Bonjour Cinema! 2006 - Film Festival of French speaking countries

Sri lankan moviegoers would get the rare opportunity to experience some great films of French speaking countries when a film festival of French speaking counties is to be held from 15th to the 19th of March at the Elphinston Theatre.

The festival is a joint cultural promotion effort organised by the Consulate of Belgium, the high commission of Canada, the Embassy of Switzerland, the Embassy of Romania and the Embassy of France with the collaboration of the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka. In 2002 and 2003, the French Embassy organised the annual French - Sri lankan film festival with a great success.

The Sri lankan public’s large enthusiastic response to the event of the year 2003 encouraged the diplomatic missions of Belgium, Canada, France and Switzerland to join their efforts to further extend this event in order to let the Sri lankan public discover the richness and diversity of the cinema industries of several French speaking counties.

In addition to the French language films, one Sri lankan film also be screened during this year’s festival.

This year’s festival will feature a total of 9 films and each film is scheduled to be screened once.

Bless you, Prison!- Wed. 15th March @ 18h30

Romania | 2002 | col | 86min | Dir. Nicolae Margineanu

With Maria Ploae, Dorina Lazar, Ecaterina Nazare, Damian Oancea, Maria Rotaru, Tamara Cretulescu, Romanita Ionescu.

Bless you, prison, tells the true-life story of Nicole Valery-Grossu, a Romanian political prisoner in the 1950s. Though she suffered great duress, including torture, Valery-Grossu survived her experience through her newfound faith in God. Clinging to the Psalms she memorized as a child, her spiritual beliefs carried her through the most difficult time in her life, and this film beautifully captures her religious awakening and her inspirational story.

Le cœur des hommes - Thurs. 16th March @ 4.30pm

The Heart of men

France |2003 | col | 104 min | Dir.Marc Esposito

With Gérard Darmon, Jean Pierre Darroussin, Bernard Campan, Marc Lavoine.

A handful of men who are standing in the shady side of 50 depend on one another to sort out the romantic and personal complications facing them. In this comedy from France, Manu, Antoine, Alex, and Jeff are four close friends who’ve known each other for years, and lately seem to be spending a lot of time helping one another with women and midlife crises.

Tout un hiver sans feu - Thurs. 16th March @ 7.00pm

One long winter without fire

Switzerland & Belgium | 2004 | col | 91min | Dir. Greg Zglinski

With Aurélien Recoing, Marie Matheron, Gabriela Muskala, Blerim Gjoci, Nathalie Boulin, Antonio Buil, Michel Voïta.

After losing his young daughter in a fire, Swiss landowner Jean struggles to rebuild his life. His wife Laure, though, is poised on the verge of a breakdown, unable to cope with her loss. As the couple grow more estranged, Jean’s friendship with a workmate (a refugee from Kosovo) leads him into a new community of exiles as well as a tentative, faltering relationship with his new friend’s sister and - almost despite himself - a renewed sense of engagement with the world.

Une affaire de goût - Frid. 17th March @ 4.30 pm

A matter of taste

France | 2000 | col | 90min | Dir. Bernard Rapp

With Bernard Giraudeau, Jean-¨Pierre Lorit, Charles Berling.

Nicolas, a handsome, young waiter, is befriended by Frédéric Delamont, a wealthy middle-aged businessman. Delamont, a man of power, influence and strictly refined tastes, is immediately smitten by Nicolas’ charm. Lonely and phobic, Delamont offers Nicolas a lucrative job as his personal food taster. In spite of their differences, a close friendship begins to emerge between the two men. However, their bond of trust and admiration soon spirals downward into a dangerous game of deceit and obsession for which neither is prepared.

Les convoyeurs attendent - Frid. 17th March @ 7.00 pm

The carriers are waiting

Belgium & Switzerland & France | 1999 | col | 94min | Dir. Benoît Mariage

With Benoît Poelvoorde , Morgane Simon, Bouli Lanners, Dominique Baeyens,Philippe Grand’Henry, Jean-Francois Devigne , Lisa La Croix

Roger Closset is the photographer for a tabloid newspaper in a small, uneventful Belgian factorytown. Between monitoring the police band for accidents and crimes, and tricking hapless subjectsinto posing for incriminating photos, Roger dreams of making a mark on the world far beyondwhere his means or his run-down motorbike can take him. His big chance comes when a localmerchant’s group sponsors a competition for new world records; the prize: a gleaming new car,sure to transform his life into a blissful new utopia. With no notable talent of his own -save an utterlack of scruples- Roger bullies his 15 year-old son Michel into training for the title of dooropening/closing champion of the world. While poor Michel’s real passions are dressing as Elvisand poring through old movies for editing bloopers, he dutifully submits to his father’s Olympianefforts to launch him to international acclaim.

Awards: The film was screened at Cannes on the occasion of the 52nd Cannes film festival. (1999)

Les enfants du Paradis - Sat. 18th March @ 3.30 pm

France |1945 | B&W | 182 min | Dir. Marcel Carmé

With Jean-Louis Barrault, Arletty, Pierre Brasseur, Marcel Herrand, Louis Salou, Maria Casarès, Pierre Renoir.

Set in 1840s Paris and centred around the Funambules Theatre on the Boulevard du Crime, the story follows the fortunes of four men whose lives are interwoven by their love for the same woman, the beautiful actress Garance (Arletty).

La grande séduction - Sat. 18th March@ 7.00 pm

Seducing Dr Lewis

Québec | 2003 | col | 110 min | Dir. Jean-François Pouliot
With Raymond Bouchard, David Boutin, Benoît Brière, Pierre Collin, Lucie Laurier, Bruno Blanchet.

The residents of the tiny port village of Sainte-Marie-La- Mauderne try to convince a multinational corporation to set up a factory in their town that has fallen on hard times. The catch is that the company requires that a doctor set up practice in the village. Led by Germain, the 150 villagers do everything in their power (including learning to play cricket) to “seduce” a young doctor to settle in the community.

Le rôle de sa vie - Sund. 19th March @ 2.30 pm

The role of a lifetime

France |2004 | col | 104 min | Dir. François Favrat

With Agnès Jaoui, Karin Viard, Jonathan Zaccaï

While an assistant at a fashion magazine, Claire Rocher meets movie star Elisabeth Becker. Everything seems to push them apart, their way of life, relationships, wealth and of course fame. When Claire is hired as Elisabeth’s personal assistant, her life goes into a tailspin. The two women start to bond, or so Claire assumes....

A Letter of fire - Sund. 19th March (On invitation only)

Sri Lanka |2005 | col | 135 min | Dir. Asoka Handagama

Beyond the appearance of a wealthy life in a beautiful mansion in Colombo, a prestigious family of three, the father, the mother and their 12 year old son, happens to be the victim of a long past childhood dream. This story comes to light from an incredible, tragic, accident which involves the boy in the murder of a prostitute. The Affair causes a sensation, all the more as the boy’s mother, a well known magistrate, happens to be in charge of the case. She picks up the trial for her son, who sheltered to the house of a security guard of a museum. She asks the guard to hide her son for some time. While the city is in a real turmoil, the boy holes up in the company of the guards 13 year old daughter, his mother desperately tries to save time, the father is just absent... Time passes, strange relationships develop between the mother and the guard and between the two children: tension reaches a peak when the mother’s secret is revealed and her long contained pain is suddenly relieved in a violent, expiatory way.

Online 19/05/2006

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