Make a date with Carole Bouquet in Singapore this December

17 11 2011

A treat awaits fans of French Cinema in Singapore this December when a rendezvous, not just with film, but also with celebrities of French Cinema, takes place at the Societe Generale Private Banking 1st Rendezvous With French Cinema. Organised by Unifrance, Institut Français and Alliance Française de Singapour, the festival will showcase the best of contemporary French Cinema, and will see over 20 films being screened at GV Vivocity, Lido, Cathay, and the Alliance Française Theatre.

Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo in 'The Artist', which will open the film festival.

The launch of the film festival, which will be held from 8 to 13 Dec 2011, was announced at a press conference yesterday. The conference, which was held at Societe Generale Private Banking’s offices in One Raffles Quay, was hosted by the model and TV personality Linda Black, who, together with a panel that made up of His Excellency Olivier Caron – the French Ambassador to Singapore, Mr Liew Choon Boon – Senior Director Industry and the Arts, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA), and Mr Olivier Gougeon – Regional CEO, Societe Generale Private Banking, provided details of the festival. H. E. Caron in his address, spoke of the festival, besides promoting French films to Asian audiences, also serving as a platform for networking and for collaboration between the French and Asian film industries. To facilitate this, the festival which is being launched in partnership with the Asian Television Forum (ATF), Asia’s leading content market with the ATF bringing in 12 sales agent companies from France. The Gala Opening of the festival will also see the launch of ATF 2011.

The gorgeous Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey in La fille du puisatier (The Well-Digger’s Daughter). The actress would be part of the artistic delegation that will be in Singapore for the festival.

To provide an appreciation of what will be on offer, trailers of selected movies that will be screened at the festival were shown at to the audience. This included what will be the opening movie of the festival, The Artist, a silent movie set in Hollywood between 1927 and 1931. The film is directed by Michel Hazanavicius and looks at the decline of a male star as the silent movie era made way for the talkies. The Artist stars Jean Dujardin, one of France’s leading actors, who took the accolade of the Best Actor Award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival for his role in the film.

The official festival trailer.

The festival will feature new film releases, some of which will be making their Asian premiere in Singapore. Amongst the films is a delightful one that is set in Provence around the time of the First World War, which I actually had the good fortune of watching on a flight back to Singapore very recently. The movie, The Well Digger’s Daughter, sees the directorial debut Daniel Auteuil, a celebrated French actor, in a remake of a 1940 Marcel Pagnol classic of the same title. Auteuil plays a well digger Pascal Amoretti in the movie which also sees the making of the very sweet Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey as an actress playing Amoretti’s daughter, Patricia. A synopsis of the movie as well as that of the others that will be screened at the festival can be found at this link. Other films that are making their premiere include Special Forces by director Stéphane Rybojad, Point Blank directed by Fred Cavayé, A Happy Event directed by Rémi Bezançon and Free Men by director Ismaïl Ferroukhi.

Point Blank directed by Fred Cavayé will be one of several films that will have their Asian premiere in Singapore.

The festival programme will also see the visit to Singapore of an artistic delegation which Bergès-Frisbey, Cavayé, Rybojad, Bezançon and Ferroukhi will be a part of. The delegation would be led by Carole Bouquet, the leading lady of French Cinema, to whom homage is being paid to during the festival through a retrospective segment that features five of her films. Bouquet would be a familiar face to Bond fans here for her role in the 1981 James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only. The delegation would also include directors Mathieu Demy of Americano and Rithy Panh of Shiiku, as well as actor Pio Marmaï from A Happy Event and actress Ludivine Sagnier of Swimming Pool fame who acts in the film The Beloved. The audience will have a chance to meet and interact with the members of the delegation during post-screening sessions – something certainly to be excited about! Tickets will be priced at $10 each. A list of films to be shown as well as a synopsis of each film can be found at this page (click here). More information on the festival, ticketing and schedule can be found at the festival’s website

A scene from 'A Happy Event'.

Carole Bouquet.

All images courtesy of uniFrance.

Societe Generale Private Banking 1st Rendezvous With French Cinema is proudly sponsored by Societe Generale Private Banking as Title Sponsor, with Perrier-Jouet as Official Champagne, Swarovski as Official Fashion Sponsor, Air France as Official Airline, Renault as Official Car and Angénieux for Official Film Industry Support. It will be an event of Encore, the European Season and Voilah!. The festival will run from 8 to 13 December 2011. More details about the festival can be found at

Update on Artistic Delegation, 1 Dec 2011:

Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey and Ludivine Sagnier are unable to come down to Singapore for the festival. Gilles Parquet-Brenner would be coming instead.