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The Festival des 3 Continents is back in 2023 for its 45th edition from November 24 to December 3



The Festival des 3 Continents is back in 2023 for its 45th edition from November 24 to December 3, with screenings in Nantes and in cinemas across the Loire-Atlantique region.


This international event will take place over 10 days, bookended by two weekends.


A wide range of dramas and documentaries from Africa, Latin America, and Asia will be presented in a programme of some 90 feature films, many of which are rare and will premiere at the Festival.



In addition to the Official Selection of recent film, the Festival des 3 Continents will host an homage to pioneer Senegalese filmmaker Safi Faye, a retrospective of prolific Hong Kong filmmaker Ann Hui, an anthology of Vietnamese cinema covering three decades (1970, 1980, 1990), blockbusters of popular Indian cinema from the 70s and 80s interpreted by superstar actor Amitabh Bachchan, and a programme on the theme of memory



Official Selection

The Official Selection, comprised of an International Competition and Special Screenings, includes recent feature films (drama and documentary), most of which have never been screened in France.



Homage to Safi Faye (Senegal) 

Pioneer filmmaker and the first Sub-Saharan African woman ever to make a feature film (Letter From My Village (1975), winner of the Georges Sadoul prize and the Critics’ Award at the Berlin International Film Festival), Safi Faye passed away last February just as the Festival des 3 Continents was preparing to invite her to Nantes to present her life’s work. After first studying ethnology at EHESS, and then graduating from the Louis Lumière school, she left teaching to dedicate her career to the cinematographic art after meeting Jean Rouch, who cast her in Little by Little. The works Safi Faye created have a strong documentary leaning, and she used filmmaking tools not only to promote the possible emancipation of women, social justice, and freedom from colonialism, but also to reconnect an oral, movement-based, earthly tradition to its power and history. A filmmaker who remained true to her Serer roots, Safi Faye was the perfect incarnation of an African person contending with the challenges of her time. 


Ann Hui Retrospective (Hong Kong) 

With over 30 feature films to her credit since 1979, Ann Hui is the most prolific female director in the history of Asian cinema. But her status in the Hong Kong movie scene is paradoxical, to say the least. Despite not being as recognized by Western audiences as her male New Wave counterparts (Johnnie To, Wong Kar-Wai, John Woo, Patrick Tam, Tsui Hark, Yuen Woo-Ping), her films from the late 70s and early 80s count among those that signalled the rebirth of a form of cinematography that would become among the most emblematic in all of Asia. This retrospective is an invitation to explore a body of work that spans genres (thrillers, melodramas, swashbuckling epics…), and focuses closely over a long period on issues of exile, history, and Hong Kong Chinese identity. 



Anthology of Vietnamese Cinema

We know little of Vietnamese cinema; while French audiences are familiar with Trân Anh Hùng’s films from the 90s, our collective vision of Vietnam is deeply influenced by American films about the Vietnam War, or, for the most dedicated movie buffs, by a certain militant European cinema from the 60s and 70s. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and France, the Festival des 3 Continents travels back along the rich and complex trajectory of this cinematography that anchors its ambitions in the context of the dividing up of the country and a series of armed conflicts. Whether an act of resistance through images, focusing on figures that were important to the people, or affirming their identity and cultural diversity, Vietnamese cinema has always sought greater unity by examining contrasts and antagonisms.  


Amitabh Bachchan, Big B Forever 

More often than not, conversations of popular Indian cinema are generally limited to Bollywood and revolve around movie stars, if not superstars, rather than films. Amitabh Bachchan is one such superstar: an absolute, indisputable icon that both the BBC and Time magazine named the greatest star of the millennium. No other name sparks quite the same reaction, if only perhaps his heir apparent, Shah Rukh Khan, who couldn’t be more different to the current ‘king’ and who has shared the screen with him in several films. Amitabh Bachchan is more than an actor: he’s a living legend whose face has been plastered on the walls of every street in the Indian subcontinent for over half a century, keeping his legend alive. But why this Bachchan cult? The Festival des 3 Continents deciphers the ‘Big B’ phenomenon through nine emblematic films from a career of over 200. 


. The Meanderings of Time

In Sans Soleil, Chris Marker reminds us that memory – remembrance and forgetting – are two sides of the same coin: the treasure for those who, even if they cannot remember everything, have not forgotten everything, either. In other words, cinema as an archive, providing food for thought about the present, constantly weaving the threads of time: Satyajit Ray’s tale of lost love, Johnnie To’s story of revenge, Ari Folman’s memories of war, or Rithy Panh’s piecing together of a past that has been erased. This intertwining of memory, remembrance and forgetting is the very substance of the films in our programme. This one, like the others, is for all audiences. The Festival has produced an educational booklet for secondary school teachers, as this selection is also an invitation to their pupils to take part in the 3 Continents.


First Steps Towards the 3 Continents

First Steps Towards the 3 Continents offers a selection of films for children ages three and up and their families. Motion picture discovery workshops will be held after several of the weekend screenings as well as on the Wednesday during the Festival. This special selection for kids will also be made available to pre-school and primary-school classes in Nantes and throughout the Loire-Atlantique region, with special educational materials.



The entire programme of the 45th edition of the Festival des 3 Continents will be announced at a press conference on November 9, 2023 and available on the festival website



The Festival des 3 Continents has been held in late November every year since 1979. Through a unique selection of drama and documentary films from Africa, Latin America, and Asia, the Festival provides fresh perspectives on cinema and the wider world. Les 3 Continents is a non-profit organization committed to accessibility for disabled audiences, sustainable development, and supports equality and diversity in the film industry (50/50 Charter).


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