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Sundance Kid

French Cinema at Sundance

By Didier Allouch, host of Rendez-vous d'Amérique

My dear francophiles, francovorous and francophageous friends, I have a confession to make: I am a Sundance Kid. Oh, my youth is way behind me; and those who saw me trying to ski at Sundance resort know that I don’t mean it in a sporting way. What I mean is that I love the Sundance Film festival. I have not missed one edition in the last 23 years. I’ve seen about 500 films (or even more) in the theaters of Park City; I recorded at least 500 interviews there, I’ve consumed dozens of juicy steaks at Grub’s Steak House (if you know Park City, you know what I’m talking about) and spent a lot of time with a lot of French people on the white snowy peaks of Utah...

"I remember the emotions of hundreds of audience members in Utah watching, some for the first time, French cinema." -Didier Allouch

Sundance and its creator have always welcomed French cinema in its selection. And French filmmakers and actors love to go there. When they come, they are just spending some of the best time of their career. It’s true this year for actress Aïssa Maïga and director Laure De Clermont-Tonnerre, as you’ll  see in the next episode of Rendez-Vous D’Amérique. It was true for so many more that I had the chance to follow them when they presented a movie at the festival. And sometimes, it goes way over the usual TV report.

I remember spending an evening in the trunk of Luc Besson’s car. We followed him on the night of the presentation of his Angela from the premiere to the party (ies). And since there was no space in his car for us, we had to ride in the trunk from a very fancy dinner to lavish parties in luxurious lodges. All this, in a trunk.

I remember when I gave a small camera to French filmmaker Michel Gondry. He was there with his film Be Kind Rewind. He spent the entire day filming everything from the presentation of the film onstage to interviewing people in the line of his own film, asking them if they knew the director of the movie they were going to see (most of them didn’t).

I remember Marjane Satrapi, director of French language film Persepolis, giving us an exclusive interview in her bathtub (long story). I remember French filmmakers Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur trying to finish their interview with a sliding stunt on a ski slope, and ending up sliding all the way to the cameras, on their bottoms, in the middle of the street, laughing like crazy…And most importantly, I remember the smiles, the tears, the laughter and the emotions of hundred of audience members in Utah watching, some for the first time,  French cinema.

Yes, I am a Sundance Kid and you have no idea how proud that makes me…

 

To learn more about our trip to Sundance, the presence of French cinema and filmmakers at the iconic festival, and other events that define Francophone culture in America, tune in to our episodes of Rendez-vous d’Amérique on TV5MONDE USA. Click here for more information about this exciting episode.

Exploring a diversity of culture entwined with the insatiable energy of New York’s theatres, the bright lights of Las Vegas Blvd, the inspirational beauty of Louisana’s bayous, and beyond - Rendez-vous d'Amérique invites you on a journey to discover Francophone culture in America. Your host on this cultural experience is Didier Allouch - reporter, cinephile, and a familiar face at movie premieres. Click here to learn how you can subscribe to TV5MONDE USA and never miss an episode!

 
Founder of Sundance Film Festival, Robert Redford
"Yes, I am a Sundance Kid and you have no idea how proud that makes me."
Interview with director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, The Mustang (2019)