Cinéfranco 2012

Cinéfranco 2012

Celebrating its 15th edi­tion from March 23rd through April 1st at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cinéfranco has estab­lished itself as one of the largest and most pop­u­lar fest­ivals for film in the French lan­guage. The breadth of Francophone cinema, in geo­graphy as well as in styles and genres, is well-rep­res­en­ted every year, and this year is no dif­fer­ent. 28 fea­tures, 2 doc­u­ment­ar­ies and 11 short films make up a diverse pro­gram, with films from France, Canada (Québec and Ontario), Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Morocco and Cameroon. In a first, the fest­ival is open­ing with a Franco-Ontarian film, La Sacrée, which depicts the life of a vil­lage where love and gos­sip inter­twine in a very humor­ous way.

Here are a few other films that look worthy of your time:

Ni à vendre ni à louer (Holidays By The Sea) (France, Director: Pascal Rabaté) — screen­ing Saturday March 24 at 1:45pm

A near-silent com­edy in the tra­di­tion of Jacques Tati’s M. Hulot’s Holiday, fea­tur­ing such mem­or­able faces as Maria De Medeiros and Dominique Pinon. This prom­ises lots of phys­ical com­edy on the sun-splashed Atlantic coast of France.

La guerre des boutons (The War of the Buttons) (France, Director: Yann Samuell) — screen­ing Sunday March 25 at 4:00pm

In this fam­ily com­edy set in 1960, the chil­dren of two rural vil­lages in the south of France fight it out in mock battles for ulti­mate suprem­acy.

Les hommes libres (Free Men) (France, Director: Ismaël Ferroukhi) — screen­ing Sunday March 25 at 6:30pm

During World War 2 in Nazi-occu­pied France, the Paris Mosque helps to con­ceal and shel­ter Jews. A young Algerian man, sent to infilt­rate the mosque by the police, must decide whether to remain a spy or to join the res­ist­ance.

Les Géants (The Giants) (France/Belgium/Luxembourg, Director: Bouli Lanners) — screen­ing Tuesday March 27 at 6:30pm

A com­ing-of-age story about three boys spend­ing the sum­mer in the coun­tryside. Director Lanners was a painter before he turned to film­mak­ing and the film prom­ises lush visu­als to go along with its story of the bonds formed between friends at a cru­cial age.

L’art d’aimer (The Art of Love) (France, Director: Emmanuel Mouret) — screen­ing Saturday March 31 at 9:00pm

No one can make romantic com­ed­ies like the French, and this sweet con­coc­tion prom­ises romance and beau­ti­ful Parisian set­tings that a film like Love Actually just can’t approach. Plus, it has the won­der­ful Francois Cluzet (Tell No One, Little White Lies).

Toutes nos envies (All Our Desires) (France, Director: Philippe Lioret) — screen­ing Sunday April 1 at 6:30pm

Director Lioret has a way of deal­ing with heavy sub­jects with a deftly humane touch, much like English film­makers Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, or Belgians Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne. I very much enjoyed his last film, Welcome (review), which dealt with “illegal” immig­ra­tion, and he has re-teamed with actor Vincent Lindon in another human-interest story. This time, it’s about two judges who deal head-on with cases of people with extreme levels of debt. On paper, it doesn’t sound excit­ing, but I’m con­fid­ent Lioret, Lindon and the rest of the cast will tell a very mov­ing story to bring this issue to mind.

All screen­ings take place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and tick­ets are avail­able there for $12 each.

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