As spring begins to bring more sunlight and warmth to the city, Torontonians have a wonderful film festival to enjoy: Cinéfranco, the international francophone film festival of Toronto, which runs from March 25 to April 3. Established for 14 years, it is the city’s biggest celebration of French-speaking films, and for those of you who don’t speak French, fear not: all films at Cinéfranco are subtitled in English.
Being a francophone film festival, the films come from France and also many other French-speaking countries and regions, including Québec, Belgium, Luxembourg, Algeria, and Switzerland. Several of these films see their North American or Canadian premiere at Cinéfranco. In total, the festival will show 27 feature films, 7 documentaries, and 10 short films.
Some of Cinéfranco 2011’s highlights include the following:
- Impasse du désir by Michel Rodde, from Switzerland: in this opening night film, Québec actor Rémy Girard stars as Robert, a psychiatrist who discovers that his wife is cheating on him. Consumed with jealousy, he is driven to take drastic measures.
- Mammuth by Gustave Kervern and Benoît Delépine: starring the venerable Gérard Depardieu, Mammuth tells the comedic story of a recent retiree who needs to get papers from his previous jobs in order to qualify for his pension. Thus, he fires up his Mammuth motorbike and embarks on a journey across France filled with laughs and adventure.
- Copacabana by Marc Fitoussi: French dramatic screen icon Isabelle Huppert takes a comedic role, playing an off-kilter, scatterbrained, and hilarious mother named Babou who is dis-invited to her daughter’s wedding, because her daughter is ashamed of and embarrassed by her. This drives Babou to get her life together, in order to show her daughter that she can be a responsible and mature adult.
In addition to the film screenings, the directors and cast members for several of the films are in attendance at Cinéfranco, to allow the audience a valuable opportunity to ask questions after the screening about the process of making the film.
Cinéfranco 2011 takes place at the TIFF Lightbox on King and John, with the documentaries in the festival showing at the NFB Médiatheque on Richmond and John. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $8 for 18 year olds and younger. Tickets can be purchased in person at the TIFF Lightbox, by phone at 416-599-8433, or online at http://2012.cinefranco.com/page/tickets. For the documentaries, tickets are $8 and available at the Médiatheque.
For more information on the films, the showtimes, and additional film-related events hosted by Cinéfranco throughout the week, visit http://www.cinefranco.com/.