NEW YORK, August 1, 2018—Films on the Green, the free outdoor French film festival produced annually by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE Foundation and NYC Parks, announces its expansion for the first time to Fort Lee, NJ, with a screening of Donkey Skin by Jacques Demy on September 1st in partnership with the Fort Lee Film Commission.
Prior to the screening, the Commission will present the Cultural Services of the French Embassy with the 2018 Alice Guy-Blaché Award, given out annually to the individual or institution who best exemplifies the spirit of this cinema pioneer Alice Guy-Blaché.
“We are very excited to expand one of our most successful initiatives to a new audience,” says Hervé Ferrage, Deputy Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy. “With its long history of connections to the film industry and its ties to early French film studios, Fort Lee seemed like a natural next step to us. We are also honored to be granted the 2018 Alice Guy Blaché Award from the Fort Lee Film Commission in recognition of a successful collaboration between our festival and the Commission’s Movies and Music Under the Stars initiative.”
Fort Lee, a pre-Hollywood film capital of the United States, has a long history of collaboration with French filmmakers. The birthplace of Universal Pictures in 1912 and the Fox Film Corporation in 1915, Fort Lee was also the home to the early French film studios Solax and Eclair in the early 20th century. The French founder and artistic director of the Solax Studios, Alice Guy-Blaché, known as the first female filmmaker, produced, wrote and directed hundreds of films in Fort Lee. She was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2013. This year, Fort Lee plans to break ground on the Barrymore Film Center, which will house a museum dedicated to the borough’s film history and a space to screen independent and classic films.
In Jacques Demy’s classic 1970 film Donkey Skin, a King (Jean Marais) seeks the hand of his own daughter (Catherine Deneuve) in marriage after promising his dying wife to only wed a woman more beautiful than herself. Listening to her fairy godmother (Delphine Seyrig), the frightened Princess flees and hides, disguised as a scullery maid, while wearing the skin of a donkey. As a visiting prince (Jacques Perrin) passes by, he asks Donkey Skin to bake him a cake. The disguised Princess decides to bake him a Love Cake, in which she hides a ring.
The screening of Donkey Skin (1h30, PG) is free and open to the public and will take place at the Jack Alter Fort Lee Community Center in Fort Lee, NJ on Saturday, September 1st, 2018 at 8:30 p.m. The film will be shown in French with English subtitles. Live music by Avalon Jazz Band before the screening at 7 p.m.
2018 Films on the Green Festival
From Parisian bistros to the vineyards of southern France, the 2018 Films on the Green lineup explores the profound relationship between French culture and gastronomy, an integral part of France’s social fabric, through a selection of 12 classic and contemporary French films.
More information: http://frenchculture.org/events/8052-films-green-2018
Films on the Green, produced by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE Foundation and NYC Parks, would like to thank its 2018 official sponsors, Air France, BNP Paribas, JC Decaux, and TV5 Monde.
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
The Fort Lee Film Commission is a department of the municipality of Fort Lee, NJ and is charged with the preservation and promotion of Fort Lee’s film history. Fort Lee is the first American film town, the location where the America film industry was born. From 1910 through World War I Fort Lee saw 17 studios in operation including the first studios of Universal and Fox. Fort Lee was the home to the first women filmmaker in cinema history, Alice Guy, who built and operated her Solax Studio in Fort Lee and here she produced, wrote and directed hundreds of films before women in this nation had a right to vote. Other studios included the French studio Eclair. The Fort Lee Film Commission preserves Fort Lee silent films and artifacts. The Municipality of Fort Lee will soon break ground on the Barrymore Film Center, a 250 seat cinema with attached museum and second floor archive. The BFC will be operated by the Fort Lee Film Commission. This film center will not only celebrate Fort Lee film history but world cinema history via exhibits, film retrospectives and the screenings of the work of new filmmakers from around the world. The famed Museum of the Moving Image of NYC is a consulting partner with the Fort Lee Film Commission re the Barrymore Film Center. www.fortleefilm.org / www.barrymorefilmcenter.org
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