Thursday | September 21, 2017

The 6-week long festival will reach 3 cities this year via an exciting programme of cinema, music, art & architecture, gastronomy, and more.

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Kuala Lumpur, 17 April 2017 — Entering its 16th edition, Le French Festival (LFF) 2017 (formerly named the French Art & Film Festival) is an eagerly anticipated event on the annual Malaysian cultural agenda. With a 15-year track record of providing audiences in Malaysia with an immersive experience into French culture, the festival continues to grow in both audience reach as well as programme variety.

Each year, the festival showcases a unique offering, highlighting current cultural trends and topics direct from France. And from 4th May to 18th June 2017, audiences in Malaysia can look forward to a selection of the latest French films, live shows with a number of visiting French artists, exhibitions, events in gastronomy, and more. With most of the events happening in the Klang Valley, the festival also hosts a number of events in its second home of Penang, with this year’s LFF even stretching east to reach Kota Kinabalu.

Organised by the Alliance Française (AF) and the Embassy of France in Malaysia, and supported by the Institut Français, the festival is, as it has been since its debut, presented by Martell. With the roots and cornerstone of the festival being the Film Festival in partnership with Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC), this year marks the first time that the Film Festival will be presented in 3 cities (Klang Valley, Penang and KK). Besides celebrating French culture, the festival also aims to promote and support French trade and tourism.

Along with the carefully curated programme for LFF that always offers something for all ages, public interest in French culture in itself spans across various demographics. With an ever-growing audience, the 2016 festival attracted up to 12,500 spectators (an increase of 3,000 from the last edition), with up to 6,000 cinema goers also showing an increase of 11% in box office seats from the year before.

The festival’s diverse fan-base consists of Malaysians as well as locally-based French and international residents, tourists visiting Malaysia during the festival period, expats, tertiary students, children and general culture aficionados of all ages and backgrounds. Art-enthusiasts, cinema-buffs, music-lovers and foodies alike can expect to continue to have their senses stimulated by this year’s LFF, which will even extend to new and unique categories such as performance arts and architecture.

Le French Festival 2017 LINEUP

CATEGORY: FILM FESTIVAL

  • French Film Festival with Golden Screen Cinemas; Klang Valley, Penang & KK
  • Meet & Greet with Gustave Kervern (French actor & filmmaker) at GSC Pavilion KL

FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL

City Participating GSCinemas Dates Duration
Klang Valley Pavilion KL

MidValley Megamall

1Utama Shopping Centre

4-21 May 2017 18 days
Penang Gurney Plaza 25 May-4 June 2017 11 days
Kota Kinabalu Suria Sabah 8-11 June 2017 4 days

As always, the French Film Festival will provide staple entertainment for the duration of the festival, showcasing only the latest releases in French cinema. With GSC’s reach as the largest cinema exhibitor in Malaysia, the Film Festival will make its usual stops in the Klang Valley and Penang before making its exciting debut in Kota Kinabalu this year.

Proving that movies make an effective medium for human emotion to transcend language, this year’s LFF will present a number of heart-warming comedies and dramas, making up some 17 recent titles from French cinema. Among some of the titles* we can look forward to this year include

  • Family comedy “The Fabulous Patars (Cigarettes et chocolat chaud)” starring Gustave Kervern,
  • “One Man and His Cow (La Vache)”,
  • “Rosalie Blum”,
  • “Our Futures (Nos Futurs)”,
  • “Chocolat (Monsieur Chocolat)” starring Omar Sy (of Intouchables fame), and
  • the biopic “The Odyssey (L’Odyssée)” based on the life of maritime explorer and conservationist Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

As with previous showings, the films will be screened in French with English subtitles and are subject to approval from the Censorship Board of Malaysia. Tickets will be easily available via GSC box office; and simple browse over to http://www.gsc.com.my for showtimes and online booking. True international film buffs can also keep a lookout to win tickets via media contests and giveaways.
*Trailers for the films can be found online on Youtube and via LFF’s official website.

