New York, April 23, 2019 – Films on the Green, the free outdoor French film festival produced annually in New York City parks by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE Foundation and NYC Parks, announces this year’s line-up for its 12th edition that will focus on female directors in French and Francophone cinema through a selection of 13 movies. From May 31st to September 3rd, Films on the Green will screen films around New York City, with one screening in Fort Lee, New Jersey. All screenings will be free and open to the public, and will include English subtitles.
The 12th edition of Films on the Green will pay tribute to “Women behind the Camera” in honor of Agnès Varda, feminist filmmaker and pioneer of the French New Wave, who passed away earlier this year. Varda’s film Jacquot de Nantes will be presented in Fort Lee, New Jersey, the birthplace of the motion pictures industry, on August 31.
Alongside Agnès Varda, films by a variety of other female film directors will be featured, from acclaimed French directors such as Claire Denis (Chocolat), Diane Kurys (Peppermint Soda), and Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel), winner of the 1993 Prix Jean Vigo for her film Love Affairs Usually End Badly (Les Histoires d’amour finissent mal… en général) to international filmmakers such as Lebanese actress, screenwriter, and director Nadine Labaki (Where Do We Go Now?), who is the President of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard jury, French Turkish director Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang), Mexican filmmaker Claudia Sainte-Luce (The Amazing Catfish) and Ivoirian writer and director, Marguerite Abouet (Aya of Yop City). The Festival will also include films directed by Céline Sciamma (Tomboy), Jeanne Herry (Pupille), and Eléonore Faucher (Sequins). Films on the Green will also shine a light on iconic directors like Jacqueline Audry (Olivia), the most successful post-war French female director, as well as Alice Guy-Blaché (Matrimony’s Speed Limit), the world’s first female filmmaker and pioneer of the French and American film industries.
This year’s lineup not only shines a spotlight on female filmmakers, the 2019 selection features a series of strong female portraits and empowering stories, from coming-of-age stories (Peppermint Soda, Mustang, Aya of Yop City), to gender identity and LGBTQ love stories (Tomboy, Olivia), and from female bonding (Sequins, The Amazing Catfish, Where Do We Go Now?), to women who persevere despite setbacks (Coco Before Chanel, In Safe Hands).
“Only 4% of the top 100 films of 2018 were directed by female filmmakers, and in France particularly, the film industry remains a field with a huge gender gap with only 29.7% of 2017’s releases directed or co-directed by women,” says Bénédicte de Montlaur, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy. “Building on the success of previous years, reaching more than 6,300 viewers in 2018, this year’s Films on the Green will aim to highlight female filmmakers.”
For the first time, the festival will partner with PS110 The Monitor School and the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance to screen Minuscule, Valley of the Lost Ants in McGolrick Park.
Most of the screenings will be accompanied by DJs from New York University’s radio station, WNYU 89.1 FM and Hunter College’s WHCS, who will spin French and Francophone music on-site before the screenings.
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE Foundation and NYC Parks would like to thank Films on the Green’s 2019 official sponsors, Air France, BNP Paribas, CHANEL Fund for Women in the Arts and Culture, JC Decaux, and TV5 Monde.
Films on the Green 2019 Schedule
May 31 – Central Park (79th St & Fifth Ave): Coco Before Chanel by Anne Fontaine
June 7 – Washington Sq. Park: Where Do We Go Now? by Nadine Labaki
June 10 – McGolrick Park (Brooklyn): Minuscule, Valley of the Lost Ants by Hélène Giraud & Thomas Szabo
June 14 – Washington Sq. Park: In Safe Hands by Jeanne Herry
June 21 – Transmitter Park (Brooklyn): Peppermint Soda by Diane Kurys
June 28 – Transmitter Park (Brooklyn): Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven
July 5 – Tompkins Sq. Park: Tomboy by Céline Sciamma
July 10 – J. Hood Wright Park (West 173th St): The Amazing Catfish by Claudia Sainte-Luce
July 12 – Tompkins Sq. Park: Aya Of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet & Clément Oubrerie
July 19 – Riverside Park, Pier I (at 70th St): Sequins by Éléonore Faucher
July 26 – Riverside Park, Pier I (at 70th St): Chocolat by Claire Denis
Aug. 31 – Fort Lee Community Center (New Jersey): Jacquot De Nantes by Agnès Varda
Preceded by Matrimony’s Speed Limit by Alice Guy-Blaché
Sept. 3 – Columbia University (at 116th St): Olivia by Jacqueline Audry
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Films of the Green 2019 Film Descriptions
All films are shown with English subtitles. Screenings begin at sunset.
