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Sacramento French Film Festival Celebrates French Cinema

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You do not need a passport to France to experience a taste of French culture this summer. The Sacramento French Culture Society will host the 11th annual Sacramento French Film Festival from June 15 to June 24 at the Crest Theatre.

“Hôtel du Nord” is one of two classic French films shown this year. Produced in 1938, viewers watch a couple experience love, crime and tragedy at the Hôtel du Nord in Paris.

Screenwriter, Jean-Louis Milesi, will present his social drama “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” on opening night. Jean-Pierre Darroussin plays a recently laid off social worker who heads off to Mount Kilimanjaro with his family and friends. Upon their return, they are robbed and his connection to one of the attackers surprises them all.

As a tribute to French actresses, Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle film critic, was selected to choose two recent films with two of his favorite female performers and lead a post-movie discussion. The program, titled “The Beauty of the Real with Mike La Salle,”will be held on Saturday June 16 and Sunday June 17.

Movie directors Raphaël Hitzke and Michaël Barocas will lead a short film post-screening discussion on June 24.

Passes are available through tickets.com or at the box office. The opening night pass costs $50, the first weekend pass costs $35 and the second weekend pass costs $36. The rate for combined passes ranges from $60-$90. Single show tickets are $11 (discount ticket $10) and must be bought at the box office. The closing night film and reception is $16 (discount ticket $15). 

Seniors, students, and certain affiliated clubs are eligible for discounted tickets with proper verification.

Here is a glance at the movie lineup.

Friday, June 15
6:00-8:00 p.m. : Opening night reception
8:30 p.m : “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (Social Drama)

Saturday, June 16
11:00 a.m. : “Hôtel du Nord” (Cult Classic / Drama); “Romantics Anonymous” (Romantic Comedy); “Empty Days” (Social Romance)
6:10 p.m. : “A View of Love" (Romantic Thriller)
8:30 p.m : “Hollywoo” (Comedy)
11:00 p.m. : “House of Pleasures “(Erotic Drama) – Followed by breakfast.

Sunday, June 17
11:00 a.m. : “Empty Days”
1:25 p.m. : “Romantics Anonymous”
3:55 p.m. : “Hollywoo”
6:20 p.m. : “I Am a No Man’s Land “(Quirky Comedy)
8:30 p.m. : “Hôtel du Nord”

Thursday, June 21
5:30 p.m. : “I Am a No Man’s Land”
7:45 p.m. : “Rebellion” (Action/Political)

Saturday, June 23
10:00 a.m. : French breakfast with filmmakers Michaël Barocas and Raphaël Hitzke (free with short film screening admission)
10:30 a.m. : Short Film Screening (100 min)
1:05 p.m. : “Rebellion”
4:00 p.m. : “The Day I Saw Your Heart” (Comedy)
6:20 p.m. : “Declaration of War” (Romance/Drama)
8:40 p.m. : “38 Witnesses” (Thriller)
11:00 p.m. : “Outside Satan” (Spiritual Drama)

Sunday, June 24
11 a.m. : “38 Witnesses”
1:25 p.m. : “Children of Paradise” (Classic)
5:20 p.m. : “The Day I Saw Your Heart”
7:45 p.m : “Polisse” (Crime/Drama)-followed by a champagne party.

After each movie, viewers have the opportunity to write down comments about the film. Based on the number of positive remarks a movie receives, a film will be chosen for the 2012 viewer’s choice award.

The festival will kick off with an opening night reception with open bar on June 15. DJ Christophe & DJ Roger Carpio will play contemporary and ‘60s French pop music. More than 10 restaurants will serve food, including Ella Dining Room & Bar and French Lady Catering.

Other festivities include an exhibit showcasing photography from Marie Bryan, a post-night-movie breakfast on June 16 and pre-movie breakfast on June 24 with Barocas and Hitzke. The event will close with a champagne party on June 24. 

Hitzke, said he enjoys the discussions led by filmmakers, film critics and professors.

“It’s rare that you get those kinds of discussions about the films at a festival,” he said. “Usually people go see a movie, then go home, but here you get the whole experience.”

The festival has grown from 1,000 to 5,000 attendees over the past 11 years, a rate that pleases Cécile Downs, the executive and artistic director of the festival.

“Last year for the first time we had a screening during the week, and we’re going to have one again on June 21, and so we are growing in terms of the number of movie showings and the number of people who come to the festival,” Downs said.

 

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