Cinefranco 2023 - March Version

CINEFRANCO Returns March 2023 with A Special Program


Please see Cinefranco’s announcement below regarding their March lineup to celebrate Francophonie (world) month.  The celebration kicks off Mar 8 (International Women’s Day) with special screening, TO Premiere of SimonVeil A Woman of the Century at the Varsity.  


For more details, check the website at



Simone Veil A Woman of the Century
(Simone Le Voyage du siècle)
launches Cinéfranco’s celebration of

Francophonie 2023 throughout March


Lineup also includes a youth program, online screenings and a special screening of

The Kitchen Brigade/La Brigade at The Royal

Simone A Woman of the Century/Simone Le Voyage du siècle
Varsity Cinemas, Wed Mar 8, 7pm


This is the most viewed film in France in 2022, where half a million attended the film’s opening week and over 1.5 million tickets have been sold. 

Director Olivier Dahan (La Vie en Rose, Grace of Monaco) brings the extraordinary life of beloved French feminist icon Simone Veil to the screen in his moving and sweeping feature starring Elsa Zylberstein (An Irrepressible Woman) and Rebecca Marder (A Radiant Girl).  A holocaust survivor, Veil’s pioneering career in politics including her successful campaign to legalize abortion in France as Health Minister and her role as the first president of the European Parliament.

Simone Veil offers an intimate and epic portrait of a singular woman who eminently challenged and transformed her era defending a humanist message still keenly relevant today.


Online film screenings
Friday, March 10 – Sunday, March 12

Youth Program/Le Programme Jeunesse
Wed Mar 1, Thurs Mar 2, Fri Mar 3,Mon Mar 6
Cineplex Empress Walk


Cinéfranco’s  annual Youth Program/Le Programme Jeunesse that began on February 21st continues through March with in-cinema screenings on March 1st (School Society/L’École est à nous), March 2nd & 6th (Neneh Superstar), and March 3rd (The KitchenBrigade/La Brigade) at the Cineplex Empress Walk.

The Kitchen Brigade/La Brigade
co-presented with ACAF
Wed Mar 22, The Royal, 7pm

Tickets available to purchase online:
Simone Veil A Woman of the Century/
Simone Le Voyage du siècle -  March 8th:

The Kitchen Brigade/La Brigade -  March 22:

Online Screenings, March 10-12: Eventive
The Youth Program/Le Programme Jeunesse is sold out

For further information including the complete Francophonie program:


Capsule Reviews of Selected Films:


GULLIVER RETURNS (Ukraine/Cyprus 2021) **

Directed by Ilya Machismo


Thew new adventures of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels is given a makeover as a children’s animated film from the Ukraine.  The tale is similar to Swift’s classic only remotely.

World traveler and adventurer Gulliver is invited to return to Lilliput, the town he previously saved from the enemy fleet of the neighbouring Blefuscu.  When he arrives, he only finds indignation, panic and a hopeless crowd, as the King of Lilliput made his people believe that the legendary Giant Gulliver was returning.  Instead, they discover an ordinary man, when the whole town had been getting ready and building accommodation to welcome a giant.  Disappointed, the King orders Gulliver's execution.  Meanwhile, the invincible Blefuscu armada is at the gates of the city and threatening again.    As much as one wants to support Ukraine in her animated feature, GULLIVER RETURNS is hardly very good, with ok animation, silly rather than funny/goofy humour that would be catered to younger kids. 



ROSIE (Canada 2022) ***1/2
Directed by Gail Maurice

ROSIE follows the trail of an orphaned Indigenous girl by the name of Rosie (Keris Hope Hill).  Her mother’s sister, Frederique (Melanie Bray) is forced by social services to look after her.  Fred has her own plate full, being evicted and out of a job.  She can hardly care for herself less than one else.  The story does not sound fresh or like anything new.  In fact the story is rather predictable.  But first time Metis director Maurice shoots her film as if it is totally fresh material injecting humour and spirit in a 80’s Montreal setting, with English, French and a little Metis spoken.  This is also a seondary story of poor people surviving on the fringe.  Two of Fred’s friends are drag queens Flo (Constant Bernard) and Mo (Aex Trahan) who spice up the proceedings.  Director Maurice also adds a bright note to a homeless Cree (Brandon Oakes) who shows kindness to the child.  ROSIE is an entertaining and insightful debut from Gail Maurice.

Write comment (0 Comments)

Film Review: Pacifiction

PACIFICTION (France/Spain/Germany/Portugal) ***½

Directed by Albert Serra


On an island in French Polynesia, the Haut-Commissaire, a man, de Roller (Benoit Magimel, who first well-known film was LIFE IS A LONG QUIET River by Etienne Chatiliez, way back when in 1988) with a turbulent naturalness and high diplomacy, lives between the highest echelons of politics and the lowest social stratum of his co-citizens. Conflict as a way of life will lead him to take reckless decisions against his political status, as the film examines.  Director Serra introduces him in a ‘questionable’ club where he goes backstage to look at the costumes, and perhaps flirt with the dancers.

About 500 hours of footage were shot during the production, including about 200 hours with dialogue and sound recording.  Director Serra explained that since the beginning of his career, he tried to use the advantages of shooting digital and therefore shoots long, improvisational scenes with 3 cameras at once, which results in a lot of footage to work with in post-production.  From the dialogue of the characters, particularly noticeable in the one dinner segment in which the topic of nuclear thing is brought up, a certain point can go on and on, with the characters beating around the bush in which nothing concrete is said.

