French Film Festival
23rd Annual French Film Festival: February 27 – March 4, 2020
We proudly dedicate this year’s festival to Agnès Varda: the godmother of French cinema and one of the most beloved heroes of the New Orleans Film Society members! Varda graced us with 24 magnificent films and showed us the beauty of heart-shaped potatoes. Though she passed away last year, we are honored to include in the festival her final project—Varda by Agnès, completed just before her death.
The 23rd New Orleans French Film Festival, one of the longest running foreign language festivals in the country, will showcase excellence in contemporary and classic francophone Cinema for audiences of about 4,000 at the Prytania Theatre, the oldest single-screen movie house operating in Louisiana. All films will be screened with English subtitles.
Click to see the festival lineup and schedule. Passes are now on sale! Our Scene Stealer members (and above levels) receive two complimentary Patron Passes to the French Film Festival. Moviegoer and Take Two members receive discounts on passes and tickets. Click here to become a member now.
Individual tickets will go on sale on February 3rd for the New Orleans Film Society members and #FFF2020 passholders, and on February 10th for the public.
Live music and lectures will accompany a curated selection of French-language films and a program of short films. On opening night, prior to the opening film, join a dedicated audience of Francophiles, cinephiles, sponsors, and patrons for at an invite-only Patron Party and is exclusively for French Film Festival Patron Pass holders and members of the New Orleans Film Society’s Producer’s Circle, Executive Producer’s Circle, and Director’s Circle.
Let your friends know you’re joining the festival on our Facebook event page.
All screenings, music, and lectures will take place at the Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania St, New Orleans.
Free parking on street around the theater.
Public transit three blocks from the streetcar stop on St. Charles and Jefferson (green line), six blocks from the bus stop on Magazine and Jefferson (line 11).
If you are interested in volunteering during the French Film Festival, please let us know by signing up here.
Special Thanks to Our Sponsors:
Lead Media Sponsor
In partnership with
With special thanks to the Consulate General of Canada.
New Orleans Film Society’s Scene Stealer, Producer’s Circle, and Executive Producer’s Circle members get two complimentary French Film Festival patron passes. Moviegoer and Take Two members get $15 off of passes.
STUDENT PASS | $40
- Admission to all festival screenings (excludes Opening, Closing, Centerpiece & Spotlight Screenings)
- Early access to online reservations on February 3rd at noon (a week before tickets go on sale for the public)
- An advance copy of the festival brochure mailed to your address (if the pass is purchased by February 2, 2020)
Email a copy of your valid Student ID to email@example.com receive a link to book your pass online.
Individual tickets will go on sale on February 3rd for the New Orleans Film Society members and #FFF2020 passholders, and on February 10th for the public.
Opening, Centerpiece, Closing & Spotlight Screenings – $14 for members | $17 for non-members
All Other Screenings – $11 for members | $14 for non-members
Group tickets and passes for parties of 10+ will receive NOFS member pricing.
Festival passes and tickets can be purchased online at www.neworleansfilmsociety.org or at the Prytania Theater during the box office hours. Online tickets are available until 2h before each screening.
FESTIVAL BOX OFFICE HOURS (at the Prytania Theatre):
February 26th-27th: 3PM – 8PM
February 28th – March 4th: 1h prior to the first screening – 9 PM
All sales are final. Passes and tickets are neither refundable, nor transferable. Only in a situation in which screenings or events are canceled by NOFS, the refunds will be issued. If you can not attend events that you have purchased tickets or passes for, consider your purchase as a donation to the New Orleans Film Society.
You must be in your seat 10 minutes prior to showtime, as NOFS will release unclaimed seats to the Rush Line at that time. We will not issue refunds to ticket holders who arrive later than 10 minutes prior to the start of the film.
We are committed to make the Festival accessible to everyone, however not all of our films support hearing impaired or caption devices. Please fill out this form to let us know what types of accommodations you may require. For more details and venue-specific information, please contact NOFS in advance by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (504) 309-6633.
Please note that the Patron Party venue is not ADA accessible. If you are planning to attend the event, please send us more details on how we can accommodate you by filling out the accessibility form. We will work directly with individuals to find the best ways to offer assistance. Please notify us of any requests as early as possible, and note that requests made within 10 days of the event cannot be guaranteed.
