Annual French film festival takes on broader program

Equipped with a brand-new name and changes in its program, the annual French Film Festival will take place in Athens and Thessaloniki next month. The French Embassy in Greece and the French Institute in Athens have decided to rename the event: From now on, it will known as the Festival of Francophone Cinema. The festival’s program, edited by Thessaloniki Film Festival Artistic Director Michalis Dimopoulos, has been enriched with a new feature, «the Greatest Films of Francophone Cinema,» which includes about 10 films from the wider Francophone world. It will consist of screenings of films from Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, the Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Cambodia, Belgium and Canada. The festival will be hosted March 17-24 at Athens’s Attikon and Apollon cinemas and March 25-31 at Thessaloniki’s Olympion Renault cinema. As in previous years, the sixth festival’s official program features French productions as yet unreleased in Greece. One of the most talked-about films is Francois Ozon’s «5×2,» starring Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Stephane Freiss, a film that received very good response at the Venice Mostra and looks into the deterioration of a couple’s relationship via a flashback. The program also includes Andre Techine’s «Les temps qui changent,» starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu, a film about a man wanting to reunite with his former lover although they separated 30 years before, and which is also showing at the 55th Berlin Film Festival, which is currently under way. Olivier Marchal’s «36 quai des Orfevres,» starring Daniel Auteuil, Gerard Depardieu and Valeria Golino, is also on the agenda as is Claude Berri’s comedy «L’un reste, l’autre part,» starring Daniel Auteuil, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Nathalie Baye. Finally, Sebastien Lifshitz’s «Wild Side,» Jean-Luc Godard’s «Moments choisis des histoires du cinema» and Frederic Fonteyne’s «La femme de Gilles» (Gilles’s Wife), starring Emmanuelle Devos and Laura Smet (the daughter of Nathalie Baye and Johnny Hallyday) will also be shown. Belgian filmmaker Fonteyne’s film is a joint production between Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, France and Italy.

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