For 28 years, the French Film Festival has earned acclaim, in the U.S. and in France, for introducing more than 800 French and francophone films to American audiences.

The Festival has welcomed to Richmond more than 900 directors, screenwriters, actors, cinematographers, music composers & artists-technicians. Since 2003, it has been recognized formally by former French Ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency Jean-David Levitte, as the most important French film festival in the country.

This festival, founded and organized by Drs. Peter and Françoise Kirkpatrick, professors of French literature, culture and film studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Richmond respectively, has distinguished itself over the years with numerous North American premiere screenings and several world premieres.


French language, cinema, and culture in the U.S. and in American educational institutions


To distinguish the cultural richness of the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, the City of Richmond and the Commonwealth of Virginia with a world-class, unique, and internationally recognized French cultural event.


To create professional & academic partnerships focused on French film cultures.

Each year, the Annual French Film Festival will continue its tradition of showcasing a diverse sampling of France’s newest feature films by established, award-winning directors complemented by a screening of short films, by France’s next generation of groundbreaking filmmakers.

All films are presented by their directors and/or starring actors. A question-and-answer session with directors and actors follows each film. All movies have English subtitles, and discussions are in English or in French with an interpreter. Films are screened at the historic Byrd Theatre in Carytown, in Richmond, Va. An official reception with the French celebrities is held each year during which festival attendees have even more time to meet and speak with the French stars.  Master Classes with the filmmakers and artists are held in the auditorium of the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA).  Simultaneous interpretation available. Master Classes are free of charge but reservations through are required.


The French Film Festival academic sponsors are the University of Richmond, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures & Virginia Commonwealth University The  School of World Studies.

Media and Film sponsors include our official print media sponsor, Style Weekly, and the Virginia Film Office. Other sponsors in the US include McCandlish Holton, and Wythken Printing. In France, sponsors include CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée), SACD (Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques), CST (Commission supérieure technique), ADAMI, l’ARP (Auteurs-Réalisateurs-Producteurs),  SACEM (Société des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique ), La Cinémathèque Française, Audiens Care, Lycée Rochambeau, French Cinema in America (FCinA),  Cinemeccanica-France, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Washington, D.C.