First Renault French Film Festival set to run in March

Written by James MacGregor on . Posted in Festivals

The biggest and starriest showcase of French cinema ever seen will be presented around the UK during March 2006 - in both independent and multiplex cinemas.

The Renault French Film Festival 2006 - a new fusion of two events that previously promoted French cinema in the UK - will deliver an array of films in nine key locations: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.

The French Film Festival UK, which began 14 years ago in a modest way in two Scottish cities, has gradually grown to encompass venues in major cities and embraced a wide spectrum of French cinema from big hits to cutting edge new directors and retrospectives. For three years the Renault French Film Season had been promoting with UniFrance a selection of French films with UK distribution to be released nationally over the months ahead.

Now repackaged as the Renault French Film Festival,impact is expected to be even greater, with titles featuring stellar names like Gérard Depardieu, Daniel Auteuil, Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling, Emmanuelle Béart and Jeanne Moreau, several of whom are expected to put in personal appearances.

The festival is presided over by honorary patron Sylvain Chomet, the Oscar-nominated creator of Belleville Rendez-vous, who is working in the UK currently in another example of Franco-British fusion in action. He describes the selection as "a veritable embarras de richesse".

Richard Mowe, director of the French Film Festival UK, said the partnership would revitalise both events and avoid confusion in the minds of the public. "Audiences did not understand why there were two events and mixed them up. It makes sense to make an even bigger splash together - and we're looking forward to unveiling this reinvigorated programme."