French Toast: Bon Cinéma!

The Francophone Film Festival 2010 is your chance to check out the best Francophone cinema from Canada and Europe.

From Oct. 14 to 17, more than 25 films will be screened at the Old Fire Hall. Presented by the cultural branch of the Association franco-yukonnaise, it’s the only annual Francophone film festival in the Yukon.

A varied program means there’s something for everyone, and many of the films will be subtitled in English.

The National Film Board of Canada is always a very big part of the festival. This year, three new releases from the NFB will be presented: Visionnaires planétaires, Wapikoni:Escale à Kitcisakik and Turning 32.

In Visionnaires planétaires (Earth Keepers), we meet activists and workers who make positive changes for our planet.

Wapikoni:Escale à Kitcisakik(Encounter in Kitcisakik) features a trip to the Kitcisakik community in the heart of Québec’s boreal forest; the film was made by young Aboriginal filmmakers as part of the Wapikoni Mobile program.

Turning 32 is a documentary followup to the 1992 television series Turning 16. What became of these five teenagers, now 32 years old and living in Jamaica, Brazil, Thailand, Niger and India?

This year, the festival also highlights short films from SODEC, NFB and independent filmmakers.

These Canadian shorts are surprisingly dark and sometimes totally absurd or grim, but always very interesting in the way they often get the most unexpected stories. It’s the best way to discover the new crop of up-and-coming directors.

Speaking of emerging directors, the Francophone Film Festival also presents the movie New Denmark by Rafaël Ouellet, an independent filmmaker from Québec. New Denmark explores a quantity of emotions without words, inspired by the silence and slowness of Québec cinema of the ’70s.

Francophone documentaries from B.C., New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories will also be screened: Branché arbres, My Ancestor’s House and Ouest qu’on parle français?, respectively.

The festival doesn’t forget European cinema lovers with the Belgian documentary Male Domination, exploring the problem of the masculine domination several years after the feminist revolution in Europe and Canada.

The French production The Concert features Mélanie Laurent (Je vais bien ne t’en fais pas and Inglourious Basterds). Director Léa Pool, well-known for the film Maman est chez le coiffeur, is back with a Québec–Luxembourg production, La dernière fugue (The Last Escape), the story of a family’s struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

In Canada, Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother) is back with Les amours imaginaires (Heartbeats), about a romantic threesome among young adults. This film explores similar themes to his first movie: personalities, pain and communication problems in human relations.

However, this time around Dolan brings something new: more silence, the omnipresence of the soundtrack and a poetry in the characters’ dialogue. The film is a wonderful idea: trying to illustrate everything you can imagine from the person you love.

Catherine Martin is also back after Dans les villes and Mariages, addressing how to survive the death of a child with Trois temps après la mort d’Anna (Mourning for Anna).

So from Oct. 14 to 17, don’t plan anything, just make yourself comfortable and watch the screen!

Virginie Hamel is a regular contributor to What’s Up Yukon who keeps tab on events in Yukon’s francophone community.

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