MEET & GREET: GUSTAVE KERVERN (FRENCH ACTOR & FILMMAKER) 

  • Friday, 5 May 2017 at GSC Pavilion KL; 9pm


How often do you go to the cinema and actually get to meet the actor in the film you just watched? Cinema-goers with a ticket for the Friday night (5 May)-showing of the heart-warming family comedy “The Fabulous Patars” at GSC Pavilion KL, will have a chance to not only meet but also ask questions to visiting French actor Gustave Kervern, who will be in KL to meet and greet with fans.

“The Fabulous Patars” follows the comedic experiences of Denis (played by Gustave Kervern), an overworked single father struggling to bring up his boisterous daughters. An accomplished and beloved member of the French film community, the actor, director, producer and screenwriter has received numerous awards and nominations including from the Sundance Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, César Awards (French equivalent of Oscars), Cannes Film Festival and Venice Film Festival.

CATEGORY: LIVE EVENTS & SHOWS
A yearly highlight of LFF, visiting French artists will once again provide stimulating live entertainment via a number of concerts and shows.

Category Visiting Artist(s) Venue, City Date(s)
Music Pianist Maxime Zecchini KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
Gurney Plaza Penang
Hotel Equatorial Penang
31 May 2017
2 June 2017
3 June 2017
Music

Fête de la Musique with singer Charles-Baptiste

Mai Bar Aloft Hotel, KL

Publika, Kuala Lumpur
Gurney Plaza, Penang

16 June 2017
17 June 2017
18 June 2017
Dance

Cie Uzumaki Dance Company

MaTiC, Kuala Lumpur 26 May 2017
Performance Arts

Cie Non Nova Company

Publika, Kuala Lumpur 10 June 2017

MUSIC

  • Pianist Maxime Zecchini
    • Wednesday, 31 May 2017 at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) KLCC; 8pm
    • Friday, 2 June 2017 at Gurney Plaza Penang; 7pm
    • Saturday, 3 June 2017 at Hotel Equatorial Penang; 7:30pm

Born in Paris in 1979, accomplished pianist Maxime Zecchini earned his Diplôme National d’Études Supérieures Musicales from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique of Lyon. He has played in various esteemed halls around the world from France and around Europe, to Africa and Asia; and has orchestrated music for television and even directed musicals.

Fascinated by his study of composer Ravel’s “Concerto pour la main gauche (Piano Concerto for the Left Hand)”, Maxime recorded the first anthology of pieces by renowned composers that were composed specially for the left hand.

Classical music fans ought to not miss this musical talent as he plays with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) for one night only. Presented in two parts, the first will feature Maxime playing pieces written or adapted for the left hand by Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Ravel and Camille Saint Saëns; and followed by the accompaniment of the MPO playing slow movements of Mozart concertos.

More information about the pianist can be found via his website http://www.maximezecchini.com and tickets for his concerto at DFP will be on sale at RM60 via the DFP box office and online booking.

MUSIC

  • Sessions with DJ/Singer Charles-Baptiste
    • DJ Set: Friday night, 16 June 2017 at Mai Bar, Aloft Hotel rooftoop, KL; 7:30pm
      Tickets priced at RM30 (RM25 for AFKL members) including one drink; pre-purchase at AFKL reception or directly at the door on event day
    • Fête de la Musique Concert:
      • Klang Valley: Saturday, 17 June 2017 at Publika, KL; 7:30pm (Free entry)
      • Penang: Sunday, 18 June 2017 at Gurney Plaza, Penang; 7pm (Free entry)

The global phenomenon known as Fête de la Musique (“Music Festival”) is an all-day musical celebration that originated in France in 1981. A brainchild of the French Ministry of Culture, the occasion which is also known as “Make Music Day” (as Faites de la Musique is a homophone of the festival that translates to “make music”) was originally a celebration on the days of the solstice.

This annual music festivity is now celebrated in over 700 cities in 120 countries around the world, including Kuala Lumpur and Penang here in Malaysia. The festival carries out two objectives to promote music: to encourage amateur and professional musicians to perform in the streets, and to make all genres of music accessible to the public (with the encouragement that concerts are free).

