The Francofilm Festival returns to the UAE to celebrate French language through cinema with a range of francophone films including from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Organised in the framework of the «Month of Francophonie» that is taking place worldwide every year in March, the Francofilm Festival is held in collaboration with the Embassies of France, Switzerland, Canada Luxembourg, and Belgium in the United Arab Emirates. This year, the festival will take place from 5 to 11 March 2021 at Cinema Akil in Dubai and will celebrate the French language and its diversity through cinema with a selection of different films echoing the theme of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN’s 2030 agenda.
For this 11th edition of the Festival, the Luxembourg Embassy has teamed up with the French Embassy & the Institut Français in Abu Dhabi to present the Luxembourgish co-production "Les Hirondelles de Kaboul". The screening of the movie will be on Saturday, 6 March 2021 at 4:30 PM and Tuesday, 9 March 2021 at 7:00 PM at Cinema Akil Dubai. You can book your tickets here.
A critically acclaimed film directed by Zabou Breitman and Éléa Gobé Mévellec, and screening for the first time in the UAE, the animation captures the poetry of Algerian author Yasmina Khadra's 2002 novel of the same name. Co-produced in Luxembourg, the graphically rich film portrays the stories of two couples living under Taliban rule in Kabul in the nineties and the ways their fates become intertwined by a dangerous act of humanity. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for a Cesar Award for Best Animated Film in 2020. It stars Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass as the voice of Mussarat.
The animated films sector has in fact grown rapidly in Luxembourg. Today, there are half a dozen animation studios active in the Grand Duchy. They either develop their own productions or co-productions or hire out their services to foreign productions. Support mechanisms and incentives for audiovisual production have worked well, thereby helping to establish a genuine industrial platform at a very high level.
The fact that Luxembourgish co-productions 'Song of the Sea' (Mélusine Productions) or 'Mr Hublot' (Zeilt Productions) were nominated for Academy Awards, with the latter winning Luxembourg's first Oscar in 2014, illustrates the distance the animation sector has covered in the country in just a few years' time. In fact, the TIME magazine recently selected their 10 best movies of the year - among which two Luxembourgish co-productions, including the animated feature film ‘Wolfwalkers’.
© Les Armateurs – Mélusine Production – Close Up Films – ARTE France Cinéma – RTS – KNM 2018