Burning Brighter:
New Voices in French Cinema 2021

In-Person Weekend in NYC
Friday, October 1–Sunday, October 3
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Online Nationwide
Sunday, October 3–Sunday, October 10
On Eventive

Festival passes & single tickets available!

FIAF is proud to present a new festival celebrating the remarkable diversity of emerging voices in French cinema. This special program features recent prize-winning films by new French filmmakers.

The new generation of French cinema promises to be more inclusive and reflective of today’s society. It introduces new narratives and turns its lens on faces and places that are rarely seen on screen. The films featured at Burning Brighter—13 of them US or NY premieres—include stories of daily struggles, hard-won redemption, sexual oppression, identity, and belonging. Tracing their heritage from Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, Morocco, Guadeloupe, Lebanon, and France, these filmmakers bring a burst of new energy to FIAF’s fall reopening.

A full weekend in New York from Friday, October 1 to Sunday, October 3 at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall will feature six feature films, six shorts, one TV series, exclusive director Q&As, and a roundtable discussion. The festival will continue online from Sunday, October 3 to Sunday, October 10 with six additional films available to stream nationwide. Enjoy the complete festival by getting both the $25 NYC Weekend Pass and the $25 Virtual Pass!

Conceived with The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, this festival highlights the critical importance of the arts in exploring the perspectives of different communities. It is co-curated by Claire Diao, member of the Directors’ Fortnight Selection Committee at the Cannes Film Festival, and Delphine Selles-Alvarez, FIAF’s Film Curator.

  • + Read Curator's Note

In Person at FIAF: Friday, October 1


Burning Brighter 2021
Feature Film

Skies of Lebanon

Sous le ciel d'Alice
Festival Kick-Off Party at 8:30pm -
FIAF Tinker Auditorium
In Person: Friday, October 1, 2021
7pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Dir. Chloé Mazlo, 2020
In French, Arabic and Italian with English subtitles

Chloé Mazlo’s first feature is a strikingly original film set in the 1950s and inspired by her family’s life in the years leading into the Lebanese Civil War.

This film is part of Young French Cinema, a program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Burning Brighter 2021
TV Series

All the Way Up

Validé
Festival Kick-Off Party at 8:30pm -
FIAF Tinker Auditorium
North American Premiere
In Person: Friday, October 1, 2021
9:30pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Dir. Franck Gastambide, Charles Van Tieghem, Xavier Lacaille, 2020
In French with English subtitles

All the Way Up takes us into the world of French hip-hop through the journey of Clément (played by French musician Hatik), a talented young rapper with a difficult personal history.


In Person at FIAF: Saturday, October 2


Burning Brighter 2021
Feature Film

Simply Black

Tout simplement Noir
Video introduction by Jean-Pascal Zadi
North American Premiere
In Person: Saturday, October 2, 2021
2pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Dir. Jean-Pascal Zadi and John Wax, 2020
In French with English subtitles

This corrosive comedy tackles the timely topics of racism and coalition building with a good dose of self-deprecation.

Burning Brighter 2021
Talk

Roundtable – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Cinema

Saturday, October 2, 2021
4:00pm
English • Livestreamed • Available online and in person • 60 minutes
FIAF Tinker Auditorium

In this roundtable discussion, a panel of French and American filmmakers, producers, and talent managers will discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion in the film industries of both countries.

Burning Brighter 2021
Shorts

Shorts Program 1

Freed - So What If the Goats Die - Blooming Dalia
Introduction by Holy Fatma
In Person: Saturday, October 2, 2021
5:30pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

This program offers a selection of shorts from a variety of cinematographic genres. We start with a thought-provoking drama that brings to light the harsh reality of violence in prison (Freed), then continue onto a mysterious and thrilling science-fiction film (So What If the Goats Die), before concluding with a light comedy about a forgotten reality-TV star (Blooming Dalia).

Burning Brighter 2021
Feature Film

A Brighter Tomorrow

De bas étage
Video introduction by Yassine Qnia
North American Premiere
In Person: Saturday, October 2, 2021
7:30pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Dir. Yassine Qnia, 2021
In French with English subtitles

Mehdi (Soufiane Guerrab of Lupin), is a small-time safe cracker who’s finding robberies aren’t paying like they used to. 

Burning Brighter 2021
Feature Film

Blind Spot

L'Angle mort
North American Premiere
In Person: Saturday, October 2, 2021
9:45pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Dir. Patrick-Mario Bernard and Pierre Trividic, 2019
In French with English subtitles

Dominick Brassan has the power to turn invisible but rarely uses it. Instead, he keeps it a shameful secret, even from his fiancée, Viveka.


