Variety Is The Spice Of Francophone Film Festival

Le secteur culturel de l’Association franco-yukonnaise is bringing north some of the greatest cinematographic creations of the year in the world of francophone film, Canadian and foreign.

From Oct. 16 to 19, the Francophone Film Festival is coming to Whitehorse.

Once a year, this event provides the rare opportunity to view new, independent French films and classics of francophone cinema which are normally inaccessible in the viewing rooms of the Yukon.

This is an exciting time for Canadian Cinema and so the choice of films for the festival was not easy. In the last few years, emerging francophone films are being discovered that are more impressive than those that have come before.

More than 25 short and feature length films will be shown at the Beringia Centre and there will be a special viewing at the Alpine Bakery on Sunday, Oct. 19.

This year, the festival’s theme is “Variety”. There will be documentaries, comedies, dramas, animations and family films as well as a series of short films presented by the National Film Board of Canada and the Society of the Development of Cultural Enterprise.

On Friday, Oct. 17, Marie-Andrée Fortier will present a short film entitled, L’Histoire de l’ile de Fort George on the forced relocation of the inhabitants of Fort George Island to the new city of Chissasibi, Quebec.

Next up will be the feature film of the evening, Ce qu’il faut pour vivre, a censored Quebecois film which tells the story of Tivii, the father of an Inuit family from Baffin Island forced to leave the Island for a Quebecois hospital in order to be treated for tuberculosis in the 1950s.

Cut off from his culture, his language and his family, Tivii finds the strength to heal thanks to a nurse and a young Inuit man who is also under care.

Benoit Pilon, the director of the film will be a special guest of the Francophone Film Festival. Pilon will speak about his experience filming this project followed by open discussion after the presentation of the film.

The francophone of the Yukon are not the only people who can take advantage of this four-day festival. Four of the most important films of the festival have English sub-titles: Pour la suite du monde by Pierre Perrault, a 1962 documentary on porpoise hunting on Coudre Island; the treasure of Quebecois Cinema Ce qu’il faut pour vivre, La Brunante and Maman est chez le coiffeur by Léa Pool, a film celebrated by the public at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

The National Film Board of Canada is an important partner in the programming of this festival. Two National Film Board films will be presented by the francophone women’s group, Les EssentiElles: Sexy Inc, a documentary concerned with the hyper-sexualization of young women in youth-directed media; and the documentary Policières: en mission de paix, a film that follows two peacekeepers on a special United Nations mission in Timor.

The NFB also presents a series of short animation films as well as a portion of the programming for the night of short films Saturday, Oct. 18.

Even as the Quebecois films steal the spotlight with films such as Le Banquet, La Brunante (another presentation by Les EssentiElles) and the special presentation of La Guerre des Tuques, a dramatic comedy from the ’80s, fans of foreign films will find the French film 99F and the Algerian production La Maison jaune (presented in Arabic, sub-titles in French).

But first of all, the opening of the Francophone Film Festival will have a humourous start: a traditional improvisation show and cocktails will get the ball rolling at 6 p.m. just before the festival’s debut film at 7 p.m., Cruising Bar 2.

Tickets for the film festival are on sale at the Francophone Center and at the Alpine Bakery.

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