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As I was booking tickets for next week’s A Separation (screening as part of UKIFF) at Cine Lumière (the cinema of London’s Institut Français du Royaume-Uni), I came across a link for the 19th French Film Festival.* Films are showing on screens all across the UK from November 9 to December 6, 2011.

Some highlights:

  • Une vie de chat (A Cat in Paris, France, 2010) – Animation.
  • Les Géants (The Giants, Belgium, 2010) – “Two brothers in their mid-teens … are left to their own devices and dwindling funds by an absentee mother working abroad. Shacked up for the summer at the rural cottage of their late grandfather, they strike up a warm friendship with another unsupervised local teenager.”
  • No et moi (No and Me, France, 2010) – “[A] heartfelt story of a teenage girl’s relationship with a 19-year-old vagabond she welcomes into her family’s home.”
The London Turkish Film Festival also starts next week:
  • Bizim Büyük Çaresizligimiz (Our Grand Despair, Turkey/Germany/The Netherlands, 2011) – “A delightful comedy drama that is recognisably rooted in real life. Two middle-aged lifelong best friends, bespectacled highbrow Ender and hirsute gentle giant Çetin, suddenly find themselves sharing their apartment with young university student Nihal with consequences both predictable and unpredictable.”
  • Eylül (September, Turkey, 2011) – “[A] moodily evocative drama that explores the relationships between Yusuf a gentle, introverted goldsmith in İstanbul’s Grand Bazaar, his sick wife Aslı and a young abused Russian woman in search of sanctuary and with whom he starts an affair after she turns to him for help.” September is the first feature film of photographer Cemil Ağacıkoğlu – I’m always curious about how people that work in one artistic medium transfer their vision to another.
  • Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once upon a Time in Anatolia, Turkey, 2011) – Grand Prize of the Jury Winner at the Cannes Film Festival. “A haunting journey into the heart of darkness of the Anatolian countryside and into the heart of Anatolian identity. A murder has been committed and a man has confessed; all that remains is for him to lead police to the body but it soon becomes clear that the killer can’t locate the place where he left his victim.”
  • Kar Beyaz (White as Snow, Turkey, 2011) – “This haunting and lyrical adaptation of Sabahattin Ali’s short story “Ayran” is the fable-like tale of nine-year-old Hasan and his constant struggle for survival in the snowy Black Sea mountains of Artvin in the early 1970s.”

And then there are three weeks of Secret Cinema (link is for tickets) coming up in London:

Actually, I’m not too keen on Secret Cinema (link introduces what Secret Cinema is all about). Although I like the idea of screening films in unusual locations, I’m quite selective about what I watch. There are certain films I’ll never subject myself to (like horror flicks), plus cinema tickets in Britain are too expensive to watch just any random film. With Secret Cinema prizes starting at £25, that’s also more than I am willing and can afford to spend on a single screening. That said, I have never attended one of these events and I have met people who rave about them, so it might be a matter of not knowing what I am missing out on…

*There is also a link for the UK Jewish Film Festival, but as it finishes tomorrow I didn’t take a closer look at the programme.