With over 150 concerts and music festivals to his name, French pop-alternative singer Charles-Baptiste will be in KL for two performances that are both open to members of the public: enjoy a “French Classics DJ Set with a view” where he will spin a 100% francophone DJ set featuring his selection of new and old French music at the trendy rooftop of Mai Bar at Aloft Hotel, in KL Sentral area.

Klang Valley residents will get to see Charles-Baptiste once again the next day at the free-entry Fête de la Musique concert alongside other musicians at The Square in Publika, KL. Signifying the final event of LFF 2017, Penang will have its own edition of Fête de la Musique also that weekend at Gurney Plaza on Sunday evening.

More information about the artist can be found via his online pages including
https://www.facebook.com/charlesbaptisteofficiel , @charlesbaptist on Twitter and the
CharlesBaptisteVEVO account on Youtube.

DANCE

  • Sadako by Cie Uzumaki Dance Company

Friday, 26 May 2017 at Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTiC) on Jalan Ampang, KL; 8:30pm

The dance item is a must-have in the annual LFF agenda, with this year’s programme extending to connect with the local dance scene.

Uzumaki Dance Company was created in 2011, and finds its artistic dimension in its mixture and fusion of the traditional and the fresh, the old and the new; and in the merger of extremes such as East-West, laughter-tears, and slow-fast. It is this dynamism of spirals that evolves Valentine Nagata-Ramos’s choreographic search.

In her first solo piece Sadako, Valentine demonstrates her progress in her quest by mixing butō (Japanese dance theatre), hip hop and origami (paper folding art), demonstrated by the presence of paper cranes on stage. Sadako will feature two 25-minute parts; the first to be performed by the Malaysian dancers who would have attended Valentine’s masterclass earlier that week, and the second part to be performed by Valentine herself.

Valentine will be also conducting workshops with local dance company Kwang Tung. The contemporary troupe will share the stage with their own piece before Valentine’s Sadako.

Tickets are priced at RM40 (RM35 for AFKL members) and can be purchased online via ticketpro.com.my .
http://www.ticketpro.com.my/jnp/festivals/2101855-Sadako-by-Compagnie-Uzumaki-2017.html

More information regarding Cie Uzumaki as well as Kwang Tung dance company can be found on their website(s) and social media pages:

http://www.compagnie-uzumaki.com/en
https://www.facebook.com/compagnie.uzumaki

www.facebook.com/kwangtungdancecompany

PERFORMANCE ARTS

·         L’après-midi d’un Foehn (The Afternoon of a Foehn) by Compagnie Non Nova

Saturday, 10 June 2017 at Blackbox Publika, KL; two shows at 4pm and 6pm

Commissioned on the theme of ‘movement’ for the Natural History Museum of Nantes, France in October 2008, the performance of L’après-midi d’un Foehn includes a whimsical choreography of puppets with puppeteers, a ventilation system with the props of plastic bags, and a number of other apparatus including a coat, a pair of scissors, a roll of sticky tape, and an umbrella.

Sub-titled “An Unexpected Puppet Ballet”; this kids and family-friendly show comes to life via the manipulation of the plastic bags, with the adventure taking place by modifying the direction of the vortex. A pas de deux here, and a burst of fireworks there; witness the evolution and transformation of the plastic bags as they take a human-like form while accompanied by the music of Claude Debussy.

Tickets are priced at RM27 (RM22 for AFKL members and children aged 12 and below) and can be purchased online via ticketpro.com.my
http://www.ticketpro.com.my/jnp/theatre/2101890-Afternoon-Of-A-Foehn-By-Companie-Non-Nova-An-Unexpected-Puppet-Ballet-2017.html

The show’s choreographer Phia Ménard founded Compagnie Non Nova in 1998 with the desire to approach juggling from a different angle, and established the precept of “non nova, sed nove” (translating to “not new things, but in a new way”). More information about the company can be found via its website and social media pages:

www.cienonnova.com/en
https://www.facebook.com/cienonnova
with clips from L’après-midi d’un Foehn viewable via Youtube search.

