With French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert talking about greater collaboration with Greece, on the one hand, and stronger European ties on the other, the highly active French Institute in Athens unveiled a wealth of events for 2003 last week. The two countries’ increasing cooperation is especially evident in the domain of education, with the establishment of three Franco-Greek master’s degrees: expert evidence and cultural science from the universities of Crete and Metz; soil potential and rural planning from the universities of Thessaly and Blaise Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand; and translation, linking Greece’s Ionian University and France’s Basse Normandie in Caen. Science will play a major part at the French Institute this year, with a commemoration of 100 years since the country was awarded a triple Nobel Prize in physics – to Henri Becquerel and Pierre and Marie Curie. On March 6, Eleni Glykatzi-Ahreweiler will lead a round-table discussion on science and gender, while two French Nobelists, Pierre-Gilles de Gennes and Georges Charpak, are expected to come to Athens. Also on the scientific front is a presentation of Greece’s preparations to join the European Space Agency, as well as another on developments in two underwater telescope projects, bringing together the French «Antares» team working in Marseilles and Greece’s «Nestor,» a group working in Pylos. On the cultural level, highlights include a celebration of «Francophonie,» carried out through the collaboration of the capital’s 14 Francophone embassies (including new arrival Algeria), which is scheduled to take place from March 10 to 16.More cultural events include a tribute to playwright Valere Novarina, a highly important voice of contemporary French theater, with an evening dedicated to his work organized by the Patras Municipal Theater this Saturday. (It will be repeated in Athens on Monday, January 27.) The documentary festival «Cinema & Realite» begins on February 10, featuring 45 shorts. Themes include French documentaries on new circus companies (such as Zingaro and Jerome Thomas); a tribute to postwar Italian documentaries featuring 15 unique films by directors such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Luigi Comencini and Dino Risi, among others; and a look at contemporary French and Greek filmmakers. Included on the program are two documentaries on Cavafy and Georges Moustaki. Baroque music returns to the French Institute at the end of February, with a series of concerts featuring music at Versailles, with ensembles such as Skip Sempe’s Capriccio Stravagante and Ex Silentio, while cembalist Davitt Moroney will give a master class. Finally, the annual and highly popular French cinema festival will be presented from April 3 to 18. «Etre et avoir,» «L’Auberge Espagnole,» «L’adversaire,» «Embrassez qui vous voudrez,» and «Novo» are a few of the films that will be screened, while rapidly rising French actress Anna Mouglalis (besides acting, she is the new face of Chanel) will make her first official visit to her grandfather’s country. For more information, contact the French Institute in Athens, 31 Sina, tel 210.339.8600.