May 22, 2022

Cinéfranco explores immigrant journeys in 32 films


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TORONTO – In a special part of its festival, Stories of French-speaking immigrants, Cinéfranco offers a selection of 14 feature films and 18 short films on the theme of immigration, to be discovered from Monday and for a week.

“It’s programming with the widest possible spectrum both in historical contexts and in coverage of the globe,” says Bruno Boëz. The project’s programmer watched nearly 200 films only to retain about thirty in the end.

“The idea was to offer the widest possible cultural diversity with routes of immigrants, exile, integration, people who come from Africa, Oceania, Asia… But also to approach different periods. We are talking about the Civil War (with The Savage State by David Perrault), the Algerian War (with The treason of Philippe Faucon), of the Vietnam War…”

Through fiction, animation or even documentaries, Stories of French-speaking immigrants is an opportunity to immerse yourself in paths that are sometimes dark, sometimes luminous, and which revolve around resilience.

Bruno Boëz, project programmer, and Marcelle Lean, director of Cinéfranco. Source: Cinefranco website

“What is beautiful in this program”, adds Mr. Boëz, “is that we go through different sensations. We are moved in Amin with Emmanuelle Devos who embodies a loving heart, we celebrate solidarity with a touching Sandrine Bonaire in A season in France, we also laugh with Franck Gastambide in Damien wants to change the world.

Eight screenings will be followed by a panel discussion with the director: Adam by Simon Rouby, Square 35 by Eric Caravaca, like a lion by Samuel Collardey The Savage State by David Perrault, Mallé in his exile by Denis Gheerbrant, Paris the white by Lidia Terki, Tazzeka by Jean-Philippe Gaud and A season in France de Mahamat Saleh Haroun.

“Immigration, the search for identity, uneasiness… This is a theme that has come up a lot for 25 years and that the festival has existed”, explains Marcelle Lean, director of Cinéfranco. “This time, we took advantage of the support of the Ministry of Francophone Affairs to develop full-fledged programming. The idea germinated last summer when we offered films by directors Linda Bendali and Joseph Pitamba online.

The 14 feature films screened in Histoires d’immigrants francophones . ONFR+ Editing

The organizers believe that this special event will allow many Francophones in Ontario to identify with life paths that resemble them or echo their reality, in a province largely mixed by immigration.

“We have different cultures but what connects us and brings us together is the French language. Cinema allows us to change our view of the world and bring us closer around this common value of solidarity,” concludes Bruno Boëz.

If the online festival kicks off Monday, from $10 for a movie to $70 for ten, a feature film bonus is already accessible free of charge until midnight tomorrow: Fahim by Pierre François Martin-Laval with Gérard Depardieu, Isabelle Nanty, subtitled in English and French.