PLEIN LES YEUX - Frans Film Festival: how it all started
Around thirty French films are released in the Netherlands every year: big commercial releases with famous actors and actresses or art-house films directed by acclaimed filmmakers. Those films are only the tip of the iceberg of French cinema today and can only partially showcase the richness and diversity of French cinema as a whole. With more than 250 films produced in France every year many of the most thought-provoking and artistically audacious ones have simply no chance to be seen in the Netherlands, including some of the films most highly praised by the French and international press.
That is why PLEIN LES YEUX – Frans Film Festival started: a new event was needed that would show these films to Dutch audiences and actively promote the best French independent cinema and culture. A multifaceted event that will not be driven by commercial means but that would instead aim to celebrate cinema, art and creativity.
Since August 2014 we have been enthusiastically working on launching the festival and it has been a whirlwind of activities! The positive feedback the project have received from all directions has been amazing and convinced us even more than our idea was right and such an event can flourish.
The festival we want to establish will be a celebration of French culture and "art de vivre" with a program including two competitions, various thematic sections, an artist in focus retrospective and exhibition (dedicated to Bertrand Bonello), a book presentation, food, drinks, special decors and meetings with directors, actors and other special guests. PLEIN LES YEUX - Frans Film Festival will be a 360 degrees experience!
Very soon we realised that we needed to expand the festival to French-speaking cinema from around the world including films produced in French-speaking countries such as Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, several countries of Africa and Asia. So many impressive independent films are produced in these countries but are hard to be seen outside their lands of origin. PLEIN LES YEUX will actively showcase them!
To help these films to reach as many eyes and ears as possible we have created two ad-hoc competition programs (French and French-speaking). The winners of both competitions will be screened by various Dutch cinemas after the festival to expand the audience of the festival beyond Amsterdam. We want to reach the largest audience possible and share with them our passion for the films we love!
PLEIN LES YEUX - Frans Film Festival: our program at a glance
- French competition: 7 premiere films
- French-speaking competition: 7 premiere films
- Focus on Bertrand Bonello: film retrospective, exhibition and masterclass
- Experimental cinema, "On the edge": 3 to 5 premiere films
- Kids program: 2 films
- Thematic program - "Culinaire cinéma": 2 premiere films
- Special program for French-language pupils in high-school and middle high-school: 2 films
- Opening and closing films: 2 films in avant-premiere
+ Meeting and book-signing with a writer, meeting with filmmakers, actors, actresses, French wines and delicacies.
+ The audience will get a chance to win prizes by voting for their favourite films of the French and French-speaking competitions.
PLEIN LES YEUX - Frans Film Festival: what we want to achieve
Our mission is to spread French and French-speaking cinema and culture in the Netherlands!
- We will produce an ambitious program that inspires and involves direct participation of the audience.
- We will bring to Amsterdam the best of French and French-speaking cinema: feature films and documentaries, films in premiere that would not be possible to see in the Netherlands otherwise.
- We will actively promote cultural dialogue with discussions and masterclasses with directors, actors, actresses, writers, artists and guests of the festival.
- The festival will include cultural education of pupils and teenagers.
PLEIN LES YEUX - Frans Film Festival: practical details
- When: 3 - 7 June 2015
- Where: FilmHallen in Amsterdam
PLEIN LES YEUX - Frans Film Festival: Who’s behind?
Isabelle Nobile has been living in the Netherlands since October 2013. In France, she was a film distributor for Capricci Films, an independant producer, distributor and publisher of books and dvd’s. She also handled part of the distribution of Belgian distributor Numéro Zéro.
Christian Pazzaglia has been in the Netherlands for almost 15 years. He first came as an Erasmus student but loved the country so much he decided to come back! He is an independent programmer based in Amsterdam.
We met in August 2014 thanks to one of the programs Christian was curating for the Institut Français: Masters of French cinema.