iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for That Film Festival Fixation

Listen now 15 mins

Listen in pop-out player

That Film Festival Fixation

Episode 1 of 5

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 19 November 2012

Kirsty Lang and Lucy Ash take a series of snapshots off the beaten track in France, looking at the state of the nation through the prism of arts and culture. Along the way they meet an eclectic mix of artists, writers and performers.

France boasts 168 annual film festivals, possibly more than all the other countries in the European Union put together. Some are famous, like Cannes. Some are obscure, like one on the Ile de Groix off the coast of Brittany exclusively devoted to films about islands. Or the celebration of detective films in the little town of Beaune, more famous for Burgundy reds than blood-soaked thrillers.

Lucy and Kirsty visit Aneres, a remote village in the Pyrenees, (population 150) which hosts a silent film festival. The slogan is "Silent Cinema - Talking Piano" and they discover that the annual get-together, which began with the revival of the village cafe, now attracts top-class musicians from across France, many of whom compose original scores for films made before their grandparents were born. There is no entry fee - the audience is encouraged to 'feed the pig' - a huge piggy bank for donations outside the main screen in the village hall. But as the organiser Sylvain Airault admits, he relies on generous state subsidies which are under threat in this climate of austerity.



  1. Image for Crossing Continents

    Crossing Continents

    On the ground reporting from around the world which focuses on the human dimension of the big…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss