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Take a french break at Sacramento French Film Festival

8th Sacramento French Film Festival  : June 19-21 & 27-28, 2009 - Crest Theatre


With the Sacramento French Film Festival you can walk around the French capital (PARIS, on Opening night) and relax in a campground on the Atlantic coast (CAMPING). You can travel to a fantasy world (BEAUTY and the BEAST) and uncover the grim current reality of illegal immigration (WELCOME, on closing night). We'll make you discover the artworks of forgotten painter, Séraphine de Senlis (SERAPHINE) and take you on a voyage retracing 40 years of French history (BORN IN '68). And there is much more...


Presenting a fun and eclectic program of events and films!

It includes premieres of the newest films by France's best filmmakers; rare classics by French cinema masters; our infamous Midnight Movies followed by discussions over coffee and pastries; intriguing French short films; post-screening discussions for cinéphiles ; an exhibition of original artworks by Sacramento artists in the lobby of the Crest and a Fashion Show!

The 2009 film selection includes a wide array of genres: Comedies - Drama - Romance - Thriller - Documentary - Fantasy - Horror - Eroticism!

Opening Night - Friday June 19th - 6pm (reception) / 8:30pm (film)


The 8th Sacramento French Film Festival will open on Friday, June 19th, at 6pm with our famous and fabulous opening reception, followed at 8:30pm by the Sacramento premiere of Paris, by acclaimed director Cédric Klapisch (Russian Dolls), a feel-good dramatic comedy and an unforgettable homage to the city of Paris. With its all-star cast (Romain Duris and Juliette Binoche but also Albert Dupontel, François Cluzet, Fabrice Luchini, Karine Viard and Mélanie Laurent - to be seen in the latest film by Quentin Tarantino Unglorious basterds), its moving and lifelike stories and Parisian setting, Paris was a huge box office success in France.


Closing Night - Sunday June 28th - 8:45pm


Welcome, by Philippe Lioret (110 min), the acclaimed, controversial and poignant drama about a swimming instructor and a young illegal immigrant, will close the 8th SFFF on Sunday, June 28th, followed by a champagne party.

Fashion Show - Saturday June 20th - 9pm

« Le Cirque de la mode », presented by Joni Jacobs from Opaline's Closet will precede the special screening of Lola Montès by Max Ophuls (1955). Featuring Sacramento's best indie designers, boutiques and salons.


Midnight Breakfasts  -  Saturday June 20th & 27th

Discussion around café and pastries (provided by Coffee Works) follows the Midnight Screenings .


Film Program & Synopsis


Opening Film:

Paris, by Cédric Klapisch (130 min)
Friday June 19 - 8:30pm


Closing Film:


Welcome, by Philippe Lioret (110 min)

Winner of three prizes at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale): Prize of the Ecumenical Jury; Label Europa Cinema and Audience Prize.
Sunday June 28 - 8:45pm


Premieres will include 6 other features:

The Beaches of Agnès by Agnès Varda (110 min)
Nicknamed "The ancestor of the New Wave" when she was in her early thirties, Agnès Varda, photographer, artist and filmmaker, turned 80 in 2008 and now really lives up to her nickname! Her latest film is an innovative and whimsical journey through her own life and work retracing a part of France's cultural history. Les Plages d'Agnès is a remarkable example of what Varda calls "subjective documentary". Winner of the 2009 César for Best Documentary.
Saturday June 20 - 11am & Sunday June 21 - 9:35pm

35 Shots of Rum by Claire Denis (100 min)

Claire Denis, teaming once again with cinematographer Agnès Godard, offers a magnificently-photographed and stylish film about the complexity of father-and-daughter love and a father's realization that his daughter is on the verge of independence.
Saturday June 20 - 1:35pm & Sunday June 21 - 7:20pm

Camping by Fabien Onteniente (95 min)
Everyone is in for a culture shock when a Parisian plastic surgeon gets stuck in a campground on the Atlantic coast where "French trash"  vacationers are spending their August holidays.

