CULTURE

Francophone Film Festival to grace Athenian screens

Featuring no fewer than 50 French and French-speaking productions, the ninth edition of the Francophone Film Festival opens its doors today. Running at the Attikon and Apollon cinemas as well as in the French Institute’s amphitheater until April 13, the event showcases a number of critically acclaimed movies deriving from the current French and French-speaking film production crop. The festival will also travel to Thessaloniki, where it will be held at the Olympion Cinema from April 10 to 16. The event is jointly organized by the French Embassy, the French Institute in Athens and the French film center Unifrance. True to its tradition, the festival will host a variety of actors and directors who will be present and will meet with audiences during the screenings. One of the festival’s special features is a tribute to the Quinzaine des realisateurs du Festival de Cannes, that is, the Directors’ Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival, with a selection of 10 landmark films from the period 2004-2007. Olivier Pere, head of the Directors’ Fortnight, will also make the trip to Athens. Also part of the screenings is a selection of films awarded the Prix Jean Vigo, a prize given to young directors by the Cinema of France in honor of the late French director. In Athens, the award-winning film has been selected by the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. Furthermore the Francophone Film Festival presents a series of films for younger audiences. Also on the schedule of screenings are films produced by members of the i organization of French-speaking countries, in collaboration with the French-speaking embassies in Greece. The festival’s curtain-raiser tonight is Mehdi Charef’s «Cartouches Gauloises» (entrance to opening night is by invitation and on a first-come-first-in basis). Starring Ali Hamada, Thomas Millet and Julien Amate, the film tells the story of two youngsters experiencing the final year of the Algerian war. Other festival films include «Dialogues avec mon jardinier,» «La Clef» and «Paris.» Directed by Jean Becker and starring Daniel Auteuil and Jean-Pierre Darroussin, «Dialogues avec mon jardinier» narrates the story of a friendship between a successful Parisian artist and his gardener. In «La Clef,» a thriller directed by Guillaume Nicloux and starring Guillaume Canet, Marie Gillain and Vanessa Paradis, a young man uncovers a conspiracy involving his long-lost father. Directed by Cedric Klapisch and starring Juliette Binoche, Romain Duris, Francois Cluzet and Fabrice Luchini, «Paris» follows an ailing man as he takes a different look at the people who surround him. Attikon Cinema, 19 Stadiou, tel 210.322.8821, Apollon Cinema, 19 Stadiou, 210.323.6811 and IFA, 31 Sina, tel 210.339.8600. For more information on the event log on to www.ifa.gr.