Edition 14, baby…

It never stops at Cinema Akil, which is what makes us love it even more. Not long after the end of the 10th edition of Reel Palestine at Cinema Akil, the only independent art house in the GCC is bringing to you Franco Film Festival – a celebration of young and old French cinema.

Hosted in collaboration with The Institut Français UAE and the Embassies of France, Switzerland, Canada, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Lebanon in the United Arab Emirates, Cinema Akil will be welcoming the festival back for a fifth run.


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Get ready to set off on yet another cinematic journey, filled with fresh flicks and age-old classics, all critically acclaimed and telling us stories we didn’t know we needed to hear. Scheduled to take place between February 23 and 29, the 14th edition of the festival will screen the very best of French language cinema.

As Vin Diesel would say…

This edition is all about family – that is the theme. Family, in all the shapes, sizes and varieties, has always been a subject for the cinematic lens. Everyone, at some point and some level, relates to this complex concept and will for time immemorial.

For the festival, Cinema Akil will be screening a lineup of 10 feature films and 5 shorts spanning various genres including drama, adventure, documentary, and animation, welcoming every kind of of cinema enthusiast in the UAE.

franco ff

What’s On at the festival?

On the inaugural night, the screenings will highlight the most significant picks from the specially curated collection. These standout films include Marie Amachoukeli’s Ama Gloria, a heartwarming tale of a six-year-old Cléo who shares a cherished bond with her nanny during their final summer together, which will be the opening screening. This will be followed by Elena Avdija’s Stuntwomen, an enlightening documentary that sheds light on the portrayal of women’s roles and violence in cinema and television.

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Other captivating releases include Thomas Cailley’s animated feature film The Animal Kingdom, Michèle Jacob’s acclaimed drama, The Lost Children, Leonor Serraille’s Mother and Son, Marya Zarif & André Kadi’s animated masterpiece, Dounia and the Princess of Aleppo, Rebecca Zlotowski’s Other People’s Children, Mr. Blake at Your Service! starring John Malkovich and Six Feet Over directed by Karim Bensalah.

franco ff

On the short film front, the selection features compelling Lebanese shorts curated for the festival – Wissam Charaf latest, If the Sun Drowned Into an Ocean of Clouds, Assaad Khoueiry’s A Broken Fan, Cyrus Neshvad’s La Valise Rouge, Dahlia Nemlich’s Somewhere in Between, Ramzi Bashour’s The Trees and François Truffaut’s timeless classic, The 400 Blows.

Tickets and stuff

Tickets to the festival are available to purchase online, on the Cinema Akil website and are priced at Dhs52.50. Screening schedules are subject to change, so make sure to keep an eye out on the website for the latest one. Find the full schedule here.

Franco Film Festival, Cinema Akil, Alserkal Avenue, Feb 23 to 29, tickets at Dhs52.50, @cinemaakil

Images: Supplied