Saturday June 20 - 6:45pm & Sunday June 21 - 1:40pm

Born in ‘68 by Olivier Ducastel & Jacques Martineau (167 min)

1968. Catherine (ex model Laetitia Casta), Yves and Hervé are twenty years old. The May uprisings radically change their lives and, seduced by the idea of living a communal life, they leave the city with a few friends to settle in an abandoned farm in the Lot region. 1989. Yves and Catherine's children are now young adults and must make their own life choices. It is time for them to re-address the activist heritage passed down from their parents.

One screening only - Sunday June 21 - 3:55pm

I Do by Éric Lartigau (90 min)

Life is easy for 43-year-old Luis (Alain Chabat, one of France's favorite comics, currently starring in US theaters in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian as Napoléon Bonaparte) a happy single guy; fulfilled in his job and pampered by his widowed mother and five sisters. It could last forever if his family, tired of taking care of him, didn't decide it was time for him to get married...
Saturday June 27 - 6:55pm & Sunday June 28 - 3:50pm

Séraphine by Martin Provost (125 min)

Séraphine vividly recounts the tragic story of French naïve painter Séraphine Louis aka Séraphine de Senlis (1864-1942), a humble servant who was also a gifted self-taught painter. She came to prominence between the wars only to descend into madness and obscurity with the onset of the Great Depression and World War II. Winner of seven 2009 Césars (French Academy Awards) including Best Film; Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress for the astonishing Yolande Moreau.
Saturday June 27 -9:10pm & Sunday June 28 - 6pm


Our infamous midnight movies will make you Shiver...  with Pleasure and Fear!

A l'aventure by Jean-Claude Brisseau (104 min)

The notorious and scandalous Jean-Claude Brisseau, a familiar figure in our Midnight Screening series (Secret Things - SFFF 2004 and Exterminating Angels - SFFF 2007) is back with his latest erotic and mystical provocation!
One screening only - Saturday June 20- Midnight


Fear(s) of the Dark by Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre DiSciullo, Lorenzo Mattotti & Richard MC Guire (85 min - Animation)

A unique collection of fearful tales by ten of the world's most cutting-edge, acclaimed graphic artists who have breathed life into their nightmares, bleeding away color only to retain the starkness of light and the pitch black of shadows.
One screening only - Saturday June 27 - Midnight

The SFFF will present 4 diverse classics:


Z (1969) by Costa-Gavras (127 min)
Z is the first of many suspenseful and entertaining political thrillers based on historical facts directed by Greek-born Costa-Gavras, in France and the United-States, and his masterpiece. Winner of the 1970 Oscar for Best Foreign Film and the 1969 Jury Prize in Cannes.

Saturday June 20 - 3:55pm & Sunday June 21 - 11am

Lola Montès (1955) by Max Ophüls (110 min) preceded by a Fashion Show, « Le Cirque de la mode » Live on the stage of the Crest Theatre, presented by Joni Jacobs Opaline's Closet.

One of the most mythic French movies of all time, Max Ophüls' final film (and his only movie in color) is a cinematic tour-de-force masquerading as a biography, in this case a dazzling fictionalized life of a notorious 19th century dancer, actress, and courtesan.
One screening only - Sunday June 20 - 9:00pm: Fashion Show / around 9:40pm: film


Beauty & the Beast (1946) by Jean Cocteau (96 min)
Poet Jean Cocteau's version of the well-known fairytale is famous for its surreal atmosphere and its ability to use existing movie technology to create a feeling of magic and enchantment. La belle et la bête is a landmark feat of cinematic fantasy

One screening only - Saturday June 27 - 11:30am & Sunday June 28 - 1:30pm


 Rules of the Game (1939) by Jean Renoir (110 min)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir's masterpiece La Règle du jeu is a scathing critique and satire of corrupt French society cloaked in a comedy of manners. As he wrote the script, Renoir called the film "an exact description of the bourgeoisie of our time."
Saturday June 27 - 4:25pm & Sunday June 28 - 11am


A short film program, comprising award-winning French short films, completes the 2009 film program.


All films are presented in French with English subtitles , in the Main Auditorium of the Crest Theatre.

