Wed | Dec 12, 2018

Francophone Film Festival targets students

Published:Friday | November 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer
French Ambassador to Jamaica Ambassador Denys Wibaux.

Although only two months into his post, French Ambassador to Jamaica Denys Wibaux was intrigued by the Jamaican interest in the French language and cuisine. The ambassador was speaking at the launch of Francophone Film Festival and screening of the film Swagger at the embassy on Hillcrest Avenue on Tuesday. "The people are warm, dynamic, and I am impressed by your youth." he said.

He added, "We (the French) have a particular relationship with cinema. We have a long, long history with cinema. The '30s and '40s were very fascinating periods. Later, the American cinema became bigger and bigger, but we have managed to maintain and keep the French cinema alive. And I am happy to see French films shown all over the world."

Tuesday's screening of Swagger kick-started the 2018 Francophone Film Festival. The brief informal ceremony also saw remarks made by Marie-Noelle Bronut, director of Alliance FranÁaise de la JamÔque, who also gave a preview of the upcoming films.

To ensure that the interest shown by Jamaicans remains, the Embassy of France has targeted secondary and tertiary students. The decision was influenced by feedback from previous festivals.

"The aim is to show students that it (French) is a language that is alive; and it is a language of imagination and creativity," said Bronut.

Along with new partner Jamaica Association of French Teachers (JAFT), event organisers. The France Embassy and Alliance FranÁaise de la JamÔque, will not only feature more films in Francophone Film Festival 2018, but will also include a youth festival.

This will run concurrently with the general public festival.

Eight movies are slated for the festival, six from France and one each from Burkina Faso and Belgium.

Bronut explained that there are more movies from France because they want to showcase a wider range and different types of movies. There is "drama, comedy, documentary, animation, to show the diversity of francophone movies".

Another difference for the 2018 festival is that "we are also trying to reach out to other venues, such as Campion College, University of Technology (UTech) and the University of the West Indies (UWI).

The collaborative effort with JAFT for students only, will feature Adama and the animation film the School Of Babel. Each will be shown at the institute of Jamaica and UTech on November 20 and 22, respectively.

The festival will continue to November 24, 2018.