New Orleans French Film Festival 2021 Lineup and Tickets

VIVE LE CINÉMA

THE 24TH NEW ORLEANS FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL

MARCH 23- 31, 2021

New Orleans, La. (March 9, 2021) –– The New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) announced the complete lineup for the 24th New Orleans French Film Festival, which will be held between March 23 – 31 with open-air screenings at The Broadside and films streaming through the festival’s Virtual Cinema with most films available globally (some geo-restrictions apply). Individual tickets are now available to book for New Orleans Film Society members and festival pass holders and they will be on sale for the general public on Friday, March 12th at noon. Visit neworleansfilmsociety.org to see the full lineup, schedule, and purchase festival passes. All films will be screened in their original French-language with English subtitles. A virtual Q&A with filmmakers will follow a selection of film screenings. #vivelecinema

The New Orleans French Film Festival is one of the longest running foreign language film festivals in the U.S. “We dedicate the 24th annual French Film Festival to the memory of our beloved Artistic Director Emeritus, John Desplas, whom we lost last year. A lover of French cinema, he was instrumental in bringing about the first French Film Festival 24 years ago and was involved until his death last year.  In 1995, he was honored with the title of “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the Ministry of Culture of the French Government in recognition of his efforts to widen the domestic audience for films from throughout the world.” said Clint Bowie, Artistic Director of the New Orleans Film Society. 

The 24th annual French Film Festival showcases 23 films from 8 countries, including Canada,     France, Senegal, Cameroon, Switzerland, and Belgium. Film lovers can choose from eight narratives and five documentary features, alongside ten short films. 

The festival opens with director Filippo Meneghetti’s Two of Us (Deux), France’s submission for Best International Film for the 2021 Academy Awards and closes with renowned French director François Ozon’s latest feature Summer of 85 (Été ’85) which is nominated for 12 César Awards (France’s Oscars) in 2021. Opening and closing night film screenings at The Broadside will be preceded by musical performances by Sarah Quintana & Michael Doucet and Pascal Vascara Quartet, respectively.

The festival will Centerpiece Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène’s 1962 film MANDABI’s recent 4K restoration. MANDABI is the first movie ever made in the Wolof language—a major step toward the realization of the trailblazing Senegalese filmmaker’s dream of creating a cinema by, about, and for Africans.

Scroll down to read synopses and see the screening schedule of all 23 films included in the 24th New Orleans French Film Festival lineup.

TICKETS ARE NOW SALE

Individual tickets are now available to book for festival passholders and New Orleans Film Society members and will go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 12th at noon. 

Acquiring a French Film Festival Pass is the best way to experience the festival. Passholders get free access to all screenings, skip the lines with priority entrance, and book their tickets a week before tickets go on sale for the public.

For more information on passes & tickets, visit neworleansfilmsociety.org/french-film-festival

New Orleans Film Society’s Scene Stealer, Producer’s Circle, Executive Producer’s Circle, and Director’s Circle members get FREE passes to the French Film Festival. Moviegoer and Take Two members get great discounts on passes and individual tickets.

To become a member, visit neworleansfilmsociety.org/become-a-member

Join the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/441956310260814

SUPPORT FOR THE 24TH FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL PROVIDED BY

The 24th New Orleans French Film Festival’s marquee sponsor is the Consulate General of Canada; premiere sponsors are TV5Monde and the Consulate General of France in Louisiana; supporting sponsors are L’Union Française, Republic National Distributing Company, the

New Orleans Jazz Museum, and the Consulate General of Switzerland.  The festival’s lead media sponsor is The New Orleans Advocate – Times-Picayune, with further media support from France-Amerique and WWNO. 

FILM SYNOPSES

All films will be screened with English subtitles.