CATEGORY: EXHIBITIONS

Category Title Venue, City Date(s)
Cinema Gaumont: 120 Years of Cinema Alliance Française, KL
Gurney Plaza, Penang
4-28 May 2017
31 May-18 June 2017
Cinema Virtual Reality:
“The Cinema of Tomorrow”
Alliance Française, KL 10 May 2017
Architecture

Jacques Ferrier: A Vision for the Sensual City
– including a student conference with Jacques Ferrier

Whitebox Publika, Kuala Lumpur 18 May-1 June 2017


CINEMA

 

  • Gaumont: 120 years of Cinema
    • 4-28 May 2017 at Alliance Française (AFKL) on Lorong Gurney, Kuala Lumpur
    • 31 May–18 June 2017 at Gurney Plaza, Penang

Get educated in the history of French cinema by going on a memorable journey with the renowned film studio Gaumont. Founded 120 years ago by the engineer-turned-inventor and industrialist pioneer of the motion picture industry Léon Gaumont, the studio was the very first film company in the world and paved the way for other studios (such as Pathé, Titanus, Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures) to grow the film industry.

Be transported through time as you walk through the exhibition that will display posters and film excerpts from the 120-year period. Among the movies featured in exhibition will include:

  • “The Great Dictator” (1940) starring Charlie Chaplin,
  • German art-house horror film “Nosferatu the Vampyre” (1979) by Werner Herzog, and
  • Franco-Italian action flick “Nikita” (1990) by director Luc Besson and starring Jean Reno.

Till today, Gaumont along with its international subsidiaries plays a major role in the global entertainment industry via the production and distribution of films and even television series. Visit http://www.gaumont.fr for more information on the prestigious film studio.

The exhibition in will be open to members of the public for free in accordance with venue opening hours:

  • AFKL: 9am-6pm Tuesday to Friday; and 9am-5pm on Saturday.
  • Gurney Plaza: 10am to 10pm daily.

 

CINEMA

  • Virtual Reality: “The Cinema of Tomorrow”

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at Alliance Française (AFKL) on Lorong Gurney, KL; 8-10pm
Tickets priced at RM15 each (RM10 for AFKL members); pre-purchase at AFKL reception or directly at the door on event day

Enjoy an evening of new technologies in cinema. With France at the forefront of cutting-edge innovations, LFF is the perfect occasion to highlight some of the recent developments in the fields of virtual reality and cinema.

Participate in an exceptional and unprecedented evening at AFKL, as you challenge your senses with various workshops involving interactive cinema, virtual reality films, an immersive sound room, and even try your hand at designing a virtual reality cardboard mask. Come and enjoy an evening with other techy and film-enthusiast friends, and even mingle with fellow guests at the AFKL’s lovely café Chez Leoniel that will be open for the occasion.

ARCHITECTURE

  • Jacques Ferrier: A Vision for the Sensual City
  • ay-1 June 2017 at Whitebox Publika, Kuala Lumpur

Free entry; 10am-6pm from Monday-Friday

  • Conference with Jacques Ferrier [invite-only]

Thursday, 18 May 2017 at Whitebox Publika, Kuala Lumpur

Esteemed French architect and urban planner Jacques Ferrier has worked both in France and internationally, and has authored and contributed to a number of articles in the field of architecture. Among the notable work by the Jacques Ferrier Architecture Firm include

  • the French Pavilion for the World Expo in Shanghai 2010 which was named “The Sensual City”,
  • the Beijing International French School, China,
  • the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France, and
  • the headquarters for French publisher Hachette Livre in Vanves, France.

The exhibition at Whitebox will showcase major architectural projects by the architect, with each project displayed with scenography in a unique box system. Furthermore, a private conference will allow architecture- and art-lovers to get up close and personal with the man himself to discover more about his inspirations and humanistic vision for tomorrow’s cities, as well as further understand his concept of a ‘Sensual City’. Get to know the visionary a little better via his website http://www.jacques-ferrier.com/en
The exhibition at Whitebox will be open for public viewing for free from 10am-6pm from Monday-Friday (as per MapKL’s opening hours), while the invite-only conference is expected to be attended by members of the Malaysian Institute of Architects (Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM)), members of the architectural industry and architecture students.