May 31 - Central Park, Cedar Hill: COCO BEFORE CHANEL (Coco avant Chanel)
Directed by Anne Fontaine, 2009, PG-13, 1h50, France-Belgium
With Audrey Tautou, Alessandro Nivola, Benoît Poelvoorde, Emmanuelle Devos
Orphaned at a young age, Gabrielle Chanel learns to embroider and sew at a strict convent school before her singing ambitions lead her to perform in cafés and bars. She soon earns the nickname “Coco” and attracts the attention of Étienne Balsan, a rich gentleman intrigued by her stubborn ingénue. Swept up in her rich admirer’s world, Coco draws the eyes of society towards her with her unique, elegant style but complications arise when she falls in love with the young Arthur Capel.
June 7 - Washington Sq. Park: WHERE DO WE GO NOW? (Et maintenant on va où?)
Directed by Nadine Labaki, 2011, PG-13, 1h40, France-Lebanon
With Claude Baz Moussawbaa, Layla Hakim, Nadine Labaki, Yvonne Maalouf.
In Arabic, Russian, English with English subtitles
In a remote village in Lebanon, where the church and the mosque stand side by side, the town’s women try to keep their blowhard men from starting a religious war. Women heartsick over sons, husbands, and fathers lost to previous flare-ups unite to distract their men with clever, even comical ruses, from faking a miracle to hiring a troop of Ukrainian strippers.
Presented in partnership with the Consulate General of Lebanon in New York and the Washington Square Park Conservancy
June 10 - McGolrick Park: MINUSCULE, VALLEY OF THE LOST ANTS (Minuscule – La vallée des fourmis perdues)
Directed by Hélène Giraud, Thomas Szabo, 2013, 1h29, France-Belgium
In a peaceful little valley, the remains of an abandoned picnic sparks warfare between two tribes of rival ants. At stake, a box of sugar. So when a bold young ladybug finds herself caught in the middle of the battle, she befriends one the black ants, Mandible, whom together must protect the anthill from the encroaching red ant warriors, led by the fearful Butor.
Presented in partnership with the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance, Council Member Stephen Levin, PS110 The Monitor School, and PS110 PTA
June 14 - Washington Sq. Park: IN SAFE HANDS (Pupille)
Directed by Jeanne Herry, 2018, 1h47, France
With Sandrine Kiberlain, Gilles Lellouche, Élodie Bouchez
Abandoned at birth, baby Théo’s uncertain future lies now in the hands of the Child Welfare Services, and officers such as Karine. She gives Jean the responsibility of temporarily looking after Théo, while the members of the Adoption Agency have the difficult task of finding him a permanent home. Meanwhile, Alice has never given up becoming a mother and faces the prospect of this dream finally coming true, although nothing is certain.
Presented in partnership with the Washington Square Park Conservancy
June 21 - Transmitter Park: PEPPERMINT SODA (Diabolo Menthe)
Directed by Diane Kurys, 1977, PG, 1h41, France
With Anouk Ferjac, Eléonore Klarwein, Odile Michel
Anne and Frédérique are sisters entering their teen years in 1963 Paris. Their life, like the world around them, is in full swing. Their personal struggles include the difficulties of divorced parents, getting their first period, discovering boys, and struggling with the confines of their strict school all while figuring out where they fit in the society around them. All the fiasco they undergo presents an opportunity for both a political and romantic awakening. (Courtesy of Cohen Media Group)
June 28 - Transmitter Park: MUSTANG
Directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015, PG-13, 1h34, France-Turkey
With Dogba Doguslu, Elit Iscan, Gunes Sensoy, Ilayda Akdogan, Tugba Sunguroglu
In Turkish with English subtitles
It’s the beginning of summer in a small village in Northern Turkey. Lale and her four sisters come home from school, innocently playing with boys. The supposed debauchery of their games arouses a scandal with unexpected consequences and causes the family home to be transformed into a prison. Lessons on housework and cooking replace school, and marriages begin to be arranged. The five sisters, driven by the same desire for independence, fight back against the limits imposed on them. (Courtesy of Cohen Media Group)
July 5 - Tompkins Sq. Park: TOMBOY
Directed by Céline Sciamma, 2011, 1h22, France
With Zoé Heran, Mathieu Demy, Sophie Cattani, Jeanne Disson
Laure is a ten-year-old girl whose family just moved to the suburbs during the summer holiday. When mistaken for a boy by a pack of neighborhood kids, Laure creates an alter ego named ‘Michael’ and becomes resourceful in hiding her female identity from the other children. Soon, Michael catches the attention of Lisa, the leader of the pack who becomes completely smitten with the new boy in town. The hope for an endless summer of fun and friends will be questioned by the reality that is Laure’s true self. (Courtesy of Institut français)
July 10 - J. Hood Wright Park: THE AMAZING CATFISH (Los insólitos peces gato)
Directed by Claudia Sainte-Luce, 2013, 1h35, France-Mexico
With Lisa Owen, Ximena Ayala, Sonia Franco
In Spanish with English subtitles
Martha, a mother of four rambunctious and imaginative children, finds solace upon meeting Claudia, a younger woman trying to figure out her purpose in life. The two quickly become friends and Martha invites Claudia to come live with her family. When Martha’s health declines, the bond Claudia has with each member of the family is forced to be tested, giving opportunity for true, strong relationships to be created.
