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French films open the month of Francophony

FRENCH films are highly regarded in Slovakia, with the International Festival of Francophone Film in Bratislava (FIFBA) formerly being a regular annual event. In 2014, French cinema will return to Slovakia, this time in the form of the Week of French Films.

FRENCH films are highly regarded in Slovakia, with the International Festival of Francophone Film in Bratislava (FIFBA) formerly being a regular annual event. In 2014, French cinema will return to Slovakia, this time in the form of the Week of French Films.

“I would like to stress that this week is a non-competitive festival, without a jury and without evaluation of the movies,” Eva Ujlakyová of Kino Film Europe said at a press conference.

Kino Film Europe promotes European films and “French films naturally form a big part of our offer”, said Ivan Hronec, CEO of Kino Film Europe. He noted that in Bratislava, there will be six Slovak premieres in addition to a host of French movies that have already been scree-ned.

The festival called the Créme de la Créme will open on March 6 with a special ceremony and the screening of the French comedy the Big Race, occurring simultaneously in the Eurovea Shopping Centre and the Pisztory Palace.

After Bratislava, the films will move to 12 other Slovak cities and towns.

“We were surprised by such a big interest by the film clubs,” Hronec stated, where each selected its own combination of movies from the 28 that were on offer, all of which will be screened in Bratislava between March 6 and 12.

Another new development is the venue. In the capital, films will be shown in two halls of the Pisztory Palace on Štefánikova Street in downtown Bratislava, where Kino Film Europe will host a “cultural background” with a café and other spaces offering a lecture, a concert and an after party. Tickets cost €4 for one screening to €15 for the whole week.

Kino Film Europe has partnered with the French Institute in Slovakia in organising the Créme de la Créme event. The latter is also organising a month of French and French language events within Francophony 2014, the Month of Francophony. French-themed events will consist of several concerts and two contests.

On March 8, the EnChanté evening presents a band whose leader, Clause Manac’h, lives and works in Vienna but was born on this same day in Bratislava during his father’s stint as the ambassador to Slovakia. His band (Nona Potyka-Reiter, Thomas Mais and Rudi Morawitz) will play music evoking the streets of Paris at Hlava 22. On March 19, a performance by Belgian singer Cloé Dutrefle in Bratislava’s Moyzes Hall will include French snacks.

The semi-finals in the contest of French songs, open to all who like singing in French, will take place on March 14 in Žilina, March 31 in Bratislava (at the KC Dunaj) and April 25 in Košice.

“The Month of Francophony 2014 also includes a festival of gastronomy,” said Michel Pouchepadass, head of the French Institute, at the press conference, adding that updated information can be found on the institute’s website and Facebook site.

“The goal of the Month of Francophony is to promote the French language and culture in Slovakia,” Pouchepadass concluded, “and it includes a host of events, but we thought that nothing can be better for opening it than the Week of French Films.”

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