CATEGORY: GASTRONOMY & LIFESTYLE

Event Venue Dates / Times Price per seat
Mixology workshop Como, TREC KL Saturday, 13 May 2017; 7:30pm RM90
Wine Tasting with Chateau de Lafont AFKL Tuesday, 16 May 2017; 7:30pm RM70
Champagne & Cognac Tastings with Martell Nathalie Gourmet Studio, KL Tuesday, 13 June 2017; 7:30pm RM70
Champagne & Cognac Tastings with Martell French Feast Restaurant & Bar, KL Thursday, 15 June 2017; 7:30pm RM70
Cooking Class with Chez Leoniel – De Dietrich AFKL Wednesday, 24 May 2017; 7:30pm RM90
Cooking Class with Full Course Kitchen Studio Full Course Studio, PJ Thursday, 1 June 2017; 7:30pm RM90
Cine-diner with Nathalie Gourmet Nathalie Gourmet Studio, KL Tueday, 6 June 2017; 8pm RM220
Flea Market / Garage Sale AFKL Saturday, 20 May 2017;
10am-5pm
Free entry

No full sensory festival experience would be complete without a treat for the tastebuds. Indulge in authentic French cuisine without the travel to Europe, as LFF 2017 serves up a number of gastronomical events.

Leading the tasting sessions, presenting sponsor Martell as one of the greatest and oldest of cognac houses in the world, is known for its role in gastronomy and craftsmanship. Take a tour around Kuala Lumpur with the various sessions that will be held at hip and swanky dining spots around the city. Discover the various approaches on alcoholic beverages such as how to incorporate it into your cooking; and receive expert sommelier advice and tasting notes including how to pair food with your alcohol of choice, and you’ll be sure to impress at your next dinner party at home.

A first-time, one-night only treat for the senses (especially the taste buds), is the “cine-dinner” event with Nathalie Gourmet Studio, KL; whereby guests will watch a foodie film while enjoying a menu inspired by the dishes they see on screen! Featuring the inspiration of the famous French film “The Big Restaurant (Le Grand Restaurant)” directed by Jacques Besnard, the menu will offer 10 dishes of authentic French cuisine including bouillabaisse and Pear Belle Helene.

Another favourite returning event is the Flea Market held on the grounds of Alliance Française on Lorong Gurney, KL. As always, expect plenty of delicious French and international snacks to be savoured among the variety of market goods. The market is open the public, so whether you come for the bargains or just for the opportunity to socialize, you can enjoy the laidback garage sale atmosphere featuring new and pre-loved items, while also being entertained by amateur performers and sketchers.

Foodies wanting to save a seat at the various tasting events will be able to do so by emailing in to AFKL. Tasting events will be priced at RM70 per person; cooking classes and the mixology workshop will be priced at RM90, and the exclusive cine-dinner will be priced at RM220. AFKL is also taking reservations for stall rentals at the flea market. Email info@lefrenchfestival.com.my to get in touch.

Save Your Seat: Contact LFF 2017

Expect Le French Festival 2017 to offer something for everyone, as a culturally-invigorating experience not to be missed. Follow both LFF’s and AFKL’s pages to find out more about LFF 2017!

Le French Festival

  • Official website: lefrenchfestival.com.my
  • Facebook page: facebook.com/lefrenchfestivalmy or search for ‘Le French Festival – MY’
  • Film festival tickets via GSC box office
  • Email for other festival events, bookings and general queries: info@lefrenchfestival.com.my
  • On social media? Contribute to or follow LFF’s hashtag #frenchfestivalmy

Alliance Française Kuala Lumpur

Le French Festival 2017 is made possible with the collaboration of presenter Martell and film festival partner Golden Screen Cinemas, along with the support of sponsors and partners:

LFF2017 Sponsors

Martell, Aésop, BNP Paribas, Brandt Malaisie, Capitaland Gurney Plaza, Château de Lafont, DCNS, DS Automobiles, Escatec, Hotel Equatorial Penang, Intermovers.

LFF2017 Partners

Golden Screen Cinemas, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture in Malaysia, Astro, A-List, AGS four winds, Aloft hotel, Business France, Como, Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry France-Malaysia (CCIFM), Institut Français, Pavilion, Publika, MaTiC.

Access LFF2017’s full online press kit at: http://bit.ly/2k4ey4p