ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday March 9, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 41
TV Times  

Bonjour Cinema – Fifth Francophony Film Fest in Colombo

By Susitha R. Fernando

Once again Sri Lankan film lovers will have the rare opportunity to experience a set of beautiful, rare and internationally acclaimed films from French speaking countries from March 14 to 17 at BMICH mini-Theatre.

Held for the fifth successful occasion, BONJOUR CINEMA is a joint cultural event organized by the Consulate of Belgium, the High Commission of Canada, the Embassy of France, the Embassy of Romania, the Embassy of Switzerland in association with the Sri Lanka Tourist Board.

"With the aim to offer the Sri Lankan public a collection of films that represent the richness and the diversity of the cinema industries of the French speaking countries represented in Sri Lanka, this annual event is also aimed at creating a platform to exchange knowledge and a place for dialogue on cinematographic topics between professionals and movie-goers in Sri Lanka," said Yves-Alain Corporfau of the Embassy of France.

The festival will have nine critically acclaimed films, a collection of dramas, comedies and thrillers. Subtitled in English, the daily screening will be at 4.30 pm and 7 pm daily (with a show at 2 pm on Sunday). The festival will open with 'Souvenir des belles choses' (Beautiful Memories) by Zabou Breitman. -2001 (France) at 4.30 pm on March 14, and at 7 pm will be '4 Months, 3 weeks, 2 days' by Cristian Mungiu - 2007 (Romania).

'Bon Cop Bad Cop' by Eric Canuel - 2006 (Canada) will be at 4.30 pm on March 15, Saturday and "Mon frère se marie" (My Brother is getting married) by Jean Stephane Bron - 2006 (Switzerland) will be at 7 pm.

March 16, Sunday, "The paper will be blue" by Radu Muntean (Romania), at 2 pm, 'Les Invasions Barbares' (The Barbarian Invasion) by Denys Arcand - 2003 (Canada) at 4.30 pm and 'La cérémonie' (The Ceremony) by Claude Chabrol -1994 (France) at 7 pm. March 17, Monday at 4.30 pm 'Le jour se lève' (Daybreak) by Marcel Carné - 1939 (France) and at 7 pm 'Ultranova' by Bouli Lanners - 2005 (Belgium).

Se Souvenir Des Belles Choses (Beautiful Memories) (110 min) won Best New actor-Cabourg Romantic Film Festival (2002) and Best Actress/Best First Work/Best Supporting Actor at César Awards,France-2003.

Ecureuils is the place where they forget words, time, their keys, native language, their lover's birthday. Ecureuils is the place where they remember their first kiss, the phases of the moon, the Twelve Apostles. Ecureuils is the place where Claire and Philippe love each other. Before becoming lost in the dark forest where nothing can be recalled, this is the place where Claire gives Philippe an infinitely precious gift: her memory.

'4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days' (adults only) (113) min won Golden Palm-Cannes Film Festival (2007). Best Director/Best Film-European Film Award (2007), Hollywood Film Award (2007) and FIPRESCI Film of the Year-San Sebastiàn International Film Festival (2007).

Otilla and Gabita share the same room in a student dormitory. They are colleagues at the University in this small town in Romania, during the last years of communism, Otilia rents a room in a cheap hotel. In the afternoon, they are going to meet a certain Mr. Bebe. Gabita is pregnant, abortion is illegal and neither of them have passed through something like this before.

'Bon Cop, Bad Cop' (116 min) won Best Achievement in Overall Sound / Best motion picture-Genie Awards / Golden Reel Award (2007). Martin Ward and David Bouchard couldn't be more different: one speaks English and is from Toronto, the other speaks French and is from Montreal. One is neat, the other's a messone is working class, the other went to Upper Canada College.

The only thing they appear to have in common is that they are both cops faced with a case whose geographic jurisdiction is as nebulous as the perpetrator's mysterious motivations. The detectives soon learn they are hunting a serial killer whose targets are linked by this country's national pastime: hockey.

