2016 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Jaclyn Jose hugs Director Brillante Mendoza upon receiving award. Daughte Andi Eigenmann looks on

French film festival, a delightful respite from the toxic political exercise

MARTIN Macalintal, audiovisual attaché at the French Embassy in Manila, might as well have taped his answer to the question, “Will Ma’ Rosa be shown during this year’s festival?”

That was the question everybody asked Macalintal at last Wednesday’s press preview of the 21st Film Festival held at My Cinema in Greenbelt 3 in Makati.

Macalintal’s answer: “We are working it out.”

But for sure Jaclyn Jose, the best actress awardee at the recent Cannes Film Festival for her gripping performance as a mother who found herself caught in the web of police corruption after she was caught dealing with illegal drugs to support her family, will grace the red carpet that will be rolled out on June 8 at the Bonifacio High Street Central to mark the start of the weeklong festival.

Jose is the first Filipina to have won the award in the prestigious festival.

Her daughter, Andi Eigenmann, who is also cast in Ma’ Rosa, and who also made her presence felt in the festival with the exquisite gowns, will also grace the occasion.

In her thank you speech at the Cannes festival, an overwhelmed Jose disarmingly shared that the main reason she came to Cannes was so that her daughter can experience walking the red carpet in the world’s film capital.

The multi-awarded director Brillante Mendoza, of course, is expected to be in the June 8 gala event.

French Ambassador Thierry Mathou said “By giving the Best Performance by an Actress Award to Jaclyn Jose for her r9le in Ma’ Rosa, the jury showed the wealth of creation in the Philippines.”

That is what this year’s festival will underscore, as it had been doing the past years.

In his remarks at the open forum last Wednesday, French Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Laurent Legodec said there are many things common between France and the Philippines, more than we are aware of.

“Our countries don’t know enough how much they have in common and how they are in the same in many ways,” he said adding that this can be seen in the films shown in the festival.

Yves Zoberman, counselor for cooperation and cultural affairs, who has been in the Philippines for seven months said he has learned a lot about Filipino’s way of life, way of thinking from the films by Filipino filmmakers, among them Mendoza.

He expects closer collaboration between French and Filipino filmmakers.

Two films will be shown on June 12 as part of the festival: Lawrence Fajardo’s Imbisibol and Carl Joseph Papa’s animated film, Manang Biring.

A special screening of French director’s Maiwenn’s film, Mon Roi, is another highlight of this year’s festival. French actress Emmanuelle Bercot was given the Best Actress Award at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

At last Wednesday’s preview, the featured film was Claude Lelouch’s Une+Une, starring the irresistible Jean Dujardin and Elizabeth Zylberstein. It was enjoyable.

Participating cinemas for the June 8 to 14 festival are Greenbelt3 and the Bonifacio High Street cinemas. Similar to last year, a special price of P100 will be charged to cover the operational costs of the theaters. Tickets may be purchased at the cinema lobby of online though www.sureseats.com.

After the Metro Manila run, the films will be brought to Cebu, June 22 to 28 and Davao, June 28 to 30.

For more details and the screening schedule. Please visit www.frenchfilmfest.com

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