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Letter: French cinema celebration reaches new heights

April 7, 2017 GMT

To the editor,

“Focus on French Cinema,” the 13th annual festival of new cutting edge Francophone cinema presented by the Alliance Française of Greenwich had a record-breaking success the weekend of March 31-April 2.

Close to 7,000 cinephiles welcomed honorary guest and legendary director Claude Lelouch as well as a delegation of directors and actors from Québec for the FFC 2017 Tribute to the Cinéma of Québec.

Bow Tie Cinemas was sold out for the Greenwich weekend with an lineup of more than 20 U.S. and World Premiere films including the North American Premiere of Claude Lelouch’s restored version of the classic, “A Man and a Woman (Un homme et une femme).” Lelouch’s presence during the festival was historic in Greenwich and the film instantly sold out.

Jerôme Salle’s biopic, “L’Odyssée,” on the legendary Capt. Jacques Yves Cousteau, introduced the Greenwich public to an epic ode to exploration highlighted by a discussion by Jan Cousteau and coral reef ecologist from Scripps Institute of Oceanograhy, David Kline

FFC 2017 also presented a “Tribute to the Cinema of Québec” featuring six newly released feature films and six short films. Yan England’s premiere of “1:54,” a heart-breaking coming-of-age story and competitive sports feature on the important subject of bullying in the school system won the La Compagnie Best Feature Film Award by a vote of the festival audience. The lucky winners will fly to France on the La Compagnie, the French all-business class airline.

From the Greenwich Opening Night festivities at L’Escale Restaurant Bar and Opening Night film, “Juste a Fin du Monde (It’s Only the End of The World)” by world renowned and César winning Québecois director, Xavier Dolan to sold-out round table discussions and Q&As enhanced by fabulous French wine and food to the closing night, FFC 2017 was a platform for discussion, debate and discovery of the French-speaking world.

Stay tuned for dates for FFC 2018!

Visit www.focusonfrenchcinema.com to see photos, and details of the festival weekend.

Renée Amory Ketcham is president of Alliance Française of Greenwich/Focus on French Cinema.