French film fete goes online


My French Film Festival

This year’s ‘My’ French Film Festival will primarily be an online event featuring over 20 feature and short films which Kenyans can watch for free.

“ is an innovative concept that aims to shine a spotlight on a new generation of French-language filmmakers,” says Harsita Waters, who’s the head of Cultural Affairs and Communications at Alliance Francaise.

This year, the online festival is celebrating its tenth anniversary. It aims “to give internet users across the globe the chance to share their enthusiasm for French cinema,” Harsita adds.

This year, the festival is to attract more Kenyans to watch the films online since the country has been specially selected to allow viewers to watch all 20 films for free.

The 20 include 10 feature films and 10 shorts. One has to sign onto the website, but after that one can watch some of the newest French feature films, such as Meteorics, School’s Out and The Swallows of Kabul which is a beautifully animated story.

And they’ll also be able to see several film shorts such as Rain Rain Run Away, A Bar at the Folies-Bergere and the amazing Isle of the Dead.

But as the festival will only run from January 16 through February16, one can start now to check them out. An added attraction to being an online viewer is that one gets a chance to vote on the films you feel deserve to receive the Lacoste Audience Prize. The other two awards, the Grand Jury Prize and the International Press Prize will be judged by international film directors and journalists from major media outlets respectively. And for those who prefer watching movies at a public screening, Alliance Francaise is currently showing three of the 10 feature films and four film shorts every Monday evening in the Wangari Maathai Auditorium.

The screenings began with Jessica Forever last Monday, January 20; it’s a tale having a sci fi twist. Then on January 27, Savage is a semi-horror film; and finally, on February 3, To the Ends of the World’which is set in Vietnam when it was still a colony of France.

Then on February 10th, four film shorts will be shown. All dramas, they include ‘Ahmed’s Song’, ‘Diversion,’ ‘Due West’ and ‘By a Hair’.

The few I have seen look excellent. Most were made in 2018 with at least one from 2019 and one from 2017.