Ooo la la – Need a little Europe this summer? Go to the Sacramento French Film Festival

By Mary Beth Barber

Grab your best beret and deep red lipstick … it’s time for Sacramento’s French Film Festival. Opening night is Friday (tonight!) at 6:00 p.m. at the Crest, where you can mingle with the region’s Francophiles, do your best to parlez-vous, and nibble on hors d’oeuvres at the best pre-film festival opening-night party around. The films are pretty darn good too. (Guys: lipstick is optional, but we expect some serious Eurotrash threads.)

It’s the 9th year for this Sacramento gem, which has won popularity contests like the News and Review “Best Film Festival” award twice and an Arts and Business nod as well. The festival runs duex week-ends (June 18, 19 and 20; and then again June 26 and 27) and mixes the best of recent French cinema with rarely seen classics and a smattering of independent shorts. Here’s my rundown of not-to-miss-events…

Some highlights:

  • A L’origine (In The Beginning) – this Opening Night mystery-thriller comes from director Francois Cluzet, whose 2006 film Tell No One received international acclaim;
  • Seven premieres of recent French films, including award winning La journee de la jupe (Skirt Day) about a schoolteacher’s worst nightmare; and Louise-Michel, a Sundance Special Jury Prize winner about laid off employees taking revenge on their former employers;
  • Two “Midnight Movie” classics – Roman Polanski’s 1976 Le Locataire (The Tenant) on Saturday, June 19; and C’est arrive pres de chez vous (Man Bites Dog) from 1992 on Saturday, June 26. This time slot is for the most gritty, dirty, scary or sexual picks of the festival;
  • And if you thought that the French Film Fest would only show serious, artsy films — surprise! There are six comedies included in the line-up this year, including a 1936 classic The Story of a Cheat and the current spy-spoof OSS 117, Lost in Rio.
  • Full schedule can be found here.
  • Individual tickets are $10, and passes range from $35 to $80, depending upon allowances (all parties and films, only one weekend, etc.) Buy tickets here.

The Sacramento French Film Festival is the brainchild and passion of Cecile Mouette Downs, whose titles of Executive and Artistic Director understates her role as the powerhouse behind the festival. A native of France, Cecile worked for 3 years at the Film Department of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York City and was entrenched in the arts scene in Manhattan – experience that the Sacramento community benefited from when she moved here in 2001. And like any venture of this size, there’s a host of dedicated volunteers who make this event happen.

J’aime le cinema!

Writer’s Note: my apologies to all French speakers for the lack of proper accents in this story. Difficulty with web-code prevented me from having correct spelling. Mes excuses!

You might also like

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.