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Champagne courtesy of Mumm

London's Favourite French Film 2010 Award Ceremony - The results

By Monica Ainley and Matthieu Boisseau

On September 22nd, a glamorous Franco-London crowd, cinephiles, francophiles, and your standard French culture hangers-on i.e. yours truly, attended the seventh annual London’s Favourite French Film Awards Night. Hosted by France in London, the gala night was held at the Institut Français in South Kensington in celebration of the latest and greatest in French cinema, and was presided over by the French ambassador Mr. Maurice Gourdault-Montagne.
Upon arrival, guests were greeted with a Mumm champagne reception, mingling bilingually and eating the delicious canapés on offer. The excitement was palpable as people took their places in the Ciné Lumière to hear Monsieur L’Ambassadeur Maurice Gourdault-Montagne reveal the winners. 

The Ambassador dedicated the evening’s ceremony to the two recently deceased legendary filmmakers Claude Chabrol (Le Beau Serge, A man and a woman, Thank you for the chocolate) and Alain Corneau (Tous les matins du monde, Fear and Trembling), and concluded his speech with a quote by Jean Renoir:

“The art of cinema lies in revealing man's truth, not in telling increasingly astounding stories”
This was perfect lead up to the films that were to be honored. Over 30 memorable films were in this year’s running, including A Prophet, The First Day of the Rest of Your Life, Seraphine, Micmacs and Anything for Her: a tall order for Londoners to choose from, but chose they did and the results were:
3rd place: Jean-Francois Richet’s thriller Mesrine: Killer Instinct (Momentum), starring Vincent Cassel, which tells the story of the legendary French gangster Jacques Mesrine, before he became Public Enemy No1 in France.
2nd place: Anne Fontaine's aesthetic tour de force Coco Before Chanel (Optimum Releasing), starring one of France’s most adorable exports Audrey Tatou.
And finally, in 1st Place, hailed as one of the greatest prison films ever made: Jacques Audiard's crime masterpiece, A Prophet (Optimum Releasing).

Winners London's Favourite French Films 2010
1 A Prophet (Un Prophète)
2 Coco before Chanel (Coco avant Chanel)
3 Mesrine: Killer Instinct (Mesrine: Instinct de mort)
4 Mesrine: Public Enemy Number One (Mesrine: Ennemi Public No1)
5 Micmacs (Micmacs à Tire-larigot)
6 The First Day of the Rest of Your Life (Le Premier Jour du reste de ta vie)
7 Taken 3
8 Anything for her (Tout pour Elle)
9 Séraphine
10 Father of my children (Le Père de mes Enfants)

After the distributors had collected the awards, it was the turn of the lucky FranceinLondon winners to get up on stage to receive their prizes, which included a One-week holiday for 4 in a luxury apartment in Paris St Germain-des-Pres, A Guerlain Orchidée Imperiale Gift Bag worth over £1000, and two £200 gift vouchers offered by Relais & Châteaux. And the winning streak did not end there for some when another fortunate guest won two return tickets with City Jet to a destination of his choice!

Clare Binns, Director of Programming at City Screen came on stage to present My afternoons with Marguerite. She took this opportunity to thank the ambassador for the contribution he had just made and what a great spokes man he was for French Cinema.

Following all this excitement, the lights were dimmed for the first London screening of Gerard Depardieu’s latest film,“My Afternoons with Margueritte” (La Tête en Friche) courtesy of Picturehouse Entertainment Ltd. In it, Jean Becker gives a glimpse of the tender, and less tender states of motherhood – delving into complicated relationships in true French style while steering clear of romantic clichés and maintaining a steady sprinkling of Gallic humour throughout. Already a roaring success in France with over 1.3 million entries to date, the audience’s reaction would indicate that it will be just as well received on this side of the Channel!
Once the final credits had run, hungry guests made their way to the Salons de l’Institut for the VIP party, where they were greeted by brothers Alexandre and Leo Guarneri of Androuët for a delicious Cheese and Wine tasting.  Androuët, the oldest established cheesemonger in France opened their doors in London less than a year ago and there is already a real buzz around their Spitalfields store and restaurant. 

The Jazz band kept everybody entertained until Oddono’s arrived with little tubs of their scrumptious Italian gelato, at which point the previously sophisticated guests turned into delighted children as they slurped their way through the ice-cream maker’s most popular flavours.

Finally tearing myself away after midnight, a handsome young Frenchman handed me bags of treasures tied with a purple ribbon. Pour moi! Non? Oh alright then…

Sitting back satisfied amid a pile of vouchers for more free Odonno's gelato (yes please), flight possibilities from City Jet, Cheese possibilities from Androuët, and gifts from Absolute Vodka and TV5, I put some of that blissful By Terry regenerating rose balm on my lips and thought back on my night of French fun. For the first time in months, I didn’t miss Paris at all.


30/09/2010 - chris said :

Why can't you use the original French titles? Ennervannt!

29/09/2010 - julien said :

It was a great event, thank you France In London


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