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Katara DFI Cinema Presents Francophone Cinema Week

Feb 20, 2013

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  • A selection of the most relevant films of the past year from French-Speaking Countries
  • Five Time Oscar Nominated Film ‘Amour’ to Open the Week

Doha, Qatar; February 20, 2013: Katara DFI Cinema, in collaboration with the French Embassy/Institut Français du Qatar and with the support of the embassies of Belgium, Canada and Switzerland, presents ‘Francophone Cinema Week’ (La Semaine du Cinéma Francophone) for audiences in Qatar, to celebrate Francophonie Month, bringing the best of contemporary cinema from the French-speaking world to film lovers in Doha, from the 7th to the 13th of March at Katara Drama Theatre, building 16.

To join in the world-wide celebrations of Francophonie Month (March), ‘Francophone Cinema Week’ will be showcasing a selection of the finest contemporary cinema from Francophone member countries including Belgium, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Morocco, Senegal and Switzerland.

The programme will open with the Qatari Premiere of the Cannes Palme D’or winner and five times Oscar nominated film, ‘Amour’* by renowned director Michael Haneke and will close with the worldwide box-office hit film ‘The Intouchables’** directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano.

Other titles that will be screened during this dedicated week include the heartfelt animation ‘Ernest et Célestine’ (Ernest & Celestine) by Stéphane Aubier, Benjamin Renner and Vincent Patar, a short film ‘Champs-Elysees Je T’aime’ by Qatari Director Mahdi Ali Ali, from the Arab world the poignant story of ‘Yema’ by Djamila Sahraoui, the dark fairytale ‘Androman – De Sang et de Charbon’ (Androman – Blood and Coal) by Az Larabe Alaoui, the Academy Award® nominee for Best Foreign Language Film 2012 ‘Monsieur Lazhar’ by Philippe Falardeau, an intense family drama based on a true story ‘À perdre la raison’ (Our Children) by Joachim Lafosse, the acclaimed Cannes title ’La Pirogue’ (The Pirogue) by Moussa Touré and the 2012 Berlinale Silver Bear winner ‘L’enfant d’en haut’ (Sister) *** by Ursula Meier.

Mr. Abdulaziz Al Khater, Chief Executive Officer, Doha Film Institute, said: “We are pleased that throughout the ‘Francophone Cinema Week’ audiences in Doha will have the opportunity to experience films from French-speaking countries, a variety of cultures and explore cinema from different parts of the world. This collaboration is part of our overall mandate to help enhance film culture and appreciation here in Qatar.”

The Ambassador of France, Mr. Jean-Christophe Peaucelle, said: “It’s a great pleasure to collaborate with Doha Film Institute and share a great ensemble of French-speaking films with audiences in Doha. Katara DFI Cinema provides an ideal platform to showcase such films and we are really pleased to have this programme. We look forward to working with DFI and promoting awareness of this cultural initiative.”

Don’t miss out on ‘Francophone Cinema Week’
(La Semaine du Cinema Francophone) that features a vibrant mix of drama, animation and comedy, in celebration of the world’s love affair with French-language cinema. All films in the programme will be subtitled in Arabic and English for everybody to enjoy.

For tickets, Box Office timings and full films listing please log in to or visit the DFI Ticket Outlet in Katara, Building 26, from Thursday, February 28th – Wednesday, March 13th from 1:00 PM till 7:00 PM.

Tickets can also be purchased at the Katara Drama Theatre before each screening during Francophone Cinema Week (Thursday, March 7th – Wednesday, March 13th). Please note that the DFI Ticket Outlet at Katara Drama Theatre opens 30 minutes prior to the day’s first screening start time.

The ticket office will be closed on Friday, March 1st and Sunday, March 3rd.


*‘Amour’ [2012]
France, Germany, Austria
Directed by Michael Haneke

Georges and Anne are in their eighties. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack. The couple’s bond of love is severely tested. Uncompromised performances exceptionally crafted by renowned director Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon, Funny Games, The Piano Teacher) took ‘Amour’ on an international award sweeping journey including the 2012 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or, Best Foreign Film at the 2013 Golden Globes Awards and five nominations for the 2013 Academy Awards® including Best Picture and Best Director.

In French, with Arab and English subtitles.

**‘The Intouchables’ [2011]
(The Intouchables)
Directed by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano

An irreverent, uplifting comedy about friendship, trust and human possibility, ‘The Intouchables’ was a box office phenomenon in its native France and has been embraced around the world becoming the most watched French-language film of all time. Based on a true story of friendship between a handicapped millionaire and his street smart ex-con caretaker, ‘The Intouchables’ depicts an unlikely camaraderie rooted in honesty and humor between two people who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common.

In French, with Arabic and English subtitles.

