4 Films To Catch At The FrancoFilm Festival

BY Delara Zand / Mar 3 2019 / 21:43 PM

With the spotlight on Franco-Arab co-productions, get your culture fix this week in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

4 Films To Catch At The FrancoFilm Festival

The annual festival of Francophone cinema returns to the UAE with a variety of French-Arab films that will satisfy all of your cultural cravings...for the week, at least. The 9th annual FrancoFilm Festival promotes films not yet shown in picture houses across the UAE: this year’s event from 1-9 March acting as many of their Gulf premieres.

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French language has no border! Franco-film festival returns for its 9th edition by highlighting French-Arabic coproductions from the 1st - 9th of March. Rendez-vous at Cinema Akil in Dubai and Manarat Al Saadiyat @manaratalsaadiyat in Abu Dhabi for a visual linguistic parenthesis. . Organized in collaboration with The Institut Français @institutfrancaisuae , the cultural department of the French Embassy in the UAE @franceemirats , the Embassy of Canada @canadauae_eau in the UAE, the Embassy of Switzerland in the UAE @swissembassyuae and the Embassy of Belgium in the UAE @belinuae #followusintothedark #fortheloveoffilm #cinemaakil #alserkalavenue #alquoz #dubai #mydubai #uae #abudhabi #EFCD_2019 #dialogue_culturel_franco_emirien #Emirati_French_Cultural_Dialogue #DCFE_2019 #Francofilm #arabfilm #festival

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Presented by the French, Canadian, Swiss, and Belgian embassies, the Institut Français and Cinema Akil, the films will be screened at Cinema Akil in Dubai and Manarat al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi. The 2019 festival gives a special focus to Franco-Arab co-productions, placing emphasis on cross-border cultural collaboration and dialogue.


Here are four films you really don’t want to miss at this week’s celebration of Franco-Arab creative cooperation:


Directed by renowned Moroccan director Faouzi Bensaïdi, this film is a snapshot of modern-day Morocco and an insight into the life of a married couple with financial troubles, who dream of a better life and are just trying to get by. The husband, Abdelkader, is involved in a conflict at work one day that throws their world into disorder. Ultimately, this is a story about the triumph of love over despair and hopelessness.


Paris La Blanche

This touching film from Algerian-born director Lidia Terki, who won Best New Director at Valladolid International Film Festival, centres around an estranged couple.

Rekia's husband works in France and sends money back to his family abroad, but one day loses touch with his wife Rekia for the first time in his four decades away from home. Rekia makes her first-ever trip out of her home region of Kabylie to travel to Paris and find him, journeying across the Mediterranean sea, in hope of reconnecting with and bringing home her heroic Algerian war-veteran husband. With nothing but an address scrawled on a scrap of paper driving her quest, she finally encounters him in a hostel on the city’s outskirts, only to find her hero has changed beyond recognition. The film touches on the heartache, sacrifice and emotional upheaval that migration can trigger. 


Dilili In Paris

A nominee for the Best Animated Film at the Cesar Awards in France, this is a film that's a perfect family watch. The story follows ingenious young Kanak Dilili and her deliveryman accomplice, investigating the mysterious kidnapping of young girls in Belle Epoque-Paris. She encounters friends and foes alike on her epic adventure through the enchanting yet enigmatic French capital, including historical figures like Marie Curie, Louis Pasteur, Colette and Marcel Proust, as she zealously attempts to outsmart the group of bandits now looking to kidnap the heroine herself. Despite being set in a golden age of years past, the film explores questions that are still universally relevant today.

Cross My Heart

This moving Canadian film is set against the backdrop of the ‘70s October Crisis in Quebec and had its premiere at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival. An adaptation of Nicole Bérlanger’s novel, Salut mon roi mongol!, the story follows 12-year-old Manon. Determined to hold her family together, she attempts to keep both her and her neglected brother out of foster care, despite the internal struggles the family face, including illness and financial difficulties. Inspired by what she sees going on in the world around her, she enlists the help of her cousins and hatches a wild and highly idealistic plan to ensure their collective freedom. Featuring stellar performances by young actors, the film juxtaposes the treachery of adulthood and the innocence of childhood, whilst exploring a child’s sense of morality and family loyalty. 


Tickets cost Dhs52.50 from www.cinemaakil.com and Manarat al Saadiyat screenings are free.

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