Presented in partnership with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, the Instituto Cervantes, Cinema Tropical, and Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders.
July 12 - Tompkins Sq. Park: AYA OF YOP CITY (Aya of Yogoupon)
Directed by Marguerite Abouet & Clément Oubrerie, 2010, 1h24, France-Ivory Coast
With the voices of Aïssa Maïga, Tatiana Rojo, Tella Kpomahou
It’s the end of the 70s and nineteen-year-old Aya lives in Youpougon, a working-class neighborhood in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Aya divides her time between school, her family, and her two best friends, Adjoua and Bintou, who only think of sneaking out as soon as night falls. Things go awry when Adjoua becomes pregnant, causing the friends to try and figure out what is best for the situation. (Courtesy of Cinémathèque Afrique – Institut français)
Presented in partnership with the African Film Festival and the Consulate General of Côte d’Ivoire in New York.
July 19 - Riverside Park, Pier I: SEQUINS (Brodeuses)
Directed by Éléonore Faucher, 2004, 1h29, France
With Ariane Ascaride, Lola Naymark, Thomas Laroppe
After learning that she is pregnant at the tender age of seventeen, Claire finds refuge with Madame Mélikian, an embroiderer for haute couture designers who has buried herself in work following the death of her beloved son. Day by day, stitch by stitch, as Claire’s belly grows rounder, the threads of embroidery will create a filial bond between them. In time, the grief-stricken mentor and her anxious apprentice will stop protecting themselves and start helping one another.
July 26 - Riverside Park, Pier I: CHOCOLAT
Directed by Claire Denis, 1988, PG-13, 1h45, France-West Germany-Cameroon
With Isaach De Bankolé, Giulia Boschi, François Cluzet, Jean-Claude Adelin, Cécile Ducasse
In 1950s French Cameroon, curious eight-year-old France spends her days amidst the paradise of her family’s estate along with her always traveling father Marc, her bored, frustrated mother Aimée, and Protée, the noble, intelligent “houseboy.” Everyday routine changes when a plane makes an emergency landing nearby, bringing a motley collection of characters to the house and causing the heavenly façade of the household to unravel.
Aug. 31 - Fort Lee Community Center: JACQUOT DE NANTES
Directed by Agnès Varda, 1991, PG, 1h58, France
With Philippe Maron, Edouard Joubeaud, Laurent Monnier, Brigitte De Villepoix
Once upon a time, an eight-year old boy lived a happy childhood with his parents, Marilou and Raymond, and his little brother, Yvon. It is 1939, in Nantes, and his name is Jacquot. He spends his days in his father’s car garage where everyone likes to sing. On weekends, the family goes to the movies. While Jacquot is raised to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a mechanic, he buys a camera and begins to make short films with puppets and music. An early lesson of family loyalty and artistic passion is presented to Jacquot in this biopic that is based off Jacques Demy’s childhood.
Preceded by MATRIMONY’S SPEED LIMIT by Alice Guy-Blaché, 1913, 14 min, USA
Presented in partnership with Fort Lee Film Commission as part of their “Movies & Music Under the Stars” series
Sept. 3 - Columbia University: Olivia
Directed by Jacqueline Audry, 1951, 1h35, France
With Marie-Claire Olivia, Edwige Feuillère, Simone Simon, Yvonne de Bray
Set in 1890, an innocent English teenager, Olivia (Olivia), arrives at a small boarding school outside Paris. The majority of the pupils there are divided into two clans: those that are devoted to the headmistress, Miss Julie (Feuillère), and those who follow Miss Cara (Simon), an emotionally manipulative invalid who is obsessed with Miss Julie. Olivia develops an infatuation for Miss Julie and their relation sets Miss Cara ablaze with jealousy.
Presented in partnership with the Columbia Maison Française
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, intellectuals and innovators to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts. www.frenchculture.org
FACE Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE promotes artistic, literary and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. With additional corporate, foundation, and individual support, FACE administers grant programs in the performing and visual arts, cinema, translation, and secondary and higher education, while providing financial sponsorship to French-American festivals and other cultural initiatives. FACE focuses on new and recent work of living artists and the promotion of bilingualism and the French language. FACE Foundation (French-American Cultural Exchange) is a 501(c)(3) organization chartered by the state of New York. www.face-foundation.org
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