The 26th annual French Film Festival, cosponsored by the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University, will take place March 22-25 at the historic Byrd Theatre, attracting the equivalent of France’s Hollywood A-listers to Richmond.

More than 20,000 filmgoers are expected at this year’s festival, which showcases a diverse sampling of France’s newest feature and short films. There will be three world premieres and all but four films will be North American premieres.

Recent movements in the film industry such as Hollywood’s #TimesUp and France’s #MaintenantOnAgit (Now We Act) have influenced one of the themes of this year’s event: “Women Trailblazers Shaking up Arts and Society.”

“The festival has always had a tradition of recognizing the significant contributions made by women within all aspects of filmmaking,” said UR professor of French and Film Studies and festival co-founder Françoise Ravaux-Kirkpatrick. “This year we have an impressive delegation of talented women presenting their work, including, writer and director Jeanne Labrune, and César-winners Caroline Champetier (cinematographer) and Edith Vesperini (designer).”

In its 26 years, the festival has welcomed more than 900 directors, screenwriters, actors, cinematographers, music composers and artist-technicians to Richmond. This year’s guest list boasts 22 César (French Oscars) nominees and five César award winners, including director and actor Albert Dupontel and actor Clovis Cornillac.

“Richmond is a city that loves film, and it is the exchanges and conversations between the film artists and the public that have defined and shaped the festival itself,” said VCU professor and festival co-founder Peter Kirkpatrick. “The delegation of actors and directors stay in the Byrd or hang out around Carytown for the entire weekend. They do not hide away in hotels.”

All films at the festival will be presented by their directors and/or starring actors. Festival goers will have the opportunity to interact with guests during question and answer sessions following each screening. Visit the French Film Festival’s site for a complete festival schedule and ticketing information.

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At a Glance

What: 26th annual French Film Festival

When: Thursday, March 22 - Sunday, March 25

WhereThe Byrd Theatre

Details: A University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University collaboration, the annual French Film Festival showcases a diverse sampling of France's newest feature films by estabilished, award-winning directors complemented by a screening of short films.

“Richmond is a city that loves film, and it is the exchanges and conversations between the film artists and the public that have defined and shaped the festival itself. The delegation of actors and directors stay in the Byrd or hang out around Carytown for the entire weekend. They do not hide away in hotels.”

- Peter Kirkpatrick, French Film Festival co-founder

Professor of French and Film Studies, Co-Director, Annual UR/VCU French Film Festival
Contemporary French literature and culture
Semiotics
French film