French film fete and special menu in October

‘The Mercenary’ will  be screened during French Film Festival. PHOTO | COURTESY | NMG
‘The Mercenary’ will be screened during French Film Festival. PHOTO | COURTESY | NMG 

Smartphone videographers still have a chance to submit their four-minute film shorts to Alliance Francaise where they’re conducting the 2nd Smartphone Film Competition.

The deadline for Kenyans entering the film shorts is September 30.

The winning shorts will be shown during this year’s French Film Festival, which as always will bring some of the best French films produced previous years to Nairobi audiences. Adjudicators of the Kenyan shorts are Judy Kibinge, a filmmaker and founder of DocuBox, Cajeton Boy, scriptwriter and filmmaker, Mwaniki Mwagira.

This year’s festival will run from October 9 –13. Having the theme, ‘Family stories’ the festival will feature a wide range of award-winning films.

They will range from contemporary French cinema and a classic to a period drama, several shorts and one feel-good comedy. All the films (apart from the children’s film) will be in French with English subtitles.

Next Monday, Le Mercenaire (The Mercenary), a contemporary thriller about a rugby player, will be screened followed by the first prize winning Kenyan smartphone short.

Next Tuesday will present a series of film shorts. They are Mama(s), La chair et les volcan and Un grand silence. On the following day, the film classic Le Ceremony starring Isabelle Hupert will be shown, followed by Une Vie (A Woman’s Life) which will be Thursday’s award-winning film. Finally, the comedy Le Placard, starring Gerard Depardieu, will be screened on Friday evening.

The children’s film Ma Vie de Courgette (‘My Life as a Courgette’) will be shown several times during the festival. From next Tuesday through Thursday, it will be screened twice, at 9.30am and 1pm.

Coinciding with the Film Festival is the grand opening of Alliance Francaise’s new French Restaurant, La Belle Epoque, which is creating a special menu to complement the theme of the French movie being shown that evening.

What makes Alliance’s new eatery unique is that its French Chef is Christian, a culinary artist who prepared superb French dishes back in the 1970s and 1980s when he ran Le Jardin de Paris at the same venue, when it was called the French Cultural Centre.

Back then, Christian was renowned and so was his cuisine. Le Jardin de Paris became a venue where a myriad of Kenyan artists used to meet, drink and eat in the convivial atmosphere created by Christian.

His return to Alliance Francaise is a homecoming that will be welcomed both by lovers of French cuisine and a new generation of ‘creatives’ who undoubtedly will be drawn to La Belle Epoque by his welcoming charm.