This year, eight free and open-to-the-public Master Classes will be held on the VCU campus at the new Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at VCU. Simultaneous interpretation headsets will allow everyone to participate in the discussions regardless of English or French proficiency levels. The ICA Auditorium has 204 seats.

Human rights, social justice, mental health and aging, environmental activism, immigration, reconciliation, artistic freedom and expression are some of the themes weaved throughout the selection of films in this year’s Festival. These two days of Master Classes permit a better understanding into how directors, screenwriters, actors, and artist-technicians create ingenious ways through the visual and aural power of cinema to communicate important issues facing our world today while captivating and entertaining the viewer.  Discussions in the Master Classes also reveal from whom artists have drawn inspirations and with whom they elaborated, or pushed even further, certain styles and cinema genres.

On Thursday…

Director Gérard Krawczyk kicks off the Master Class series with an intriguing project he designed, aimed at sparking ideas and creative incentives to move more students and citizens into the arts of screenwriting and film production.

Actors, writers and producers Julie Voisin, Alexandre Tacchino and Mathieu Simonet invite us into the development of their new and highly original television series.  A series where History and each character’s (hi)story enter into new contextual and artistic articulations ultimately challenging spectators to re-evaluate our present situation: consumerism, social and political formatting weighing down citizens, their lives and their (our) future(s).

Both cinematographer Pierre-William Glenn and actor Thierry Lhermitte will share more insights into their distinguished and illustrious careers during two Master Classes – Homages.  Thank you Pierre-William and Thierry for all that you have given to cinema and to our Festival throughout the years!

with film director an author Gérard Krawczyk

  Thursday, March 28, 9:00 – 10:20 a.m

with actors and directors Julie Voisin, Mathieu Simonet and Alexandre Tacchino

  Thursday, March 28, 10:30 a.m -12 :00 p.m.

with film director & cinematographer Pierre-William Glenn

  Thursday, March 28, 1:00 – 2:20 p.m.

with actor Thierry Lhermitte

  Thursday, March 28, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

On Friday…

The Master Class series starts up with Belgian director François Troukens whose personal career path leading him into professional filmmaking is definitely not the norm.  His entry into writing, publishing and filming continues a trajectory, to a specific style of French cinematic storytelling.  One will see during the Master Classes several links, influences and a sort of visual interconnectivity between a new generation of filmmakers like Troukens, Voisin, Tacchino and Simonet with celebrated directors such as author and director José Giovanni, directors Jean Becker, Jean Renoir, Bertrand Tavernier, Pierre-William Glenn, Gérard Krawczyk, and stunt coordinator Rémy Julienne.

Director, screenwriter and reporter Nicolas Champeaux with director Gilles Porte will carry on the important, critical work of militant, engaged, “citizen camera” filmmaking.  Champeaux and Porte will unveil the creative genesis as well as their innovative storytelling methods behind their poignant documentary, The State Against Mandela and the Others: generated from the audio recordings of the entire judicial proceedings in 1963 and 1964 against Nelson Mandela and his fellow freedom fighters.  The trial which ultimately set into motion, and finally realized twenty-seven years later, the end of Apartheid.

Gilles Porte will also elaborate on the artistic and technical choices he decides to make when working as director and/or cinematographer on documentaries, features, animations or virtual-reality films.

The director Jérôme Enrico will cap the Master Class series with a presentation of the remarkable career of his father, director Robert Enrico, and a special screening of his new documentary Robert Enrico, A Brief Passage on Earth, a true a Master Class in itself and an excellent way to tie-in together these two days of discussions on filmmaking.

with film director an author François Troukens

  Friday, March 29, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.


with director, screenwriter and reporter Nicolas Champeaux

  Friday, March 29, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m.

with director and cinematographer Gilles Porte

  Friday, March 29, 11:30 – 12:30 p.m.

with screening of documentary « Robert Enrico, a Brief Passage on Earth« , by Jérôme Enrico

  Friday, March 29, 1:45 – 3:30 p.m.

So, mark your calendar, reserve your free seat, grab your simultaneous interpretation headset at the ICA, and then enter into the transformative worlds of cinema.

Your Festival’s Master Classes are so beneficial because they provide direct interaction with the creators and artists.  Each Master Classes gives us critical insights and real knowledge about so many aspects of filmmaking from the professionals themselves.  It changes, for the better, the way we understand, appreciate and critically view films.  They are packed with crucial hands-on information that traditional academic film courses simply cannot provide. (From a former student attendee)

The Festival acknowledges and thanks Le Lycée Rochambeau for a new partnership that helps provides some of the funding necessary to continue offering these special exchanges with professionals in the film industry.  Le Lycée Rochambeau has incorporated the Master Classes and the Festival itself as an integral part of their students’ experiences in its cinema and theater programs.