Serra’s film turns out to be a really lengthy 2 hours and 44 minutes, so one has to be prepared to be patient to sit through his film.  It is a long process, and whether one will be satisfied to decipher though all the material is entirely up to the nature of the individual. 

But the cinematography is stunning, as stunning as the French Polynesian Islands.

PACIFICTION is shot in French mainly, and also in English and Portuguese.

PACIFICTION plays at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

(full review of the film will be posted the weekend)



Write comment (0 Comments)

Film Review: Cette Miason (This House)

Directed by Miryam Charles


As the voiceover of the deceased info the audience; “I was born in Stanford, Connect in 1994,  I died 2008 in my house cette mason (in French).  “You are the source that inspired me, I do not need anyone else.”  There are lots of chanting at the film’s start and voiceover that is a little confusing though inputs the film in perspective.

Bridgeport, January 17, 2008. A teenage girl is found hanged in her room. While everything points to suicide, the autopsy report reveals something else. Ten years later, the director and cousin of the teenager examine the past causes and future consequences of this unsolved crime. Like an imagined biography, the film explores the relationship between the security of the living space and the violence that can jeopardize it.

Though the story is simple, the film requires some concentration as one needs to realize who is speaking and which time frame the action is taking place.  It is also an extremely slow moving picture with little story so, there is a lot of patience required to sit through this otherwise art piece of filmmaking.

The film will play the TIFF Bell Lightbox with special limited screenings as this is a small film with only a limited audience.

Screening schedule:

·  Tuesday, March 14 at 3:30 p.m. | TIFF Bell Lightbox (Cinema 3 - Piers Handling Cinema)

·  Wednesday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. | TIFF Bell Lightbox (Cinema 2) - with the filmmaker in attendance

·  Thursday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m. | TIFF Bell Lightbox (Cinema 2)

CETTE MAISON has got a good festival run.  THIS HOUSE shone at international festivals in 2022. It had its world premiere at the Berlinale, followed by its Canadian premiere at Hot Docs. Selected in 20 festivals in more than 15 countries, the film was awarded the Silvestre Award for Best Feature Film at IndieLisboa, the Best Narrative Feature Award at the Trinidad + Tobago Film Festival, and the Innovation Award at the Festival du nouveau cinéma. This House continues its national and international film festival tour in 2023.


Write comment (0 Comments)

Film Review: Calvaire (The Ordeal)

CALVAIRE (originally tilted THE ORDEAL)(Belgium/Luxembourg/France 2022) ****
Directed by Fabrice du Welz



These few weeks sees the opening of a number of horror films, many streaming also on Shudder, the horror streaming service.  Among them are the really nasty SPOONFUL OF SUGAR, NOCEBO from the  Philippines and Ireland and HUESERA, THE BONE WOMAN from Mexico and the found footage low-budget horror THE OUTWATERS,  Joining the ranks of these horror flicks is what might arguable be the best of the lot, a neat little low budget cult film way back from 2004, from then first time feature director Fabrice du Welz who wrote the screenplay with Romain Protat, best known as Gasper Noe’s cinematographer for IRRESISTIBLE, which is currently enjoying a rerun.

The protagonist of the story is a travelling singer called Marc Stevens (Laurent Lucas also seen in various suspense classics like Dominik Moll’s LEMMING) . Marc is a lonely, rather handsome man, first seen using makeup in his dressing room before singing on stage with his costume that includes a cape like a lonely action super-hero.

Nothing much appears to happen at first, but it is these sparseness of events that makes the atmosphere of the film scary, like a nightmare.  The protagonist is Marc (Laurent Lucas), a lonely man on the road.  There is hardly anyone around him.  When his van breaks down, he cannot find the innkeeper, Mr. Bartel (Jackie Berroyer), who at first seems jovial but then transforms into something else.  The inn is in a remote place in the country.  The man that shows Marc the inn, Boris, has lost his dog Bella.  Everyone in the story appears lost and nothing would satisfy them.  There is so much space that there is nowhere to run.  When the film opens, Marc has just performed in an old aged woman’s home and all the lonely ladies are making sexual advances on Marc who drives away alone in his van, relieved. They all meet by coincidence.  When humans live a lonely life, they are unmoderated by a spouse or another human being, and they can turn out pretty weird and exhibit odd behaviour.

Because of the film’s setting in hillbilly country backwoods, the film (which is set in the swampy Hautes Fagnes region of Liège), has a feel and atmosphere of horror classics like John Boorman’s DELIVERANCE, Stephen King’s MISERY or THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and THE HILL HAVE EYES and even Hitchcock’s PSYCHO.   (The dinner ‘chat’ scene between mr. Martel and Marc was actually modelled after tan identical scene between Marion Crane and Alan Bates in the Bates Motel in Hitchcock’s 1960 PSYCHO, according to imdb trivia.

CALVAIRE (which was first released way back in 2004 premiering at Cannes and actually screened at TIFF Midnight Madness) opens in select theatres now re-mastered, beginning February 24th, followed by a release on Digital Platforms on March 3, 2023. A CALVAIRE collector’s edition BluRay is also slated for release from Yellow Veil Pictures.  A must-see horror cult classic for horror fans.




Write comment (0 Comments)

Récent - Latest Posts

More in Cinéma - Movies  


Sur Instagram