***‘Ernest et Célestine’ [2012]
(Ernest & Celestine)
France, Belgium, Luxembourg
Directed by Stéphane Aubier, Benjamin Renner and Vincent Patar

Based on the beloved children’s books by Belgian author Gabrielle Vincent, this beautifully animated film is the story of an unlikely friendship between a reclusive bear poet and a young, orphaned mouse. Their tale of inter-species friendship is infused with gentle warmth and an adventurous spirit, brought to life with exquisite animation in the watercolour style of the picture books. The film screened in the 2012 Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight and as part of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival Kids programme.

In French, with Arabic and English subtitles.

‘Monsieur Lazhar’ [2011]
(Monsieur Lazhar)
Directed by Philippe Falardeau

After a Montreal elementary school teacher commits suicide, Monsieur Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant seeking political refuge in Quebec takes her place. As he introduces new teaching methods to his new class, he begins to grow closer to two of his pupils: a boy traumatized by the discovery of the former teacher’s body, and a girl whose interpretation of the event provokes unforeseen revelations. This riveting drama directed by veteran filmmaker Philippe Falardeau is one of the most acclaimed Québécois films of the last decade. It was nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and won the award for Best Canadian Feature Film at the 2011 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.

In French, with Arabic and English subtitles.

‘À perdre la raison’ [2012]
(Our Children)
Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxemborg
Directed by Joachim Lafosse

Murielle and Mounir love each other passionately. Mounir has lived a comfortable life with Doctor Pinget since he was a boy and when he decides to marry Murielle and have children, the couple’s dependence on the doctor becomes excessive. Murielle finds herself caught up in a psychologically disturbing environment and we witness her gradual decline, building insidiously towards the final, tragic outcome. This carefully arranged film with stunning performances from Tahar Rahim, Émilie Dequenne and Niels Arestrup is a psychological drama with the scope of a great, classical tragedy.

In French, with Arabic and English subtitles.

‘La Pirogue’ [2012]
(The Pirogue)
France, Senegal, Germany
Directed by Moussa Touré

Baye Laye is the captain of a fishing pirogue. Like many of his Senegalese compatriots, he dreams of new horizons, where he can earn a better living for his family. When he is asked to lead one of the many pirogues that head towards Europe via the Canary Island, he reluctantly accepts the job, knowing full-well the many perils that lie ahead. A gripping drama that portrays the desperate and moving human stories behind illegal immigration, ‘La Pirogue’ screened in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival and is dedicated to the thousands of Africans who have died in the last decade trying to cross to Europe.

In French and Wolof, with Arabic and English subtitles.

‘L’enfant d’en haut’ [2012]
Switzerland, France
Directed by Ursula Meier

Twelve year old Simon lives in the valley below a luxury ski resort with his sister. Every day, he takes the ski-lift to the opulent world above, stealing equipment from wealthy tourists to resell to the local kids back down. As he partners with a crooked British seasonal worker, Simon loses his boundaries, which affects the relationship with his sister. Confronted with a truth they had both been escaping, Simon seeks refuge above. Set against the striking canvas of the Swiss Alps, this compelling and internationally heralded coming-of-age drama premiered at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival where it won the Silver Bear.

In English and French, with Arab and English subtitles.

‘Champs-Elysees Je t’aime’ [2009]
(Champs Elysees, I love you)
Qatar, France
Directed by Mahdi Ali Ali

A female college student from the Gulf currently residing in the romantic French capital must make a decision: should she passively surrender to the traditional expectations of her family’s pre-arranged marriage plans, or should she open her life to true love in Europe? Starring the lovely Gania Latroch and the suave Samir Talhaoui.

In Arabic and French, with Arabic and English subtitles.

‘Yema’ [2012]
Algeria, France
Directed by Djamila Sahraoui

A tale of a mother who has buried her son, believed to be killed by his own brother, a leader of an Islamist extremist group. In her journey to heal, she resorts to tending her small patch of land, using gardening as a symbol of life and hope as she struggles to rebuild her life. ‘Yema’ premiered at the 2012 Venice International Film Festival and features Djamila Sahraoui’s acting debut which earned her the Bayard D’or award at the Namur International Francophone Film Festival. The film also won the FIPRESCI award for Best Feature at the 2012 Dubai International Film Festival.

In Arabic, with French and English subtitles.

‘Androman – De Sang et de Charbon’ [2012]
(Androman – Blood and Coal)
Directed by Az Alarabe Alaoui

Set in a remote village in the Atlas Mountains, Oshn is a strict and rigid man who inherited his profession as a charcoal trader from his ancestors. In a patriarchal society where only sons are allowed to inherit their families’ heritage, Ohsn faces the prospect of losing his properties and decides to turn his daughter into a boy, Androman. This touching story about the suppression of women is helmed by director Az Larabe Alaoui in his feature film debut which earned him great critical acclaim and several prestigious awards at the 2012 National Film Festival of Tanjier (Best Actress, Best Actor, Critics Award) and the 2012 Muscat International Film Festival (Best Cinematography, Critics Award).

In Arabic, with English subtitles.