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French Film Festival, anniversary summer edition, to unfold July 1-11

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The French Film Festival (FFF) in Romania celebrates 25 years of existence with an anniversary summer edition that will take place July 1 - 11, in the cities of Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi, Timisoara, Brasov, Braila, Constanta, Sfantu Gheorghe, Sibiu and Suceava.

According to a press statement released by the French Institute on Tuesday, moviegoers are invited to this year's edition to watch the newest and most remarkable French films, both in cinemas and outdoors, in compliance with the COVID-19 health regulations, as well as on line, for the first time in the history of the festival.

Organisers have designed five sections of five films each. The festival also brings a lot of novelties for this edition.

A Young Talents - Feature Film competition showcases, as every year before, the new voices of French cinema, through five debut films that will compete for the Audience Award, this year consisting of a scholarship of 1,000 euros granted by the local French Institute to the winning film director, and also a financial support package granted by TV5 Monde to the Romanian distributor who will choose to bring the film to the silver screens of local cinemas.

For the first time, the competing films will also be available online on the Elvire Chez Vous platform between July 5 and 9, so that they can be watched and voted on by as large an audience as possible. National first time releases already confirmed in this section include "Slalom" by Charlene Favier and "Seize Printemps" (Spring Blossom) by Suzanne Lindon, both included in the official Cannes 2020 selection and in more than 20 other selections at major film festivals around the world, along with "Au nom de la terre" (In the Name of the Land), Edouard Bergeon's debut feature film.

This year, a new section is added to the feature film competition, the Young Talent Competition - Short Films, where five films with a special festival trek compete. A jury of three young film critics - Flavia Dima, Georgiana Musat and Victor Morozov - will pick the winner of this section, with the prize consisting of a creative residency at the Residence de Poche programme of the French Institute in Romania.

In the Films of the Year Panorama, the classic section that brings together the recent successes of French cinema, rewarded at festivals or public plebiscites, comedies will predominate. Among the first-time releases in Romania are "Adieu les cons" (Bye Bye Morons) by Albert Dupontel and "Un Triomphe" (The Big Hit) by Emmanuel Courcol.

Another new section is Carte Blanche for five Romanian filmmakers, in which Adina Pintilie, Radu Jude, Cristian Mungiu, Corneliu Porumboiu and Cristi Puiu each recommends a classical or more recent French film that has impressed or inspired them in a particular way.

Running in the fifth section, The Best of FFF, are five films from previous editions of the festival, that marked the debut of some directors who have established themselves in the meantime.

The films will be available before the actual festival, online, on the Elvire Chez Vous platform, for 24 hours each, viewable from all over Romania. The first is "Grand Central" by Rebecca Zlotowski, which premiered in Romania in 2014, in the 18th edition, when it also won the Audience Award.

The online streaming will start on April 30, at 18:00hrs, EEST, and tickets are available on Eventbook: https://eventbook.ro/film/bilete-elvire-chez-vous-grand-central.

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