• Events

Summer Edito 2018

Dear friends, 

Now that the beautiful days of summer have finally arrived, francophiles, cinephiles and locals curious for new experiences can take advantage of the first outdoor screenings of our annual French film festivals.

In New York, Films on the Green returns for its eleventh year, this time with a focus on the place of gastronomy in French culture. From food as an art form in its own right to the meal as a social gathering, the twelve selected films address this theme in all its varied aspects. Along with films by Christian Vincent, Jean Renoir and Claude Chabrol, the festival will for the second consecutive year present a screening of one of Luis Buñuel’s films in French with Spanish subtitles. This year the festival will also expand to Fort Lee, New Jersey, one of the lesser-known birthplaces of the American film industry.

In Chicago, the annual Films on the Lake is screening films by Jacques Demy, Christophe Honoré, Christophe Barratier, Paul Grimault and Louis Malle. In autumn, the baton will be passed to Miami and Boston, where cinephiles will gather for Films on the Beach and Films on the Green. Further details about these screenings can be found here.  

Regarding visual arts, the 2018 grantees of Étant donnés Contemporary Art, our French–American fund for contemporary art, have been announced. Every year, the fund aims to foster dynamic collaborations between artists, curators and cultural institutions through visits of American curators to France, artists’ residences and collaborations with American institutions that wish to exhibit French artists. The works of the 2018 grantees will be exhibited in select locations across the United States, with that of Tatiana Trouvé at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, MI; Cyprien Gaillard at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, OH; Sheila Hicks at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, FL; and Kapwani Kiwanga at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, MA. You can find more information here.

As for theater, don't miss the arrival of the Comédie-française in New York, which will be presenting the play The Damned from July 17th to 28th at the Park Avenue Armory. Inspired by the film by Luchino Visconti, this drama will be directed by the Tony Award-winning Belgian director Ivo van Hove.

The French Embassy's Community College Study Abroad program, which aims to help American students enrolled in community college to affordably study abroad in France, has just concluded it's second summer session. This year, 16 students took part in the 10 day Paris-based "bootcamp" to learn about sustainable development with a series of professional and scientific visits and conferences focused on air quality control, public transportation, public lighting and urban heating. A student from Lone Star College in Texas has been selected for a Master’s degree program in engineering; he leaves for France in July.

For those of you on the hunt for good summer reads, Albertine Books has a list that will keep you reading in the sun all season long. Among the selected works are Falaise des fous by Patrick Grainville, a book that will sweep you along back to the time of the Impressionists; Un si beau diplôme! by Scholastique Mukasonga, who with cheery prose brings to life her childhood in Rwanda several years before the genocide of 1994; Mohammad, ma mère et moi by Benoît Cohen, which handles the topic of immigration with a healthy dose of optimism; and À l’Aube by Philippe Djian, which will captivate all fans of suspenseful mystery novels. You can find more information on Albertine’s website.

There is one more book you shouldn’t miss out on this summer: Not One Day by Anne Garréta, newly-announced winner of the second Albertine Prize, the readers’ choice award for contemporary French literature in translation. You can find more information here.

If you have the chance to visit Albertine this summer, located in the Payne Whitney Mansion, home of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy at 972 Fifth Avenue, make sure to spare some time to visit the newly restored Venetian Room, designed by renowned architect Stanford White, now open for public viewing.

Wherever you happen to be this summer, you can discovered some of the best of French pop with this playlist which includes recent songs by Christine & The Queens (Chris), Jain, Petit Biscuit, Her, Orelsan, Ibeyi, Parcels, Gaël Faye, Jahneration and more. 

Many other events and projects are taking place across the country in the coming months, you can find them in the sections on visual and performing arts, literature and ideas, music, film and new media, kids and family, language and higher education, as well as on Albertine’s website.

I wish you all a wonderful summer.

Bénédicte de Montlaur
Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy in the United States