Opening Film: TWO OF US (Deux)

Tuesday, March 23, 7:45pm, The Broadside, Preceded by a musical performance by Sarah Quintana & Michael Doucet, followed by a virtual Q&A

Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual 

Dir. Filippo Meneghetti | France, Luxembourg, Belgium | 2019 | 99min. | Narrative

Cast: Barbara Sukowa, Martine Chevallier, Léa Drucker

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp9PPAv9PyU

France’s submission for Best Foreign-Language Film for the 2021 Academy Awards, Two of Us tells the story of two retired women, Nina and Madeleine, who have been secretly in love for decades. Everybody, including Madeleine’s family, thinks they are simply neighbors, sharing the top floor of their building. They come and go between their two apartments, enjoying the affection and pleasures of daily life together, until an unforeseen event turns their relationship upside down and leads Madeleine’s daughter to gradually unravel the truth about them.

MAFIA INC.
Wednesday, March 24, 7:45pm, The Broadside, followed by a virtual Q&A

Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual 

Dir. Podz | Canada | 2019 | 143min. | Narrative

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjXGLASbiHs

1994. Frank Paterno (Sergio Castellitto), a Montreal mafia boss, hopes to legitimize his criminal operations by investing $180 million in an ambitious bridge project that would connect Sicily with southern Italy. First, however, he has to recover the necessary funds from his Greek creditor. Frank entrusts this mission to his protégé Vincent, the son of tailor Henri Gamache, who has been dressing the Paternos for three generations. But when Vincent’s plan to smuggle millions in drugs out of Venezuela goes awry, his ruthless tactics ignite a war between the two families. Based on the non-fiction bestseller Mafia Inc: The Long, Bloody Reign of Canada’s Sicilian Clan by André Cédilot and André Noël.

FABULOUS, preceded by short film FIRST LOVE

Thursday, March 25, 7:45pm, The Broadside, followed by a virtual Q&A

Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual 

Dir. Audrey Jean-Baptiste | France | 2019 | 46min. | Documentary

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP9MTxI2SkE

After building her career through the vogue balls of New York, France, and Brazil, professional dancer Lasseindra Ninja returns to her home country to introduce voguing in French Guiana. Her workshop gives us a sense of dance’s impact on LGBTQ self-empowerment and a glimpse of self-liberation.

Preceded by the short film FIRST LOVE (dir. Florent Gouelou, France, 11min), about a drag show in a Parisian bar. The public only has eyes for the queen of the evening, Cookie Kunty. But from the back of the theatre, Baptiste, her boyfriend, maybe looking at her for the last time.

A CHEF’S VOYAGE

Friday, March 26, 7:45pm, The Broadside, followed by a virtual Q&A

Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual
Dir. Rémi Anfosso, Jason Matzner | USA | 2020 | 90min. | Documentary

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Xu_y-w19WM

A Chef’s Voyage follows the celebrated American Chef David Kinch and his team from Manresa, their 3-Star Michelin restaurant in California, for a one-of-a-kind collaboration with three legendary French chefs at their iconic restaurants in Paris, Provence, and Marseille. “A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of one of America’s upper-echelon restaurants.” – Forbes

WINE CRUSH (Vas-y Coupe!)

Sunday, March 28, 8:00pm, The Broadside, followed by a virtual Q&A

Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual 

Dir. Laura Naylor | France | 2020 | 92min. | Documentary

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/293392791

A motley crew of laborers make the yearly trek to the vineyards of Champagne to pick grapes for a famed winemaker, but as his son begins to take the reins it is unclear if this harvest tradition can endure. A pure vérité portal into two disparate french worlds entwined.

Centerpiece Film: MANDABI

Monday, March 29, 7:45p, The Broadside

Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual 

Dir. Ousmane Sembéne | Senegal | 1968 | 91min. | Narrative

Cast: Makhouredia Gueye, Ynousse N’Diaye, Isseu Niang

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu4kQC_0ay4

This second feature by Ousmane Sembène was the first movie ever made in the Wolof language—a major step toward the realization of the trailblazing Senegalese filmmaker’s dream of creating a cinema by, about, and for Africans. After jobless Ibrahima Dieng receives a money order for 25,000 francs from a nephew who works in Paris, news of his windfall quickly spreads among his neighbors, who flock to him for loans even as he finds his attempts to cash the order stymied in a maze of bureaucracy, and new troubles rain down on his head. One of Sembène’s most coruscatingly funny and indignant films, Mandabi—an adaptation of a novella by the director himself—is a bitterly ironic depiction of a society scarred by colonialism and plagued by corruption, greed, and poverty.

