French Film Festival brings more films online
French Film Festival UK bring us a sequel to their COVID-curtailed 2020 edition, with some of the most anticipated films from last year available online
Film festivals have taken a massive hit since COVID-19 appeared on these shores, and French Film Festival UK have been particularly unlucky. Back in the autumn last year, cinemas had reopened, albeit with reduced capacity, and FFFUK had planned an ambitious programme of over 200 screenings at 28 cinemas across the UK. But as the festival’s launch on 4 November approached, it became increasingly clear that a second wave of coronavirus was sweeping the country and practically all cinemas would close, forcing FFFUK to reduce its plans to a handful of films it had been planning to show in its smaller fff@home lineup.
Good news is on the horizon for fans of francophone cinema, though. The festival’s fff@home platform is returning this month with many of the titles they had to mothball at the 11th hour last year. “We wanted to make sure that audiences did not miss out on some of the most anticipated films of the festival due to the COVID disruption,” says FFUK director and co-founder Richard Mowe, “and now they’re available to view online as part of the extended Festival. Bon film!”
The online selection kicks off with Love Affair(s) from Emmanuel Mouret, which weaves a series of interconnected romantic entanglements – some whimsical, some thorny – into a tapestry that sounds a bit like Love Actually, but, you know, good. We also love the sound of Régis Roinsard’s The Translators, a claustrophobic whodunnit in which an all-star international cast (Russian Olga Kurylenko, Italian Riccardo Scarmarcio, Brit Alex Lawther and so on) play a group of book translators, one of whom is leaking the future best-seller they’re all transcribing.
There’s French acting royalty in the programme, with Gérard Depardieu starring in Lucas Belvaux’s Home Front, which concerns how the wounds of the Algerian War are still felt six decades on, and Isabelle Huppert in the wild-sounding crime caper Mama Weed, where she plays a police translator who infiltrates a huge drug trafficking network.
Rounding out the programme are two films starring Virginie Efira. She’s the title character in Justine Triet’s soufflé-light romantic comedy In Bed with Victoria and stars alongside Lupin’s Omar Sy in the police thriller Night Shift.
fff@home runs 12-27 Mar; each film is £8 to rent, full festival pass £40. Concessions available for young people under 25
Full details at www.indyondemand.com/page/french-film-festival-uk