For more information about the films and to watch movie trailers:


Show Times


FIRST WEEKEND June 19th - 21st


Friday June 19th
Opening Night

6pm-8pm          Opening Reception - Crest Theatre Lobby.

8:30pm             Paris by Cédric Klapisch (130 min)


Saturday June 20th

11:00am                       The Beaches of Agnès by Agnès Varda (110 min)

1:35pm             35 Shots of Rum by Claire Denis (100 min)

3:55pm             Z (1969) by Costa-Gavras (127 min)

6:45pm             Camping by Fabien Onteniente (95 min)

An Evening of Fashion and Cinema
9pm                 Fashion Show - Live on the stage of the Main Auditorium!

Immediately followed by the special screening of
Lola Montès (1955) by Max Ophüls (110 Min)

Midnight            A l'aventure by Jean-Claude Brisseau (104 min)

Sunday June 21st

11:00am                       Z (1969) by Costa-Gavras (127 min)

1:40pm             Camping by Fabien Onteniente (95 min)

3:55pm             Born in '68 by Olivier Ducastel & Jacques Martineau (167 min)

7:20pm             35 Shots of Rum by Claire Denis (100 min)

9:35pm             The Beaches of Agnès by Agnès Varda (110 min)

SECOND WEEKEND June 27th - 28th

Saturday June 27th

11:30am                        Beauty & the Beast (1946) by Jean Cocteau (96 min)

1:45pm             Short Films Screening (130 min)

4:25pm             The Rules of the Game (1939) by Jean Renoir (110 min)

6:55pm             I Do by Éric Lartigau (90 min)

9:10pm             Séraphine by Martin Provost (125 min)

Midnight            Fear(s) of the Dark by Blutch, Charles Burns, Marie Caillou, Pierre DiSciullo, Lorenzo Mattotti & Richard MC Guire (85 min - Animation)

Sunday June 28th

11:00am                       The Rules of the Game (1939) by Jean Renoir (110 min)

1:30pm             Beauty & the Beast (1946) by Jean Cocteau (96 min)

3:50pm             I Do by Éric Lartigau (90 min)

6pm                 Séraphine by Martin Provost (125 min)

Closing Night

8:45pm                         Welcome by Philippe Lioret (110 min)
Closing Champagne Party, immediately after the film - Crest Theatre Lobby.

For more information about the films and to watch movie trailers:

Ticket Information


From $10 (single tickets) to $80 (Full Festival Pass)


  • § Passes

  • ¨ Bleu Opening Night Pass = $51

Access to Opening Night Reception and film (Valid June 19 only).      

  • ¨ Blanc First Weekend Pass = $35

Access to all film screenings (Valid June 19-21 / Opening Reception not included).       

  • ¨ Rouge Second Weekend Pass = $36

Access to all film screenings & Closing Party (Valid June 27-28).


  • § Combinations

  • ¨ Bleu + Blanc + Rouge = $80

Two-Weekends Full Access to all screenings & parties (Valid June 19-28).

  • ¨ Bleu + Blanc = $60

First-Weekend Full Access to all screenings & Opening Reception (Valid June 19-21).

  • ¨ Blanc+ Rouge = $50

Two-Weekend Experience, Opening Reception not included (Valid June 19 / film only-28)


  • Advance passes are on sale on the Festival website: & at the Alliance Francaise 916/453 1723. And NEW THIS YEAR at & at the Crest Theatre.
  • Single tickets are availableonly at the door / Sales at the door (for single tickets and passes) will be CASH ONLY, no checks, no credit cards.
  • The CREST THEATRE is located at 1013 K Street in Downtown Sacramento
  • 3 hours free parking with validation at the 10th & L street garage



The 8th edition of the Festival is presented by

Bank of the West & the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.


The Festival is a project of the Alliance Française de Sacramento.


Artwork for the poster: photographer Kent Lacin / creation of the poster, postcard and program: Dane Henas Design.



Comments (1)

2009 Film Festival

Thank you for these synopses. I thought the Sac Bee would have done their annual French Film Festival spread by now, but I guess they must be planning on having that later this week. I can't wait. I need to plan now, and I do it based on the synopses, so thank you for getting this in your blog now!


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