MANDIBLES

Tuesday, March 30, 7:45pm, The Broadside, Not Available in the Virtual Cinema

Dir. Quentin Dupieux | France, Belgium | 2020 | 77min. | Narrative

Cast: Gregoire Ludig, David Marsais

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSSbB5eUKnY

Finding Cajun presents a critical and historically informed perspective on the origin and evolution of Cajun identity. We see how Cajuns compare to the present-day Acadians in maritime Canada, a community that is supposedly at the historical roots of Cajun ethnicity. Through interviews with leading experts filmed on site in Louisiana, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, the film examines the diversity and complexity of South Louisiana’s French- and Creole-speaking communities, showing  how Americanization, racism, and language shift have reshaped the cultural landscape of Louisiana.

Closing Film: SUMMER OF 85 (Été ‘85)

Wednesday, March 31, 7:45pm, The Broadside, Preceded by a musical performance by Pascal Vascara Quartet

Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual 

Dir. François Ozon | France | 2020 | 90min. | Narrative

Cast: Félix Lefebvre, Benjamin Voisin, Philippine Velge

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJd4BuS44Bk

The new film from celebrated French auteur François Ozon (Swimming Pool, 8 Women), Summer of 85 is a nostalgic look at first loves and reckless adolescence sans the rose-colored glasses we’ve come to expect from traditional coming-of-age stories. Alexis is an average, emotionally volatile 16-year-old boy, questioning both his future and the present opportunities for him in his beachside hometown of Normandy. When a dashing stranger saves him at sea, Alexis’ potentially dull summer is quickly upended as he is thrust into the alluring and enigmatic world of his new friend.

14 DAYS, 12 NIGHTS

Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual Only, followed by a virtual Q&A

Dir. Jean-Philippe Duval | Canada| 2019 | 99min. | Narrative

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF2i9XTidVY

Isabelle Brodeur embarks on a journey to Vietnam, her adopted daughter’s birthplace. Her path leads her to the woman who was once her daughter’s nanny. Doing so, Isabelle learns the existence and whereabouts of her daughter’s biological mother. Throughout this stunningly beautiful journey, Isabelle discovers her daughter’s country through the eyes of the woman who brought her into this world. This pilgrimage of sorts, leads the two women to unveil their innermost secrets. 14 Days 12 Nights examines the influence of culture, identity, forgiveness, and the extraordinary friendship between two women, cemented by the mutual love they share for the same child.

ANTIGONE
Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual Only

Dir. Sophie Deraspe | Canada | 2019 | 109min. | Narrative 

Cast: Nahéma Ricci, Rawad El-Zein, Antoine DesRochers

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoxlCXluK_k

Canada’s official selection for the 2020 Academy Awards and winner of the Best Canadian Feature Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, Antigone centers around a high school student in Montréal whose world spirals out of control after her brother is shot during a police intervention. Motivated by her sense of duty towards her family, she jeopardizes her own future to preserve that of her immigrant family. A provocative and timely adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy, the film reimagines the story of a woman’s quest for justice as a commentary on the worldwide immigration crisis.

CHEZ JOLIE COIFFURE

Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual Only, followed by a virtual Q&A

Dir. Rosine Mfetgo Mbakam | Belgium, Cameroon | 2018 | 71min. | Documentary

Cast: Sabine Amiyeme

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtGmOr7iyFg

In this captivating documentary filmed in a single tiny room, viewers step inside an underground hair salon with its charismatic proprietor, a Cameroonian immigrant named Sabine. Here, she and her employees style extensions and glue on lashes while watching soaps, dishing romantic advice, sharing rumors about government programs to legalize migrants, and talking about life back home in Cameroon.

MYTH OF A COLORBLIND FRANCE
Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual Only, followed by a virtual Q&A

Dir. Alan Govenar | USA | 2020 | 86min. | Documentary

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtqQad1x0KA

For more than a century, Black artists, authors and musicians have traveled to Paris to liberate themselves from the racism of the United States. What made these artistic innovators choose France? And to what extent was (and is) France colorblind? Myth of a Colorblind France explores these questions by looking at the lives and careers of renowned artists who emigrated to Paris, including Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Beauford Delaney, Augusta Savage, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.

