For the 22nd year, the Embassy of France to the Philippines, Institut Français, the Alliance française de Manille and de Cebu, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines, in cooperation with the Ayala Malls Cinemas, Ayala Malls, Central Square, Circuit Makati and SSI Group, Inc. roll out the red carpet once more for the French Film Festival in Manila.
Each year, over 15,000 moviegoers are treated to critically-acclaimed feature films that provide a mirror into French society. From June 9 to 17 at the Ayala Malls Cinemas in Greenbelt 3 and the BHS Central Square Cinemas, the 22nd French Film Festival continues this tradition by offering 13 French films that will immerse Filipinos in a different form of storytelling that portrays French values, culture, and language.
It is for this reason that the French Film Festival remains one of the year’s most anticipated events of “PhilFrance: Feel French!”, a year-long festival launched by the French Embassy last January to celebrate the 70th year anniversary of French-Philippine diplomatic relations. The spirit of “PhilFrance: Feel French!” is to give Filipinos the opportunity to “feel France” in various aspects of everyday life, including arts, culture and of course, film and at the same time, celebrate the growing and diversifying partnership between France and the Philippines in all sectors.
To mark this long-standing friendship, the French Film Festival will also pay homage to Filipino films that have been selected at the Cannes Film Festival, which also celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2017. On June 12, Independence Day, the following films will be screened at the French Film Festival: Nakaw, directed by Noel Escondo and Arvin Belarmino (Short Film Corner, 2017); Ma’ Rosa, directed by Brillante Mendoza (Main Competition, Best Actress Award, 2016); On the Job, directed by Erik Matti (Director’s Fortnight, 2013); and Anino by Raymond Red (Short Film Corner, Palme d’Or for Best Short Film, 2000).
For the first time ever, the French Film Festival will dedicate one weekend for “plein air” free public outdoor screenings at Circuit Makati on June 17 and 18, 2017.
Similar to last year, tickets for screenings at the cinemas of Greenbelt 3 and Bonifacio High Street are priced at 100 and may be purchased at the ticket counter or online via www.sureseats.com.
A bright future for French-Philippine exchanges in film
Bilateral cooperation between France and the Philippines continues to grow at a significant pace.
In recognition of 70 years of diplomatic relations between France and the Philippines and his achievements in film, Brillante Mendoza has been invited by Institut Français as the “parrain” (godfather) of the La Fabrique Cinéma, a mentorship program for 10 up-and-coming filmmakers and producers from emerging economies.
Conscious of the cinematic achievements of Brillante Mendoza, who received the Cannes Best Director Award in 2009 for Kinatay and the Cannes Best Actress Award for Jaclyn Jose’s role in his 2016 film, Ma’ Rosa, the French government formally recognized him as Chevalier (Knight) in the French Order of Arts and Letters in 2013.
This year, the Cannes Film Festival once again served as a venue for institutional exchanges between French and Philippine film agencies. Film Development Council of the Philippines Chairperson Liza Diño discussed ways to intensify cooperation and exchange with the FDCP’s French counterpart, the Centre national du cinema et de l’image animée (CNC) and Unifrance, the French agency responsible for the promotion of French films worldwide. The meetings aimed to encourage French-Philippine co-productions.
Since director Raymond Red received the Palme d’Or for his short film, Anino, in 2000, Filipino films have consistently been featured at the Cannes Film Festival, whose primary aim is to provide a venue to promote cultural diversity through film. While the likes of Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz are regulars at Cannes, this year’s festival featured a new generation of Filipino filmmakers. Director Carlo Manatad, who was a participant at last year’s La Fabrique Cinéma, presented his short film Jodilerks: Employee of the Month starring Angeli Bayani at the Semaine de la Critique, while Arvin Belarmino and Noel Escondo screened Nakaw at the Short Films Corner.
These filmmakers represent the bright future ahead for Philippine cinema, and through continued bilateral exchanges in the audiovisual field, France reiterates its commitment to contribute to this booming sector in the country.
The 22nd French Film Festival in Manila is presented by the Embassy of France to the Philippines, Institut Français, the Alliance française de Manille and de Cebu, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines, in cooperation with the Ayala Malls Cinemas, Ayala Malls, Central Square, Circuit Makati, and the SSI Group, Inc., and with the support of Peugeot Philippines, Delsey, Marithé François Girbaud, Paris Delice, Le Cellier, Don Papa, Monin, ThinkBIT, Cignal, and media partners Expat Newspaper, the ABS-CBN News Channel, Rogue Media, L’Officiel Manila, Art Plus Magazine, and Manilascope.
For the film line-up and screening schedule, visit www.facebook.com/FrenchEmbassyManila and www.ph.ambafrance.org. Share your French Film Festival story on social media using the hashtag #FrenchFilmFest22 and #PhilFrance70.
PhilFrance: Feel French! celebrates 70 years of Franco-Philippine friendship
The French Film Festival is part of “PhilFrance: Feel French!”, a festival to celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and the Philippines this year. Throughout 2017, the Embassy of France to the Philippines, together with its partners, will organize a series of events that will give the Filipino public an opportunity to “feel France” in everyday life. The line-up includes the following events, among others:
- Fête de la Musique (June 17 at the A-Venue Mall Parking Lot and June 23 at Puerto Real in Intramuros, Manila)
- Ravel Unraveled French Classical Music Concert (June 22 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines)
- Tour de Manille, a cycling event that coincides with the Tour de France (July 9 at North Park, SM by the BAY)
- Bon Appétit: A French food market in Manila (September 22 to 24 at Central Square, Bonifacio High Street)
- A job fair and employability forum for the underprivileged youth (September)
- French volunteerism day (October)
- A series of conferences on architecture and urbanism, agriculture and social sciences
- Networking events, business meetings and start-up programs involving the French business community