Poetic realism reached sublime heights with Children of Paradise, widely considered one of the greatest French films of all time. This nimble depiction of 19th-century Paris’s theatrical demimonde, filmed during World War II, follows a mysterious woman (Arletty) loved by four different men (all based on historical figures): an actor, a criminal, a count, and, most poignantly, a mime (Jean-Louis Barrault, in a performance for the ages). Thanks to a major new restoration, this iconic classic looks and sounds richer and more detailed than ever.
Hidden in Cajun Country live angels among us. Committed to intentional artistry, divine healers share their craft, both inspiring ascension and preserving cultural tradition in Southwest Louisiana. A slice-of-life documentary told by women encompasses the profound gradient of cultural heritage existing in this rich region of our world. Exploring language, music, food, faith healing, and art, the directors intend for viewers to consider their personal pursuits of passion in practice. Winner of the 2019 #CreateLouisiana French Culture Grant
From French Film Festival mainstay Christophe Honoré (Sorry Angel, Love Songs) comes this bittersweet comic fantasy starring Chiara Mastroianni as a highly sexed college lecturer caught in the throes of a mid-marriage crisis. After her husband finds out about her fling with one of her students, she leaves their home and moves into a hotel across the street, with a birdseye view of her marriage, past and present. Over the course of one surreal night, she encounters all the men she's slept with during her marriage—and they all have opinions about what she should do.
Filmed over the course of three years, this portrait of fashion colossus Yves Saint Laurent’s final show was suppressed right after its first and only public screening at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival. The film was blocked by YSL’s business (and on-and-off romantic) partner Pierre Bergé, who objected to the couturier’s portrayal as frail and not quite all there, and to his own depiction of being the behind the scenes mastermind. Fortunately, Berge relented in 2015 and thus Celebration is finally available: an opulent and immersive behind-the-scenes look at one of fashion's greatest.
The untold story of Marthe Cohn, a feisty young woman who joined the French resistance during WWII. After keeping silent for almost 60 years, Marthe now shares the extraordinary story of how she managed to beat the odds and fight the Nazis as a spy. At the age of 98, she still tours the world, showing off her medals and promoting her message to people of all generations. Preceded by the short film Zone Rouge.
The Dardenne Brothers won this year’s Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival for this brave new work, another intimate portrayal of a protagonist in crisis. The filmmakers’ radical empathy alights on a Muslim teenager in a small Belgian town who is being gradually radicalized into extremism despite the desperate protestations of his single mother, and who winds up hatching a murderous plot targeting his beloved teacher. Taking a serious view of a difficult issue, Young Ahmed reminds viewers why the Dardennes continue to be at the center of 21st-century cinema.
A sweeping journey through the backroads, bayous, and sleepy towns of Cajun country, La Veille is a search for signs of Francophone culture still thriving in Louisiana. Filmmaker Marshall Woodworth recounts his childhood when boucheries, cochon de lait, and Creole French were a more dominant cultural force, contrasting that against the dearth of fluent French speakers in Louisiana today. Along the way, Woodworth interviews a rich range of elders, French Immersion instructors, sociologists, and—potentially the key to Creole French's future—musicians.
The latest from Quentin Dupieux (the brains behind the delightfully outrageous Rubber, about a sentient tire on a killing spree), Deerskin follows amateur filmmaker Georges, who becomes obsessed with his new deerskin jacket. Convinced that his jacket must be the only one in the world, Georges is led down a Tarantino-esque path to rid the world of all competition. Played with total commitment by Academy Award® winner Jean Dujardin (The Artist), the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and also stars Adèle Haenel (Portrait of a Lady on Fire).
Demy's 1964 masterpiece of music and romance stars Catherine Deneuve as an umbrella shopkeeper who is separated from her mechanic boyfriend (Nino Castelnuevo) when he is called for military service. The film was fully restored in breathtaking color in 1992 under the supervision of Demy's widow, filmmaker Agnès Varda. Umbrellas won the Grand Prize at the 1964 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for five Academy Awards. The restored soundtrack features Michel Legrand's unforgettable score remixed in stereo.
In Occupied France, Mr. Klein (played with perfection by Alain Delon) exploits the situation of the Jews by buying and selling their works of art. When a Jewish man of the same name surfaces in Paris, Klein comes under suspicion and experiences the persecution of his countrymen firsthand. Also starring Jeanne Moreau, this rare and celebrated film from 1976 was blacklisted American director Joseph Losey’s first film in French, and it won the coveted César Awards for Best Film and Best Director. This restored version has finally arrived in theaters to ecstatic praise from major critics.
Finding Cajun presents a critical and historically informed perspective on the origin and evolution of Cajun identity. We see how Cajuns compare to the present-day Acadians in maritime Canada, a community that is supposedly at the historical root of Cajun ethnicity. Through interviews with leading experts filmed on site in Louisiana, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, the film examines the diversity and complexity of South Louisiana's French- and Creole-speaking communities, showing how Americanization, racism, and language shift have reshaped the cultural landscape of Louisiana.
The final film from the late, beloved Agnès Varda is a characteristically playful, profound, and personal summation of the director’s own brilliant career. At once impish and wise, she acts as our spirit guide on a free-associative tour through her six-decade artistic journey, shedding new light on her films, photography, and recent installation works while offering her one-of-a-kind reflections on everything from filmmaking to cats to feminism to aging. A warmly human, touchingly bittersweet parting gift from one of cinema’s most luminous talents.
A group of 40-something guys, all on the verge of a mid-life crisis, decide to form their local pool's first ever synchronized swimming team—for men. Braving the skepticism and ridicule of those around them, and trained by a fallen champion trying to pull herself together, the group sets out on an unlikely adventure, and on the way rediscovers a little self-esteem and a lot about themselves and each other. A crowd-pleasing comedy starring Mathieu Amalric and Guillaume Canet.
This drama about time and friendship weaves together the stories of three aging hermits who have left their former lives and gone off the grid into the rural Quebec landscape. Living in a remote forest near a lake, Tom, Charlie, and Ted pass the time by tending to their neighbor’s cannabis crop, swimming, singing, and reminiscing. Their peaceful existence is soon shattered by a sudden death, and by the arrival of two women. Within its intimate, personal dramas, And The Birds Rained Down delivers a poetic study of intertwined lives, where love can happen at any age.
This screening will be followed by a musical tribute to Robert Johnson by St. Louis Slim. On August 16, 1938, in Greenwood, Mississippi, Robert Johnson, one of the greatest bluesman of all time, died in near anonymity at 27. He had appeared on the local musical scene a few years earlier but was rediscovered and made popular by a generation of rock stars of the ‘60s and ‘70s. In 2014, two French cartoonists told Johnson’s story in their graphic novel Love in Vain. This documentary recounts their trip to Johnson's home state, including interviews with a number of genuine bluesmen of the Deep South: R.L. Boyce, Watermelon Slim, Ben Payton, and Lucious Spiller among them.
Millions know the iconic logo and ubiquitous signature but few know the man behind the larger-than-life label. This insightful documentary seeks to answer the question: Who is Pierre Cardin? What is the story behind this legendary icon? House of Cardin is a rare peek into the mind of a genius, an authorized feature that chronicles his life and design. A true original, Pierre Cardin has granted the directors exclusive access to his archives and his empire, and unprecedented interviews at the sunset of a glorious career.
This gripping drama from François Ozon (Swimming Pool, 8 Women) follows three men who band together to dismantle the code of silence that continues to protect a priest who abused them decades ago. Based on events from the 2019 conviction of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon for concealing abuse within the church, By the Grace of God compassionately illustrates the varying effects of trauma on survivors and their families in this urgent portrait of resistance, the power of mobilization, and the mysteries of faith. Starring celebrated actor Melvil Poupaud in the lead role.
Sophia is 35 years old, under-employed, and "temporarily" living with her codependent brother Karim. But their playful, unbreakable bond is put to the test when, for the first time in his life, Karim falls head over heels in love—with Sophia's gynecologist. Almost like a breakup for Sophia, she must now start to question her life choices and face the reality that it's time to grow up. From director Monia Chokri (herself an actress, Heartbeats, Laurence Anyways), this Canadian comedy-drama opened the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival.
We are thrilled to host the U.S. Premiere of Matthias and Maxime, the latest feature from the 30-year-old French-Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan, who premiered six films in Cannes and received too many jury awards and prizes to mention. Matthias and Maxime stars Dolan and Gabriel D'Almeida Freitas in the lead roles, with longtime Dolan muse Anne Dorval playing his ailing mother.