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POLLYWOOD | C'EST CHIC!

Inaugural D.C. French Festival launches sans the Freedom Fries

October 12
Presented by The French-American Cultural Foundation,
The AFI, La Maison Française and The National Gallery of Art
PHOTOS BY RACHEL SMITH AND KYLE SAMPERTON

"UNLIKE AMERICAN CINEMA WHERE YOUTH IS QUEEN, MIOU-MIOU, ISABLLE HUPERT, AND NATHALIE BAYE ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM THE FRENCH CINEMATIC TRADITION THAT CELEBRATES THE ART OF THE ACTRESS AND THE LIVES OF MATURE WOMEN. THE FESTIVAL WAS A SUCCESS IN EVERY WAY AND AFI LOOKS FORWARD TO NEXT YEAR."
- LORI DONNELLY, ASSOCIATE FILM PROGRAMMER, AFI SILVER THEATRE & CULTURAL CENTER

THE EVENT: Francophile fi lm buff s rejoice (Yes, Justice Breyer, that means you) - there are French fi lms in Washington, proving just how far we've come since Rep. Robert Ney and his committee in charge of eateries sprouted the "freedom fries" revolution in March '03. With over 20 feature fi lms, the 1st Annual D.C. French Film Festival off ered plenty to digest. Opening night was held at the Embassy of France (or to be more chic, La Maison Française) and featured director Jerôme Cornuau's 1930's Untouchables-esque The Tiger Brigades. The fi rst Saturday of the festival also saw an exclusive event hosted by French Amb. Jean-David Levitte and his wife Marie-Cécile. Films were screened at AFI/Silver in Silver Spring, Md. and at La Maison Française.

THE SCENE: Who knew that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's French was so good - something he obviously kept under wraps during his 1994 Senate confi rmations. He chatted fluently on opening night with Amb. Levitte and cultural attaché Roland Celette. As for his thoughts on the fi lm, well, let's just say he off ered a keen "dissent." Breyer left shortly after the film, missing out on the elegant decorations, a live period jazz ensemble and excellent wine (French of course.) The exclusive Saturday night party at the French residence brought out an eclectic crowd, including director Monsieur Cornuau and writer Christopher Hitchens, who stayed focused long enough to enjoy an art tour conducted by the Ambassador. C'est Chic concluded by honoring French short films at the National Gallery of Art and a party at Kolumbia Restaurant downtown.

THE PEOPLE: Carol Blue, Lysbeth Sherman, Nora Maccoby, Anais de Viel Castel, Amal Zaari, Murray Horwitz and Kimball Stroud

 

 

 

Flowers from Ultraviolet added to the chic fl air of opening night C'est Chic D.C. Film Festival Director Lysbeth Sherman and Justice Stephen Breyer
Flowers from Ultraviolet added to the chic fl air of opening night C'est Chic D.C. Film Festival Director Lysbeth Sherman and Justice Stephen Breyer

 

The Park Hyatt Washington's Anais de Viel Castel, Kim Luk and Amal Zaari
The Park Hyatt Washington's Anais de Viel Castel, Kim Luk and Amal Zaari with Avishag Kichel
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