Press Releases

Focus on French Cinema 2009 - 5th Anniversary Festival of French Cinema April 3-5.

Date Released: 2/12/2009

FOCUS ON FRENCH CINEMA 2009, returning to Purchase College April 3-5 for its fifth year, will open on Friday, April 3 with "Lol" (Laughing Out Loud), a US Premiere film and "comedy" directed by Lisa Azuelos.

Sophie Marceau, internationally renowned French actress and starring in "Lol" will be the guest for the Opening Night screening. The festivities will include an introduction and Q & A by David Schwartz, Chief Curator of the Museum of the Moving Image, as well as a Gala Buffet Dinner presented by Les Maitres Cuisiniers de France featuring delicacies from Belgium.

Over the past four years FOCUS ON FRENCH CINEMA has attracted an audience of almost 10,000 spectators, welcomed famous French actors and directors, and presented over 40 newly released francophone films to the American public.  The festival of French Film was founded and presented by the Alliance Francais of Greenwich, CT, Purchase College and New York French Feeling Films.

Once again, the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College will host a weekend of eleven contemporary and cutting-edge francophone films, all with English subtitles. On Friday afternoon, April 3, the festival will feature two films specifically for students beginning with "Entre les Murs" (The Class).  This Oscar-nominated film, by Laurent Cantet, stars Francois Begaudeau  negotiating a year with racially mixed students in a tough Parisian neighbourhood.  "Entre lest Murs" is the winner of the 2008 Palme d'Or at Cannes. The second film of the afternoon,  "Passe-Passe" is an new comedy starring award-winning French actress Nathalie Baye.

On Saturday morning, April 4, the festival’s annual "Meet the Directors and Actors Breakfast" will provide the community an opportunity to informally meet and interact with participating honoured guests including Sophie Marceau and director Philippe Muyl (Magique!). The breakfast is free and open to the public. Immediately following the breakfast, FOCUS ON FRENCH CINEMA will open the weekend line-up of films with the American premiere of "Le Crime est Notre Affaire" (Partners in Crime), directed by Pascal Thomas. This is Pascal Thomas' third adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel and stars Catherine Frot and Andre Dussolier. Other films throughout the day include: "Maman est chez le Coiffeur", ( Mommy is at the Hairdresser), a film from Quebec; "Les Femmes de l'ombre" (Female Agents), an East Coast Premiere directed by Jean-Paul Salome and starring  weekend guest Sophie Marceau in a glossy tale of love and war; and finally East Coast Premiere,  "Les Liens du Sang" (Rivals) directed by Jacques Maillot and starring Guillaume Canet and Francois Cluzet in a "gritty crime drama" set in the 70s.

On Sunday, April 5, featured films will include: the US Premiere of Jean-Michel Ribes' comedic satire of the ”arts” culture, “Musee haut-Musee bas”(A Day at the Museum), followed by  "Magique!," a magical musical story for children of all ages.  Philippe Muyl, the film's director and founding member of FOCUS ON FRENCH CINEMA, will join the audience for a Q & A after the screening. "Eldorado", a comedy/drama from Belgium directed by and starring Bouli Lanners, continues the afternoon's program with a film of vivid imagery and a soundtrack suggesting the American West. "La Tres tres grande entreprise" (The Very, Very Big Company), presented in US Premiere will close the festival. Directed by Pierre Jolivet and starring Jean-Paul Rouve, Roshdy Zem, and  Marie Gillain , the film is a comedy and "social commentary attacking the greed and cynicism of multinationals."

FOCUS ON FRENCH CINEMA 2009 is organized by the Alliance Francaise of Greenwich, Purchase College and French Feeling Films in partnership with the Greenwich Arts Council, the Avon Theatre and the Westchester  Accueil.

FOCUS ON FRENCH CINEMA is placed under the patronage of the Ambassador of France, His  Excellency Pierre Vimont as well as the Ambassador of France to the United Nations, Mr. Jean-Maurice Ripert, the Ambassador of the Francophonie to the United Nations, Mr Moussa Makan Camera, the Consul General of France in New York, Mr Guy Yelda, Mr. Herman Porto- Carreiro, Consul General of Belgium in New York, Mr. Robert Keating, Delegate General of Quebec in New York and Mrs. Kareen Rispal, Cultural Councellor of the French Embassy.

For more information on the festival and ticketing please visit our Web site at or call 203-629-3644