The Helvetia French Film Festival (FFFH - Festival du Film Français d'Helvétie) presented its 17th edition this year in Biel/Bienne from September 15 through 19, then in seven other cities in the four major German-speaking regions of the canton of Bern. An occasion to meet with a high-profile delegation of festival guests and to discover around 60 films in Swiss premiere screenings.
As always, the five-day event were dedicated to French-language films from France and Switzerland, showcasing this year a wide slate of feature films and a selection of shorts, including numerous major premieres of titles that have not yet been released in France (Haute couture, Mi iubita mon amour, Jane by Charlotte, Robust, A Good Man, among others). To focus on films in the Official Selection, eleven "Podium" discussions were held between artistic crew members and the public.
The festival also included four other sections. One of these, the Discovery section, presented a selection of short films in competition and a number of French or French-language productions that had not yet been screened in Switzerland.
With a program put together in partnership with Swiss distributors and UniFrance, the festival continues to give international exposure to French cinema and its artists. Among the actors and directors in attendance this year are Nathalie Baye, Stéphane Brizé, Bernard Campan et Alexandre Jollien, Catherine Corsini & Aïssatou Diallo Sagna, Julien Rappeneau, Pascal Elbé, Charlotte Gainsbourg (on video conference) and Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar.
This year's festival trailer (see below) stars actor Bruno Todeschini in a hilarious sketch following in the tradition of recent trailers for the event, which the FFFH has down to a fine art. You can watch Patrick Bruel in the 2015 trailer, Ariane Ascaride in the trailer for the 2016 festival, and Camille Chamoux, Estéban, and Paul Minthe in the 2019 trailer.
All pictures from this 2021 edition to be found here.
French films at the 2021 FFFH
Clin d'œil au CInéma Suisse (A Nod to Swiss Cinema)
Short Films - Discovery Section