6th Annual Films on the Green Festival Opening Night

June 24, 2013 | By French Culture

On June 7, 2013, the French Embassy and the NYC Parks Department kicked-off the 6th annual Films on the Green Festival at a reception hosted by the Parks Department at the Central Park Arsenal. After an introduction by William Castro, Manhattan Parks Commissioner, and Veronica M. White, Commissioner, City of New York Parks & Recreation, Antonin Baudry, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy addressed the guests with the following speech.

Good evening everyone!

I am very happy to launch the Films in the rain Festival… sorry, Films on the Green Festival, for the sixth consecutive year! A sincere thank you to the City of New York Parks & Recreation for hosting us, and especially to Commissioner Veronica M. White.

There is a French popular story that says when someone sings very poorly, it starts to rain. And in New York, when French films are featured, it’s not raining… it’s pouring! But I swear, French cinema is not that bad… On the contrary, I’m excited about the movies in this year’s festival!

I imagine most of you know Films on the Green, but a very brief note on its history and mission. The Festival began in 2008, with a few small gardens and projections… and today, we’re featuring ten films at six different locations, such as Washington Square Park and Columbia University! 

The festival is a program of The City of New York Park and Recreation and of the French Embassy. Its mission is, officially, to provide access to the best of French cinema, in beautiful green settings and, non-officially, to create new French lovers!

Films on the Green is a travelling festival and moves every week to different neighbourhoods… Thanks to the enthusiasm of Brooklyn Park Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey and to Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, for the first year we are featuring two films in Greenpoint, Brooklyn!

Not so surprisingly for a French cinema festival, this year’s theme is… love. Let’s be honest, we didn’t look far for a theme but it does match perfectly to our romantic country; and to a steamy New York’s summer, where anything is possible and the sky is the limit, even on a rainy day!

It’s a shame that we will not watch Mississipi Mermaid this evening.

But next week I hope you will join us at Washington Square Park for the New York premiere of The Art of Love. If you want to know everything about loving in a French way, which is everything about loving –and I’m sure you recognize here the traditional French modesty- you must watch this Emmanuel Mouret comedy!    

I must thank our partners and friends who make this festival possible.

Firstly, a huge thank you to our local “hero”, Commissioner William Castro who has supported this festival since the beginning and without whom we would not be here.

Thanks to Columbia University Maison Française and to the WNYU Radio Station for their enthusiastic DJ’s.

Thanks to our official sponsors, for their extremely generous support:

Air France, BNP Paribas, Midi-Pyrénées tourist Board & Atout France – France Tourism Development Agency and TV5 Monde.

Our dedicated partners:our media partner, SCENE/New York Observer; Green Mountain Energy, whose support has made our Festival even “greener” and more sustainable this year; our “in-kind” donors who, have created a great bag to take home: Moleskine, Try the World, Chocolats Michel Cluizel, Chamane Natural Energy Drink, Palais des Thés and Yelp.                   

Last year, nearly 4000 people attended the festival. Even if the sun refuse to shine bright, there’s no doubt that the numbers will be even more impressive in 2013!

Thank you very much for attending Films on the Green and see you in Washington Square  Park next week!

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