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What to expect at Berlin’s French Film Week

Sofia Saa from French Film Week tells us why Berlin makes the best home for French cinema and what we can look forward to at this year's festival.

Still from À plein temps (2021), d. Eric Gravel. Image courtesy of French Film Week.

Berlin’s French Film Week has offered the city a chance to explore France’s cinematic world for 20 years now, screening films that wouldn’t otherwise get general distribution in Berlin.

What can we expect at French Film Week 2023?

French cinema in all its diversity and quality, and then some: exclusive films that are not yet planned for release, a whole range of activities for children, an exhibition dedicated to the magic of French animation and even some surprises to discover for free at the Maison de France.

What’s the festival’s origin story?

The festival was born at the turn of the century, in 2000. At the very beginning, the goal was to show the films that didn’t get a chance to be screened in Germany otherwise. Since then, we’ve worked tirelessly to build relationships with local partners to become the fully rounded showcase we are now.

What are you looking for when curating the event?

The French Film Week team, with Sofia Saa in centre front. Photo: Institut Français Deutschland

Our main goal is to satisfy everyone, which isn’t too hard when you have the richness of French cinema to pull from. We also want to have a good balance between established and new talents, be it for filmmakers or actors. And very importantly, we strive for gender balance and to give a platform to all voices, highlighting the wonderful diversity of the current landscape of French cinema.

What is it about Berlin that makes it an important city to share French cinema?

French cinema is well represented in Berlin, with places like the Cinema Paris and City Kino Wedding. For us, it is about supporting the upcoming films but also showcasing the already-existing Francophile scene in Berlin.

🇫🇷 The Exberliner guide to French Berlin

Still from Le Règne Animal (2023), d. Thomas Cailley. Image courtesy of French Film Week.

Do you have any film or guest highlights for us to look out for this year?

Take a week off and pretend the sad Berlin winter isn’t happening by attending all our screenings!  If you can’t, Le Règne Animal is a fantastic film in all senses of the word. À plein temps has amazing music, and we are very happy to showcase the newest film from Catherine Breillat. Linda veut du poulet is a gem of an animation film that is currently a sensation in the festival circuit, and Les Miens has Roschdy Zem on both sides of the camera, which is always a delight. Also, you don’t want to miss Noémie Lvovsky’s retrospective at Arsenal Kino.