Plein les Yeux – Frans Film Festival started in 2015 as a film festival dedicated to French and Francophone (French-speaking) cinema organised by Stichting Plein les Yeux. The main reason behind the creation of the festival was to promote French and Francophone cinema in The Netherlands, establishing a high-profile event dedicate to present a carefully curated selection of recent award-winning films produced in France and in Francophone countries.
A five-day event seemed the most appropriate frame to put French and French-speaking cinema in the spotlight and to offer unmissable moment to anyone interested in French and French-speaking cinema and culture as a whole.
In addition to the organisation of the festival, the stichting’s primary aim and ambition is to become a dynamic presence in the Dutch cultural landscape, mainly by developing strong relationships with institutions, associations and companies that are participating in promoting French culture and providing educational moments to young audiences.
The first edition of the festival was held from June 3 to 7 2015 in at De FilmHallen in Amsterdam. Over one thousand and three hundred festival tickets were sold, nearly half of all the tickets sold in by De FilmHallen during the same period. An even larger audience attended the festival exhibition and its other public events (presentations and food tastings).
The films awarded in three categories (Best French Film, Best Francophone Film, Audience Award) were screened in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Dordrecht, Breda, Alkmaar, Arnhem, Leeuwarden and Zwolle during the summer as part of Plein les Yeux on tour.
Plein les Yeux now faces a growing demand from institutions and associations for more support to French and French-speaking cinema in the Netherlands. New opportunities are opening and Plein les Yeux embraces them by widening and re-framing its missions, strengthening its actual programs and developing new ones.
Plein les Yeux develops four complementary and interrelated initiatives to fulfil its missions.
Through Plein les Yeux – Frans Film Festival, it brings unseen jewels of French and Francophone cinema to Amsterdam; through Plein les Yeux on tour the stichting brings special films to cities with a less rich and diverse cultural offer; through Scholen en film it promotes the knowledge of French cinema, language and culture to a young audience; through Presented by Plein les Yeux, it participates in raising awareness on French films released in Dutch cinemas throughout the year.
Plein les Yeux – Frans Film Festival is the only festival entirely dedicated to French and Francophone (French-speaking) cinema and French culture in the Netherlands.
The first edition of the festival was held at De FilmHallen (Amsterdam) from June 3 to 7 2015. The second edition of the festival will be held from March 23 to 27 2016 and will still be hosted by De FilmHallen Amsterdam.
With Plein les Yeux on tour, Plein les Yeux offers the best of the festival to audiences outside of Amsterdam. In 2015, three films (the Best French Film, the Best Francophone Film and the Prix TV5MONDE du Public) were screened in Utrecht, Alkmaar, Breda, Dordrecht, Leeuwarden, Arhnem, Zwolle and once more in Amsterdam (at cinema The Movies).
In 2015, Plein les Yeux launched Scholen en film, a program dedicated to youngsters from 12 to 18 years old learning French at school. Two films were selected and presented during the festival, accompanied by educational material for both teachers and their students.
On November 12 2015, Plein les Yeux will collaborate with Franzselfsprekend (the association of French teachers in the Netherlands) for the second edition of the Dag van de Franse Taal and organise special screenings in almost 20 cities of the country.
In July 2015, just one month after the festival, Plein les Yeux has been approached by film distributors to offer its network and film expertise in support of the release of several new French films. Plein les Yeux presented the première of “La Loi du Marché” by Stéphane Brisé at De FilmHallen and moderated the following Q&A with Vincent Lindon (Palme for Best Actor, Cannes 2015). Such incentive will be repeated next November with “Maryland” by Alice Winocour. Starting in October, Plein les Yeux will moderate the debates of the monthly “ciné-club” organised by Alliance Française in Den Haag.