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French Animation Film Festival opens at UWI - Fifth staging in Jamaica, 15th internationally

Published:Friday | October 28, 2016 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Stefane Daley of Alliance Française welcomes audience members to the 2016 French Animation Film Festival in the Multifunctional Room at uwi Mona on Wednesday evening.
French Ambassador to Jamaica Jean-Michel Despax (right), and his wife, Madame Line Despax, at the opening of the 2016 French Animation Film Fetival at the UWI, Mona’s Multifunctional Room on Wednesday evening.

French and English were cheek and jowl in the Multifunctional Room at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, on Wednesday evening at the 2016 French Animation Festival's opening. This was the case not only for the audience members, but the Alliance Francaise's Stefane Daley who alternated the languages in welcoming all to the festival's first day.

And while the opening short film, Restaurant Fuss, was in a language all Jamaicans should understand, the high-quality French feature film, Adama, was subtitled in English.

Daley noted that it was the fifth staging of the French Animation Film Festival in Jamaica and the 15th internationally. After Wednesday's opening, there were more films yesterday and the festival continues on November 4 and 5, again at the Multifunctional Room. Films start at 7 p.m. and admission is free.

There were chuckles when Daley said that travelling to France from Jamaica is not cheap, so the festival was a good, low-cost way of enjoying French culture.

When the lights were turned off and the screen came to life, before the French of Adama came the Jamaican of Restaurant Fuss, where the appliances spoke and there was a clash of words between the stove and fire extinguisher, with the refrigerator a referee and mediator. When the going got hot - literally, as the stove burst into flames.




When the chef came in, frantically looking for the extinguisher which had just been proclaiming its importance to the kitchen's safety, the fire safety device had made a hole in the wall and was yelling for help outside.

There were also flames and smoke in parts of an engrossing Adama, the title character being a boy who followed his older brother Simba, from an African country to France, after the elder sibling joined the French army. Through dogged determination, sheer good luck and the protection of a beggar turned spiritual guide, Adama travels to the front in Verdun, where he finds his brother as a hard-boiled soldier who has lost all sense of priorities.

Before a warplane's strafing of the battlefield, bombing and gassing is over, Simba's initiation into manhood which had been interrupted by an omen before he left home to become a soldier, is completed. He comes back to his senses and the brother's return home at harvest time.

All the films which will be show at the French Animation Film Festival 2016 have English subtitles.