Oh yes, if you love the French lifestyle and culture, or wish to experience it, this festival is for you.
Organized by Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur (AFKL) and the Embassy of France to Malaysia, the French Art and Film Festival (FAFF) is back for its 12th
edition from 25th of April to 26th of May 2013 in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
The annual Festival offers a potpourri selection of performing arts and cultural events as well as a selection
of fifteen movies from the best and latest French cinematic landscape. Besides the movies, the
line-up of the festival includes photography exhibition, street theatre, French market, as well as
champagne and wine tasting events.
The French Film Festival sets FAFF in motion with its movie screenings at Golden Screen
Cinemas (GSC) in Kuala Lumpur (Pavilion, Mid Valley and One Utama) from 25th April to 12th May
and in Penang (GSC Gurney Plaza) from 16th to 26th May. The Festival features an extravaganza
of movie screenings ranging from comedy to drama, and from animated movies to focus. With a
vast range of genres, the movie screenings are a major attraction to audience from various ages
and with diverse interests. All French movies are with English subtitles. The French Film Festival is
supported by the Institut Français.
Some of the main highlights of the line-up for this year include the limited screenings of comedy
movies, which comprise Populaire (Popular), Le Prenom (What’s in a Name) and Comme un Chef
(The Chef). As for drama genre, a not-to-be-missed movie is L’Exercice de l’Etat (The Minister)
that revolves around speed, power struggle, chaos, economic crisis, and more in an increasingly
complex and hostile world. Le Tableau (The Painting) is an animated movie that suits not only
adults, but also children due to the story line’s suspense and mysterious elements that would elicit
the curiosity of the audience. Almost all of the movies selected for FAFF 2013 screenings have
been nominated for numerous awards in multiple international film festivals, and more than half of
the movies have received awards for their nominations.
Four of the films feature Juliette Binoche, a multi-award winning French actress. FAFF 2013 intends to showcase her incredible talent, her capability of playing very different roles. During the press conference, the organising panel admitted that some of the titles are indeed censored but thanks to our inconsistent Malaysian Board of Censorship (as usual), the screening of Le Hussard sur le toit (The Horseman on the Roof) that we had later on that day was completely uncut. Even the full frontal nude body of Binoche (if that wasn’t a body double) was shown.
Another highlight of The Festival is an interactive, contemporary and comical street theatre that involves
the audience, but in complete mime silence! This extravaganza is staged by a renowned street
theatre artiste, Freddy Coudboul, who is well known in France for performing in various street art
festivals. For The Festival, audience can get ready for a crazy, hilarious and unique performance
as Freddy performs the show entitled Flochard dans Bla, Bla, Bla in Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus on 3rd May, 12:30pm, and Alliance Française de Kuala Lumpur, Lorong Gurney Centre on
4th May, 6pm.
The Festival also brings to light a photography exhibition by Françoise Huguier from 10th to 24th
May held at The Westin Kuala Lumpur, Level One. The exhibition, Vertical / Horizontal, Interieur /
Exterieur, showcases an immersion into the middle classes of the three capital cities of South East
Asia: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok. The photographer observed as closely as possible
the major catalysts in the modernization process in these parts of Asia. Through a patient and
curious perspective, she explored their everyday life from interior and exterior.
Audience can indulge in the French lifestyle and explore the art of French living at a distinctive
French market, Le Marché De France. The French Market takes place at the garden of Alliance
Française de Kuala Lumpur, Lorong Gurney Centre on 4th May, from 5pm onwards with the
participation of booths from French companies alongside the amusing comical theatre of Freddy
Coudboul, petanque competition and lucky draws. This French Market is co-organized with the
Malaysian French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MFCCI) to promote French regional
culinary specialties and lifestyle products.
A not-to-be-missed rendez-vous during The Festival is the Champagne and Cognac tasting.
Audience and special invited guests can expect a complete sensual and spiritual experience of
French Champagne tasting sessions at 4pm and French Cognac tasting sessions at 6pm on 11th
and 12th May in Q Bar, The Westin Kuala Lumpur. The tasting sessions are conducted by a
professional sommelier from The Sommelier Association of Malaysia (SOMLAY).
Stay tuned to read up about my experience at the opening of FAFF 2013 that will be happening on the 25th later this month.