Rock 'n Roll, science fiction films Seuls (Alone) and animated film Louise en hiver (Louise by the Shore), as well as the documentary Voyage à travers le cinéma français (A Journey Through French Cinema).
There will also be a tribute to acclaimed directro Jean-Pierre Melville, who pioneered French film noir between the 1940s to the 1960s.
The films will be screened from June 6 to 12 at Greenbelt 3 cinemas in Makati, from June 8 to 12 at Bonifacio High Street cinemas in Taguig, and June 9 and 10 at UP Town Center cinemas in Quezon City. Tickets for the films will be sold at P150.
The festival will also make its way for the first time to the Abreeza Mall in Davao on June 21 and 28, and back to Ayala Center Cebu from June 25 to 27.