Focus on French Cinema 2008, the fourth edition of the Festival of French Cinema, opens on Friday, March 28 at the Purchase College Performing Arts Center with a “surprise” East Coast premiere. This eagerly anticipated opening night event, hosted by Purchase alumnus David Schwartz, chief curator of the Museum of the Modern Image, will be followed by an audience talk back featuring festival actors and directors and a gala “après-theatre” buffet dinner offering an assortment of French delicacies.
Purchase College, State University of New York, is located at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.
Once again, the prestigious Purchase College Performing Arts Center will host a weekend of 12 contemporary and cutting edge films. On Friday afternoon, March 28, the festival will feature two films specifically designated for students: Laurent Tirard’s Moliere, with Romain Duris and Ludivine Sagnier, and Les Amities Malefiques (Poison Friends), directed by Emmanuel Bourdieu with Malik Zidi, winner of the Cesar for most promising actor in 2007.
On Saturday morning, March 29, a “Meet the Director” breakfast will provide the community an opportunity to informally meet and talk with participating actors and directors. The breakfast will be followed immediately by a screening of L’ivresse De Pouvoir (Comedy of Power), the legendary director Claude Chabrol’s story of a 1990’s political scandal in France starring internationally acclaimed actress Isabelle Huppert. Other films throughout the day will include Bluff, a U.S. premiere film from Quebec, and two films starring the award-winning French actor Jean Dujardin. The first, 99 Francs ($9.99), directed by Jan Kounen and based on the book by Frederic Beigbeder, is a dark satire of the advertising industry. Contre-Enquete (Counter Investigation), a New York premiere, features Jean Dujardin in a complex and touching story of revenge, written and directed by Franck Mancuso, himself a former cop.
Sunday, March 30 will feature Alain Resnais’ Coeurs (Private Fears in Public Places), starring Lambert Wilson and the award-winning actress Laura Morante, followed by the New York premiere of Nos Jours Heureux (Those Happy Days), a comedy that received the 2006 City of Lights, City of Angels (COLCOA) award in Los Angeles. Cowboy, a U.S. premiere from Belgium directed by Benoit Mariage, features renowned actor Benoit Poelvoorde. Lady Chatterly, directed by Pascale Ferran and winner of the 2007 Cesar for best film, will close the festival.
Focus on French Cinema 2008 is organized by the Alliance Française of Greenwich, Purchase College, SUNY and French Feeling Films in partnership with Tournees, a program of the French Embassy, the Delegation Generale du Quebec in New York, the Greenwich Arts Council, the Avon Theater and the Westchester Acceuil.
Focus on French Cinema is placed under the patronage of the Ambassador of France, his Excellency Pierre Vimont, as well as the Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Jean Maurice Ripert, the Ambassador of Francophone to the United Nations, Mr. Moussa Makan Camera and the patronage of the Consul Generale of France in New York, Mr. Francois Delattre, and the “Society of Friends of Belgium in America,” under the auspices of the Consul General of Belgium in New York. The film festival also received a seed grant from the French American Cultural Exchange (F.A.C.E.).
For more information on the festival, including tickets, visit www.focusonfrenchcinema.org or call the Alliance Française of Greenwich at 203-629-1340.