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French Films at Filmfest DC

80 films, 45 countries, 11 days, and one amazing festival! The annual Washington, D.C. International Film Festival will take place from April 25th to May 15th, celebrating the art of storytelling through film and its many perspectives. Going on its 33rd year, Filmfest DC is a testament to the love of movie-going. Even with the popularity of movie-streaming sites, people love to sit among an audience and watch great cinema on the big screen, which is why festivals like Filmfest DC continue to grow and attract thousands of enthusiastic moviegoers every year. This year’s program includes four French productions and several co-productions, including C’est La Vie !, A Faithful Man, For the Ones we Loved, Sink or Swim, Le Grand Bal, Tazzeka, A Tramway in Jerusalem, and many more that will be shown in theaters throughout the greater Washington area.

C'est la vie! by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano                                                          2017 – France – 117 min. In French with English subtitles.

Sunday, May 5 - 3:00 p.m. | Embassy of France - La Maison Française
Sunday, May 5 - 7:30 p.m. | Embassy of France - La Maison Française

From the directors of international sensation The Intouchables (Closing Night, FFDC 2012) comes the biggest party of the year. Max Angely (Jean-Pierre Bacri, The Taste of Others) is an aging, beleaguered caterer who hopes to sell his business any day now. But first, he has to get through one last minefield of a dinner party, a high-profile wedding at a seventeenth-century French chateau just outside of Paris. And if anything can go wrong, everything will go wrong…

A Faithful Man (L'homme fidèle) by Louis Garrel
2018 – France – 75 min. In French with English subtitles.  

Friday, April 26 - 8:30 p.m. | AMC Mazza Gallerie
Tuesday, April 30 - 8:30 p.m. | AMC Mazza Gallerie

Best known as one of France's finest young actors, Louis Garrel steps behind the camera for his second directorial feature, a buoyant romantic farce set in the City of Light. Garrel plays Abel, a sweetly passive Parisian buffeted by others’ whims. His lover, Marianne (Laetitia Casta), dumps him for his friend Paul, only to pop back into his life years later with her son. Paul's winsome younger sister Eve (Lily-Rose Depp) also emerges into the picture and acts out on a years-in-the-making obsessive crush on Abel. There is a gentle French New Wave tone and feel to A Faithful Man.

For the Ones We Loved (A cause des filles..?) by Pascal Thomas
2018 - France - 96 min. In French with English subtitles.                               

Sunday, April 28 - 4:00 p.m. | AMC Mazza Gallerie
Friday, May 3 - 6:30 p.m. | Embassy of France - La Maison Française

At a beautiful wedding, the bride and groom exchange the vows they have written. Once outside the church, the newlyweds can't resist kissing each other as friends and family cheer them on. But there's a woman in a convertible idling at the end of the steps. Seeing her, the groom shrugs and then races to her and leaps into the car, which speeds away. The startled bride insists that the party continue, and the reception becomes an opportunity for friends and relatives to share their own stories of comically doomed love and failed seductions.

Le Grand Bal by Laetitia Carton
2018 – France – 89 min. In French with English subtitles.

Sunday, April 28 - 7:45 p.m. | Landmark's E Street Cinema
Tuesday, April 30 - 6:00 p.m. | Landmark's E Street Cinema

At the annual Grand Bal de l'Europe, 2,000 people come together to celebrate the amazing richness, history, and nuance of dances from every region of France and the world in the best possible way: by dancing. Each summer for 8 days, people pitch their tents and learn the complex steps that will attempt to execute to the lively music of professional players and singers all night long. Director Laetitia Carton explores a world within a world with a camera that is immersed in movement, music, and expression, and in thoughtful interviews with those who return year after year.

Sink or Swim (Le Grand Bain) by Gilles Lellouche
2018 – France, Belgium – 122 min. In French with English subtitles.

Sunday, April 28 - 8:15 p.m. | Landmark's E Street Cinema
Tuesday, May 3 - 8:30 p.m. | Embassy of France - La Maison Française

Gilles Lellouche's warm and amusing film poses this question: Can a loose collection of mismatched oddballs come together to find success as a male synchronized-swimming team? The absurdity of the premise is matched by the sincere commitment of a group of barely athletic men bonding over this seemingly impossible task. When the team discovers that there is a world championship men's synchronized swimming competition taking place in Norway and no team from France has signed up yet, dreams kick into high gear in a fevered quest for glory.