'Mon Frere Se Marie' (My Brother is getting married) won Best Actor/Best Script-Golden Bayard-Namur International Festival of French-Speaking Film (2006). Vinh, a vietnamese refugee, was adopted 20 years ago by a Swiss family and is now about to get married. His vietnamese mother seizes this opportunity to finally meet the family that loved and raised her son, and to meet the people who write her postcards every Christmas telling her that the whole family is united and thinking of her. But things are not quite going the way these messages imply…

'The Paper Will Be Blue won' Best film, EURASIA International Film Festival 2006 and CICAE Award and Jury Special Mention at Sarajevo Film Festival 2006. A young soldier is persuaded that it is the duty of every Romanian to fight the supporters of Ceausescu after many years of dictatorship. During the chaotic night 22 December 1989, he abandons his unit and decides to take part in the Revolution.

'Les Invasions Barbares' (The Barbarian invasions) (99 min) won Best Foreign Film, Academy Awards (2004) and Best Film, Best Filmmaker, and Best Scenario, César Awards. Rémy, divorced, in his early fifties, is hospitalized. His ex-wife Louise asks their son Sébastien, now living in London, to come home. Sébastien hesitates; after all, he and his father haven't had much to say to one another in years. He however flies to Montréal. Upon his arrival, Sébastien stops at nothing to obtain a clear picture of his father's state of health and help make things easier for him during the difficult times ahead.

'La Cérémonie' (110min) won Best actress - César Awards, France (1996) and Best foreign film - Los Angeles Film critics Association Awards (1996). The Lelièvre live in a bourgeois house near a Breton village. Sophie, the new maid, is efficient but odd. She makes friends with Jeanne, an employee at the village post-office. When the two girls enter the Lelièvre house, their alliance becomes a savage revolt, beyond Good or Evil.

'Le Jour Se Lève' (Daybreak) (85 min) was nominated for Best Film-Mussolini Cup - Venice Film Festival 1939 remarkable representation of French film history. François, a laborer, shot and killed Mr. Valentin. François commits suicide at daybreak. Between these 2 gunshots, François, barricaded in his top-floor suburban hotel room, recalls the events that made him a killer: a simple love story shattered by Mr. Valentin's unscrupulous cynicism.

'Ultranova' was awarded at Panorama-C.I.C.A.E. Award-Berlin International Film Festival (2005) and Best Feature-Grand Prix Asturias-Gijon International Film Festival (2005). With his two colleagues, Dimitri, 25, sells turnkey homes. Introspective and adrift in a twisted world, he is bored out of his mind. The rumours that he allows to run rife concerning his strange past intrigue Jeanne and lead Cathy to get to know him.

"Ultranova" highlights a small constellation of off-key and comical characters on the verge of extinction. Only an electroshock can rekindle the tiny flame that flickers within them.

Our cover girl, Jayamini Attanayake is an upcoming actress who had played in a number of teledramas and films. Professionally a graphic designer, Jayamini has acted in a number of teledramas including 'Taxi Driver', 'Mister Andare', 'Senehasa Kothenada', 'Visirenu Renu', 'Samanal Dadayama' and telefilm 'Rosa Katu'.

In the silver screen, she has played in Prasanna Vithanage's 'Akasa Kusum' and Ranjan Ramanayake's 'Leader' which are yet to be released. Jayamini is also being selected for the miniplay 'Swetha' directed by Chandraratne Mapitigama and a film "Ekama Dawasak".

Workshop on criticism and filmmaking

With an effort to improve the art of cinema, the French Embassy will keep a step ahead this year with a workshop on film criticism and documentary filmmaking. Introducing new techniques in film criticism and to create a platform to have a dialogue among participants, Jean Philippe Tessé, a critic from esteemed French film magazine, Cahiers du Cinema will conduct a workshop on film criticism from March 10 to 13 while a specialized French documentary film maker, Isabelle Marina will lead a workshop on documentary film making on March 14 and 15 at the BMICH.

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