OUR OWN (Les nôtres)

Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual Only, followed by a virtual Q&A

Dir. Jeanne Leblanc | Canada | 2020 | 103min. | Narrative

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSTBIPxD2H0

When faced with life’s challenges, Ste-Adeline’s community has always stuck together. But this time, a scandal sends shockwaves through the quiet little town’s very foundation, testing its inhabitants. At the center of the storm is Magalie, a teenager with a girlish pout; Manuel, the foster child of the beloved mayor; and Isabelle and Chantale, the powerless yet protective mothers. In Ste-Adeline, appearances are deceptive. And the town’s carefully maintained social veneer will come to crack, slowly revealing the true nature of its residents.

SHORT FILM PROGRAMS

SHORTS BLOCK NUMÉRO UN

Saturday, March 27, 7:45pm, The Broadside, followed by a live Q&A with 17 Year Locust director Logan LeBlanc

Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual 

Saint-Tite

Dir. Florence Pelletier, Élizabeth Marcoux-Bélair, Canada, 2020, 11min., Narrative 

Saint-Tite tells the story of a family living their last weekend together at the rodeos of the Festival Western de Saint-Tite.

Le Futur

Dir. Matthew Miller, USA, 2020, 12min., Documentary 

The SCAD-produced animated film Le Futur is a spirited meditation on the storied life and career of fashion designer Pierre Cardin, a dear friend of the university. 

American Dream
Dir. Nicolas Polixene, Sylvain Loubet dit Gajol, France, Canada, 2019, 19min., Narrative

Frustrated by the lack of opportunities for black people in France, Mickael finds success in the United States and eventually invites his little brother Matthieu to move to Chicago. Everything takes a turn for the worse when they accidentally hit a white cop on the side of the road.

Dernière Ligne Droite
Dir. Arnaud Mizzon, 2020, France, 19min., Narrative 

Dominique, a driver’s license examiner, tests Marion, who is taking the driving test for the 5th time. They are accompanied by Julie, Marion’s instructor. The three drive out of the center to begin the examination and quickly strike a pedestrian who dies instantly, leaving them with twenty minutes to find an alibi and return to the center as if nothing had happened.

17 Year Locust

Dir. Logan Leblanc, USA, 2020, 21min., Narrative

“17 Year Locust” is a story about an unlikely crossing of paths between two people living very different lives, their only common connection being the French language. The short film follows René, a Haitian immigrant, who moves to a French-speaking city in Louisiana in search of a better life for him and his pregnant wife. 

SHORTS BLOCK NUMÉRO DEUX

Tuesday, March 23, 7:30pm – Wednesday, March 31, 11:59pm, Virtual Only

Freed
Dir. Josza Anjembe, France, 2019, 20min., Narrative

Issa, 20 years old, is about to get out of jail when he meets Gaetan, a young inmate who has not served his sentence yet…

Maelle

Dir. Jordi Gueyrard, France, 2020, 20min., Narrative 

A man picks up a woman who’s walking on the side of a deserted road. At dusk, a strange girl walks alone along an endless road in a wide deserted landscape. A car passes. On board, a man who offers to drive her to her destination. The fragile girl ends up accepting and gets in the car.

Matriochkas

Dir. Bérangére McNeese, Belgium, 2019, 23min., Narrative 

It is the end of another summer defined by her mom’s flings and conquests, but during which Anna begins to discover her own sensuality. As Anna learns she is pregnant, her mother sees herself in her daughter, at the same age, facing the same choices.

The Free Place
Dir. Demarchi Filippo, Switzerland, 2019, 20min., Narrative 

Mateo, a young dancer, returns to his native region of Menton to reconnect with his brother Albert after a long absence. Very quickly, Mateo is confronted with the loneliness of his elder brother who is fighting for the survival of the family candle workshop. Mateo wants to overcome the childhood sufferings but reconciliation is difficult between misunderstandings and fraternal love.