The French Are Back In Malaysia With “Le French Festival 2019”!

Bonjour!

Are you a fan of everything French? I have always been a fan of the French language – and the occasional French shrug (which only the French can do effortlessly), and when I found out that the annual “Le French Festival 2019” will be gracing our country soon, I was extremely overjoyed.

Joie de vivre. Les français sont de retour!  😛

And this time, from 4th April to 12th May, Le French Festival will bring us Malaysians exciting French cinema screenings, art exhibitions, music and theatre performances, gastronomy, lifestyle indulgences and more.

Launch and Press Conference of Le French Festival 2019

Le French Festival in Malaysia began in 2001 and has since been a bridge of cultural exchange between France and Malaysia reaching tens of thousands of spectators in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru and Kota Kinabalu.

This year however, Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) – who has been the longstanding collaborator and partner of Le French Festival – will be collaborating with G.H. Mumm Champagne, the No. 1 Grande Maison champagne in France for the first time.

Also for the first time in the history of Le French Festival, organizers Alliance Française will also work together with the Embassy of France in Malaysia to produce a collaboration with Malaysia’s acclaimed theatre company, KL Shakespeare Players (KLSP) for a special theatre performance. This performance is none other than the famous play in French theatre that has started since year 1900 titled, “Cyrano de Bergerac” (The Story of Cyrano de Bergerac).

H.E. Frédéric Laplanche, Ambassador of France to Malaysia

At the launch and press conference of Le French Festival 2019 that was held in MidValley Megamall’s GSC, Mr. Jacques Bounin the Director of Alliance Française Kuala Lumpur said that cultural exchange and appropriation like they were working on with Le French Festival is important for the growth of both France and Malaysia.

“A platform of exchange is inevitably in need for everyone to be able to express and interact with, without the existence of cultural boundaries. This year we have the privilege of working with local collaborators to create and present French content by Malaysians,” said Mr. Bounin.

Even Ms. Fanny Sanzur, the Cultural Coordinator from Alliance Française Kuala Lumpur are excited about working with local artist to create a content that can resonate with both Malaysians and French.

“The Story of Cyrano de Bergerac is a heavy piece of classic literature but together with KL Shakepeare Players, we are able to translate and design two shows for the public: a child-friendly version and a version for adults because we believe that French culture is for everyone and should be enjoyed together,” said Ms. Sanzur.

Oh and we were also graced with the presence of this year’s special guest, Ms. Sharifah Amani, a Malaysian actress and comedian whom enthused her love for French culture and cinema.

What Can We Look Forward To At Le French Festival 2019?

We know that Le French Festival 2019 will feature the most current trends and entertainment from France including:

  1. Largest French Film Festival in Malaysia – 15 of the latest award winning French films (with English subtitles) to be on the silver screen
  2. Diverse range of Malaysian musicians performing French music
  3. Live theatre shows and live dance performances
  4. Art de Vivre events including food & drink tastings, cooking classes, perfume making, and more

For fans of Le French Festival, we can look forward to these at these cities and dates:

  • Kuala Lumpur : 4 April – 28 April
  • Penang : 25 April – 5 May
  • Johor Bahru : 2 May – 5 May
  • Kota Kinabalu : 9 May – 12 May

Here are some of the line-up you can find at Le French Festival 2019. But for more detailed titles, time and places, do check out Le French Festival 2019 website.

FILM

Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) is back again collaborating with Le French Festival and there will be an array of French movies to be released comprising of comedies, dramas, thrillers and more. I for one, are looking forward to the award-winning movies like Edmond and Funan, but there are other interesting movies available too like Le Grand Bain (Sink or Swim), L’empereur De Paris (The Emperor of Paris), Le Doudou (Looking For Teddy) and other equally interesting movies.

Check out the movies for screening at www.lefrenchfestival.com.my/films.

Read my review of Edmond here.

THEATRE

One of the most anticipated show that I’m looking forward to is Cyrano de Bergerac (The Story of Cyrano de Bergerac), about a man though full of panache is not so daring when it comes to professing his love to the woman he loved because of his shockingly large nose defiling his face.

I saw a snippet of it at the Le French Festival 2019 launch and couldn’t wait to see the theatre soon!

Another theatre that I look forward to would be “Paris – A Journey Along The River Seine” that would be played by one man only – Lorant Deutsch. This play is in French though but don’t worry, they have English subtitles for you!

MUSIC

The collaboration between France and Malaysia is obvious with Ivory Series : “Echoes from the Boulevard” when Malaysian pianist, Mei Lin Hii who will be playing an eclectic French repertoire from baroque composers François Couperin and Jean-Philippe Rameau, to 20th century impressionists Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel via Gabriel Fauré’s melodies.

Of course there are other music shows too so make sure to visit the website for info.

DANCE

If you’re one who loves street dance, then ExiT is the group to see. The venue is also accessible, which is at MaTiC, Kuala Lumpur and it’s FREE – but remember to RSVP on peatix.com first.

EXHIBITION

Love art? “Brave New World” is bringing current global challenges through Pop and Street Art. You’ll see many flashy bold colours with a unique style by artist Argadol.

If you’re one who loves woman or you’re a “Woman and proud as HELL”, then there’s also another art exhibition dedicated to the #MeToo era. This is an exhibition you wouldn’t want to miss.

GASTRONOMY

Ahh if you’re one who loves wine tasting or champagne, you know the French has the best spirit for you. Since this year Le French Festival is presented by G.H. Mumm Champagne, you should be rest assured that you would enjoy every drop in your glass.

Also, if you want to learn bread baking or vegan keto classes and other food workshop, this festival is the right one for you.

ART DE VIVRE

Ever wondered how the French women kept themselves all youthful and lovely? You’ll learn about that at the French Beauty & Marine Wellness Secrets of course. Just book for the workshop at RM80 per pax and you’re good to go.

I’m sure you know that France is famous for its perfumes. At The Power of Perfume, you would be able to learn about various families of fragrances and what they mean, how to use them in daily life, what to look for when buying one and many more. However, this class is only available in Penang.

Last but not least, if you love the French, you have got to learn the French etiquette or risk being ridiculed by them! Sign up for the class and see if you’re more French than the French!

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You may check the lineup of Le French Festival 2019 at their website, the event calendar for April and May and make sure to join the activities!

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