When it comes to Cinema, while “Hollywood” may win the word-association game, New York surely would win a solid second place. It has this sort of dreamy quality to it that enthralls audiences from around the world: the bold skyscrapers, the hustle and bustle, the anonymity and yet strange intimacy that New York's pedestrian-filled streets and quiet East Village cafés provide... It's no wonder so many films and popular series are based in our very own back yard… and with the number of reputed international film festivals that our city hosts, plus the number of world-class film schools based in the area, it is evident that New York is one of the world centers of the Cinematographic Arts.
There is another city however, that comes to mind for me when I think of Cinema: my native city of Paris. With the third most productive film industry in the world, a whole host of world-class talent, and a capital city with more movie theaters per capita than any other in the world (by far!), France is one of those countries where cinema is almost a way of life. Contrasting with Hollywood's fantastic, often big-budget scenarios meant to entertain and escape from everyday life, French Cinema is much more subtle - often finding the fantastic within everyday life and offering up a much more personal experience.
What better, then, than to combine the two? To bring French Cinema, the 35mm reels, the directors and actors, the experience… to the City of New York? For those of us willing to step outside the bounds of the American movies, there’s a film festival that’s been brewing 30 minutes Northeast of downtown.
Since 2005, the Focus on French Cinema film festival has brought 53 feature films from France, Belgium, Quebec, and francophone Africa to 14,000 spectators in the New York Area, and counts among its guests Director Coline Serreau, César-winning Actress Sophie Marceau, legendary actor Claude Brasseur, the late Jocelyn Quivrin, and Director/Screenwriter Jean-Michel Ribes, and many more...
This year, on the weekend of April 9th, 10th, and 11th, we’ll be bringing you another set of fantastic guests and 12 more recently released feature films, including 5 US Premieres.
But here, on New York in French, we count on keeping those of you interested in French and Francophone Cinema, in the loop with what’s going on in the industry – films we recommend, lineups for awards – insider scoops from our blog editor Isabelle based right at the source, in Paris, France. Here, we’ll be reposting many of our official blog posts, for the Francophile community of New York.
So, keep in touch: there’ll be more to come.
(and the Focus on French Cinema team)