In Person at FIAF: Sunday, October 3


Burning Brighter 2021
Feature Film

School Life

La Vie scolaire
In Person: Sunday, October 3, 2021
2pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Dir. Grand Corps Malade and Mehdi Idir, 2019
In French with English subtitles

Idealistic young educator Samia has taken a new assignment in a difficult middle school in the Paris suburbs. 

Burning Brighter 2021
Shorts

Shorts Program 2

Get Lost - Your Kid - The Loyal Man
Video introduction by Romuald Rodrigues Andrade and Lawrence Valin
Closing Night Party at 6:15 pm -
FIAF Tinker Auditorium
In Person: Sunday, October 3, 2021
5pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

The films in this program reflect the difficulty of choosing one’s life path—until a plan imposes itself. This might come in the form of an unexpected transition to fatherhood (Timoun Aw), a dreamed-of professional opportunity (Get Lost), or a cryptic chance meeting (The Loyal Man).

Burning Brighter 2021
Feature Film

Red Soil

Rouge
Closing Night Party at 6:15 pm -
FIAF Tinker Auditorium
In Person: Sunday, October 3, 2021
7pm
FIAF Florence Gould Hall

Dir. Farid Bentoumi, 2020
In French with English subtitles

After losing her job at a hospital emergency room, Nour Hamadi (Zita Hanrot) returns to her hometown, taking a position as a nurse at the chemical plant where her father Slimane (Sami Bouajila) has worked for 30 years.

This film is part of Young French Cinema, a program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.


Online: Sunday, October 3–Sunday, October 10


Burning Brighter 2021
Feature Film

Arab Blues

Un Divan à Tunis
New York Premiere
Online: Sunday, October 3—Sunday, October 10, 2021

Dir. Manele Labidi, 2019
In French and Arabic with English subtitles

Selma (Golshifteh Farahani), a 35-year-old psychoanalyst, decides to return from France to her native Tunisia to improve the mental health of her compatriots.

Burning Brighter 2021
Feature Film

Night Ride

La Nuit venue
North American Premiere
Online: Sunday, October 3—Sunday, October 10, 2021

Dir. Frédéric Farrucci, 2019
In French with English subtitles

Jin drives an illegal taxi for the Chinese Triads, with dreams of becoming a DJ. He meets Naomi (played by French pop singer Camélia Jordana), a troubled sex worker who makes him her private chauffeur.

Burning Brighter 2021
Documentary Feature

Leave?

Partir ?
US Premiere
Online: Sunday, October 3—Sunday, October 10, 2021

Dir. Mary-Noël Niba, 2019
In French and Pidjin with English subtitles, English

After several deeply disillusioning years spent in Europe, Stéphane, Léo, Cheikh, and Boye Gaye have returned to their home countries in Africa, where they are perceived as failures and face tremendous difficulties in readapting.

Burning Brighter 2021
Feature Film

Should the Wind Drop

Si le vent tombe
Q&A with Nora Martirosyan and Julie Paratian
Online: Sunday, October 3—Sunday, October 10, 2021

Dir. Nora Martirosyan, 2020
In French, Armenian, English, Russian with English subtitles

French auditor Alain Delage (Grégoire Colin, in tour-de-force performance) arrives in the war-torn South Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh to study the feasibility of a new airport.

This film is part of Young French Cinema, a program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Burning Brighter 2021
Feature Film

Simply Black

Tout simplement Noir
Video introduction by Jean-Pascal Zadi
North American Premiere
Online: Sunday, October 3—Sunday, October 10, 2021

Dir. Jean-Pascal Zadi and John Wax, 2020
In French with English subtitles

This corrosive comedy tackles the timely topics of racism and coalition building with a good dose of self-deprecation.

Burning Brighter 2021
Shorts

Shorts Program 3

Blaké - Mama Lova - So What If the Goats Die
Video introduction by Vincent Fontano and Jeff Taver
Online: Sunday, October 3—Sunday, October 10, 2021

The shorts in this online program provide unexpected plot twists and stylistic turns. Mama Lova portrays a grieving mother managing a devastating loss; So What If the Goats Die mixes genres as it builds toward a surprise finale; and the experimental Blaké turns the mundane (an overnight shift of two security guards) into visual poetry.

Burning Brighter: New Voices in French Cinema is made possible by the generous support of The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations.

Skies of Lebanon and Should the Wind Drop are part of Young French Cinema, a program of UniFrance and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.