French film club for English-speakers launching in south-west France

If you want to explore the artistic, varied, sexy and sometimes quite weird world of French cinema, but worry that your language skills aren't up to the task then there is a group that can help you - and now it's expanding to the south west.

French film club for English-speakers launching in south-west France
Photo by Nicolas TUCAT / AFP

Lost in Frenchlation was first set up by an Australian-French duo with a simple mission – helping English-speakers to appreciate French cinema and learn a little more about France and its culture.

The club has been running regular screenings of French films with English subtitles in Paris cinemas since 2014, but now it has expanded to Charente, and hopes that English-speakers in the area will enjoy their offerings.

Co-founder Manon Kerjean is passionate about French cinema, and picks a mixture of new releases and French classics for the screenings, which she hopes will show off the wonderful variety of French films produced (French cinema is more than moody black-and white epics about some good-looking Parisians having a nervous breakdown).

Each screening is preceded by drinks, making them a good way to meet fellow English-speakers, and many of the events also include extras such as a Q&A with the directors or stars of the film or a walking tour of film locations.

The Charente events will be held in Marthon, about half an hour from Angouleme by car, and begins with a current release – Couleurs de l’incendie, which tells the story of a young heiress who must take over a financial empire after the death of her father, Marcel Péricourt.

You can find the full list of Lost in Frenchlation December screenings here

If none of the screening locations are in locations accessible to you, then Lost in Frenchlation also offers an online streaming service – full details here.

And if you’re looking for ideas for something to watch, you can find The Local’s pick of French films here and here and here.

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Paris cinema named as world’s most-visited

A Paris cinema has been named as the world's most frequented, with an astonishing 2.2 million visitors in 2022.

Paris cinema named as world's most-visited

Climbing ahead of even Burbank in Los Angeles and the Showcase Bluewater in London, Paris’ UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles was rated the most visited cinema in the world, according to a ranking by Comscore for 2023.

Located in the heart of Paris –  the city with the most movie theatres in the world – UGC des Halles is found in the city’s 1st arrondisement, at the Chatelet-Les Halles shopping mall, where many of the city’s Metro and suburban train lines (RERs) intersect.

UGC des Halles is only one of 2,000 French movie theatres to remain open all day – from 9am until midnight.

It boasts 27 screens and 3,820 seats – a record in Europe, according to Les Echos – and, on average, the theatre also allows films to remain in the programming longer than they might in other cinemas. 

However, the success of UGC des Halles is also a large testament to the return of the cinema after the industry was heavily impacted by the pandemic.

READ MORE: Six French films with English subtitles that you don’t want to miss in January

“The public has found its way back to theatres,” Eric Marti, the head of Comscore France, said in a statement following the ranking. “[The public] has renewed its confidence in this cinema, located in the heart of Paris.”

Marti also referenced the fact that the cinema has “bet on a diversified programme,” since 1995, which according to Brigitte Maccioni, the head of UGC, has been the “success of UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles.”

“[It] demonstrates the relevance of the model used by UGC cinemas, which promotes all types of cinema, from American blockbusters to arthouse films,” Maccioni said in a press release on Wednesday.

READ MORE: How Paris cinemas are surviving

Across France, the cinema has gradually begun to regain its audience. In 2022, cinema attendance rose to 152 million, an increase of 59.2 percent when compared with 2021. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go, with the 2022 attendance numbers still 26.9 percent lower than the pre-Covid period, according to Les Echos.