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FIAF Burning Brighter: New French Voices

FIAF is proud to present a new festival celebrating the remarkable diversity of emerging voices in French cinema. This special program features recent prize-winning films by new French filmmakers.

The new generation of French cinema promises to be more inclusive and reflective of today’s society. It introduces new narratives and turns its lens on faces and places that are rarely seen on screen. The films featured at Burning Brighter—13 of them US or NY premieres—include stories of daily struggles, hard-won redemption, sexual oppression, identity, and belonging. Tracing their heritage from Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, Morocco, Guadeloupe, Lebanon, and France, these filmmakers bring a burst of new energy to FIAF’s fall reopening.

The festival is co-curated by Claire Diao, member of the Directors’ Fortnight Selection Committee at the Cannes Film Festival, and Delphine Selles-Alvarez, FIAF’s Film Curator.
 

In Person at FIAF: October 1, 2, 3, 2021
 

  • Festival Kick-Off Party

​​Friday, October 1, 2021
8:30pm
FIAF Tinker Auditorium
 

  • Skies of Lebanon (Sous le ciel d'Alice)

In Person: Friday, October 1, 2021
7pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Dir. Chloé Mazlo, 2020
In French, Arabic and Italian with English subtitles

Chloé Mazlo’s first feature is a strikingly original film set in the 1950s and inspired by her family’s life in the years leading into the Lebanese Civil War.

This film is part of Young French Cinema, a program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

  • All the Way Up (Validé)

In Person: Friday, October 1, 2021 - North American Premiere
9:30pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall 

Dir. Franck Gastambide, Charles Van Tieghem, Xavier Lacaille, 2020
In French with English subtitles

All the Way Up takes us into the world of French hip-hop through the journey of Clément (played by French musician Hatik), a talented young rapper with a difficult personal history.

  • Simply Black (Tout simplement Noir)

In Person: Saturday, October 2, 2021 - North American Premiere
2pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall 
Video introduction by Jean-Pascal Zadi

Dir. Jean-Pascal Zadi and John Wax, 2020
In French with English subtitles

This corrosive comedy tackles the timely topics of racism and coalition building with a good dose of self-deprecation.

  • Roundtable – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Cinema

In Person and online (livestreamed): Saturday, October 2, 2021
4:00pm (60 minutes)
FIAF Tinker Auditorium 
English

In this roundtable discussion, a panel of French and American filmmakers, producers, and talent managers will discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion in the film industries of both countries.

  • Shorts Program 1: Freed - So What If the Goats Die - Blooming Dalia

In Person: Saturday, October 2, 2021
5:30pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall 
Introduction by Holy Fatma

This program offers a selection of shorts from a variety of cinematographic genres. We start with a thought-provoking drama that brings to light the harsh reality of violence in prison (Freed), then continue onto a mysterious and thrilling science-fiction film (So What If the Goats Die), before concluding with a light comedy about a forgotten reality-TV star (Blooming Dalia).

  • A Brighter Tomorrow (De bas étage)

In Person: Saturday, October 2, 2021 - North American Premiere
7:30pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall 
Video introduction by Yassine Qnia

Dir. Yassine Qnia, 2021
In French with English subtitles

Mehdi (Soufiane Guerrab of Lupin), is a small-time safe cracker who’s finding robberies aren’t paying like they used to. 

  • Blind Spot (L'Angle mort) 

In Person: Saturday, October 2, 2021 North American Premiere
9:45pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall 

Dir. Patrick-Mario Bernard and Pierre Trividic, 2019
In French with English subtitles

Dominick Brassan has the power to turn invisible but rarely uses it. Instead, he keeps it a shameful secret, even from his fiancée, Viveka.

  • School Life (La Vie scolaire

In Person: Sunday, October 3, 2021
2pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall 

Dir. Grand Corps Malade and Mehdi Idir, 2019
In French with English subtitles

Idealistic young educator Samia has taken a new assignment in a difficult middle school in the Paris suburbs. 

  • Shorts Program 2: Get Lost - Your Kid - The Loyal Man

In Person: Sunday, October 3, 2021
5pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall 
Video introduction by Romuald Rodrigues Andrade and Lawrence Valin

The films in this program reflect the difficulty of choosing one’s life path—until a plan imposes itself. This might come in the form of an unexpected transition to fatherhood (Timoun Aw), a dreamed-of professional opportunity (Get Lost), or a cryptic chance meeting (The Loyal Man).

  • Red Soil (Rouge

In Person: Sunday, October 3, 2021
7pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall 

Dir. Farid Bentoumi, 2020
In French with English subtitles

After losing her job at a hospital emergency room, Nour Hamadi (Zita Hanrot) returns to her hometown, taking a position as a nurse at the chemical plant where her father Slimane (Sami Bouajila) has worked for 30 years.

This film is part of Young French Cinema, a program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

  • Closing Night Party 

​​Sunday, October 3, 2021
6:15 pm
FIAF Tinker Auditorium
 

Online: Sunday, October 3–Sunday, October 10
 

  • Arab Blues (Un Divan à Tunis) 

Online: Sunday, October 3—Sunday, October 10, 2021 - New York Premiere

Dir. Manele Labidi, 2019
In French and Arabic with English subtitles

Selma (Golshifteh Farahani), a 35-year-old psychoanalyst, decides to return from France to her native Tunisia to improve the mental health of her compatriots.

  • Night Ride (La Nuit venue) 

Online: Sunday, October 3—Sunday, October 10, 2021 - North American Premiere

Dir. Frédéric Farrucci, 2019
In French with English subtitles

Jin drives an illegal taxi for the Chinese Triads, with dreams of becoming a DJ. He meets Naomi (played by French pop singer Camélia Jordana), a troubled sex worker who makes him her private chauffeur.

  • Leave? (Partir ?) 

Online: Sunday, October 3—Sunday, October 10, 2021 - US Premiere

Dir. Mary-Noël Niba, 2019
In French and Pidjin with English subtitles, English

After several deeply disillusioning years spent in Europe, Stéphane, Léo, Cheikh, and Boye Gaye have returned to their home countries in Africa, where they are perceived as failures and face tremendous difficulties in readapting.

  • Should the Wind Drop (Si le vent tombe​​​​​​​) 

Online: Sunday, October 3—Sunday, October 10, 2021 - US Premiere
Q&A with Nora Martirosyan and Julie Paratian

Dir. Nora Martirosyan, 2020
In French, Armenian, English, Russian with English subtitles

French auditor Alain Delage (Grégoire Colin, in tour-de-force performance) arrives in the war-torn South Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh to study the feasibility of a new airport.

This film is part of Young French Cinema, a program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

  • Simply Black (Tout simplement Noir​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​) 

Online: Sunday, October 3—Sunday, October 10, 2021 - North American Premiere
Video introduction by Jean-Pascal Zadi

Dir. Jean-Pascal Zadi and John Wax, 2020
In French with English subtitles

This corrosive comedy tackles the timely topics of racism and coalition building with a good dose of self-deprecation.

  • Shorts Program 3: Blaké - Mama Lova - So What If the Goats Die

Online: Sunday, October 3—Sunday, October 10, 2021 - North American Premiere
Video introduction by Vincent Fontano and Jeff Taver

The shorts in this online program provide unexpected plot twists and stylistic turns. Mama Lova portrays a grieving mother managing a devastating loss; So What If the Goats Die mixes genres as it builds toward a surprise finale; and the experimental Blaké turns the mundane (an overnight shift of two security guards) into visual poetry.

 

 

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