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DC Francophonie Festival 2024



Washington, DC, US 20007

March 1, 2024 - March 31, 2024


From March 1, 2024, the Embassy of France in the United States celebrates the DC Francophonie Cultural Festival, in association with the many embassies and members of the International Organization of Francophonie, to offer a diversified cultural program, presenting French-speaking films, workshops, and events from around the world.

Since 2001, the festival has honored the richness of the French language and French communities, bringing together more than 40 partners including the various embassies, the Alliance Française of Washington DC as well as the Smithsonian Associates.

For more information, please click here.

Art Exhibit: Avenues of Connection and the Art of the Francophone World

February 29 – March 31 l Ven Hotel, Embassy Row

This exhibit, sponsored by the Ven at Embassy Row and the Alliance Française in DC, features select works by artists representing the Francophone world, including Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Georgia, Haiti, Kosovo, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Moldova, Morocco, Senegal, Togo, Uruguay, and more.

The exhibit will stay open to the public in the Gallery Room of the VEN Hotel at 2015 Massachusetts Ave NW, through March 31, 2024.

The Francophone Youth Poetry Competition

March 1 l 12:00pm-1:00pm

The Francophone Youth Poetry Contest is organized by the Alliance Française of Washington DC as part of the Festival de la Francophonie 2024. This contest is free and open to all young people, native French speakers, and non-native speakers aged 14 to 18, whether in school (enrolled in 9th to 12th grade), or not. Forms are free, and the main theme is “peace.”

Send one to two poems in Word format to the Director of Cultural Programs Natasha Bollier:

The total amount of text is limited to two pages (Times New Roman, size 12 font). For example, you can submit a two-page poem or two one-page poems.

The following should be noted at the top of each poem:

(1) The first and last name of the author;

(2) Their date of birth;

(3) Their current grade level and school address (if applicable);

(4) Their mailing address

(5) Their phone number;

(6) A contact email. If the author is not a native French speaker, please indicate accordingly and the French class they are taking (French 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or AP French).

The deadline for submitting poems is February 19, 2024. The winners will be announced to all participants by email before March 1, 2024, and during the Poetry Night at the Embassy of France on March 1 at 7:00pm.

The winners will receive a certificate as well as prizes: $150 prize for a native French speaker; $150 prize for a non-native speaker. All winners will also receive a one-year membership to the Alliance Française of Washington, DC (AFDC) as well as a tote bag with the AFDC logo. The winners will also be invited to recite their poems during the event.

For more information, please contact Natasha Bollier:

Francophone Poetry Night, Seventh Edition

March 1, 7:00pm l French Embassy in the US

The Alliance Française is organizing an evening celebrating the poetry of le monde francophone as part of the DC Francophonie Festival.

Did you know that many countries, which don’t have French as their official language, are part of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, either as a member, an associated member, or an observer? For example, Greece, Georgia, Serbia, Armenia, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, and Vietnam are all part of the Francophonie!

Join us to hear select poems from around the Francophone world, recited in the poem’s original language and its translation in French. Have poetry of your own? Bring it along to share during the open mic session! Admission is free, but registration is required. Donations are appreciated to support the cultural programs of the Alliance Française de Washington DC.

Tours in French at the National Museum of African Art

March 2 – March 30, 1:00pm – 2:30 pm l National Museum of African Art

The Alliance Française of Washington, DC is pleased to partner once again with the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art to organize guided tours in French as part of the month-long DC Francophonie Festival. The tours will include highlights of the museum’s current exhibitions with special attention to artists from Francophone Africa. Participants in the tour are assured a diverse group of works and historical time periods. These tours are free but registration is mandatory.

Refer to the website to check available spots on Thursdays (7, 14, 21 and 28), Saturdays (2, 9, 16, 23 and 30), and Sundays (3, 10, 17 and 24).

Your guide will meet you at the reception desk on the ground level.

These tours are intended for individuals or families. Should your school or organization wish to schedule a group of 10 or more visitors, then please send requests to

Documentary Screening: Stuntwomen

March 2, 2:00pm – 4:00pm l Embassy of Switzerland in the US

In honor of the DC Festival de la Francophonie and Women’s History Month, the Embassy invites you to a special in-person edition of the Swiss Film Club featuring the documentary Stuntwomen (Cascadeuses, 2022).

The film’s director, Elena Avdija, will join us for an in-person discussion directly after the screening.

Synopsis: Virginie, Petra, and Estelle are stuntwomen. They get hit by cars or struck by violent husbands and gangsters, often repeatedly. And every time, they get back up on their feet, ready to shoot the scene as many times as necessary. Freedom, glory, or a search for power fuel these women’s desire to push their bodies to the limits. But how much violence are their bodies and minds able to take on? The film questions how cinema and television distribute roles and violence on the screen.

The film will be shown with English subtitles.

Screening of A Son (Tunisian Film)

March 4, 7:00- 9:00 pm l La Maison Française, French Embassy

The Embassy of Tunisia is proposing a screening of the film A Son at La Maison Française. Released in 2019, the film is directed by Tunisian director and screenwriter Mehdi Barsaoui.

Synopsis: Aziz, 10, needs a blood transfusion after being wounded in an ambush while on vacation in Tunisia. This event will reveal a dark family secret.

The film is in Arabic, with English subtitles, and will be preceded by opening remarks from the Ambassador of Tunisia Hanène Tajouri Bessassi.

Tunisian Concert: Echoes of Hope

March 6, 6:30pm – 8:30 pm l La Maison Française, French Embassy

Yahya Mhirsi and Fatma Souf invite you to a contemplative evening with “Echoes of Hope,” a concert that blends their passion for piano and violin with their Tunisian heritage, and dedication to supporting music education in Tunisia and beyond.

Known for their Tennessee88 tour project, pianist Yahya Mhirsi and violinist Fatma Souf are highly accomplished musicians with a diverse musical background in classical, traditional, and popular styles. Currently based in Johnson City, Tennessee, the couple has captivated audiences in various venues across the country from Boston to Nashville.

International concert pianist and founder of 88 International Kimball Gallagher, who has maintained a presence in Tunisia since 2007, joins the Tunisian couple for a segment of the concert.

Since 2001, the festival has honored the richness of the French language and French communities, bringing together more than 40 partners including the various embassies, the Alliance Française of Washington DC as well as the Smithsonian Associates.

For more information, please click here.

Migraaaants : Scenes From The Play & Discussion 

March 6, 7:00 – 9:00 pm l AFDC

Join us at the Alliance Française for a unique event! Watch Expats Theatre perform select scenes from Migraaaants or There’s Too Many People On this Damn Boat  written by French-Romanian playwright Matéi Visniec’s and directed by Karin Rosnizeck, followed by a discussion on migration.

Doors open at 6:30pm. This is a seated event and spots are limited. Advance registration is required. We will be serving wine at this event. Please be ready to show proof of Covid vaccination upon entry.

Visniec’s dark comedy written shortly after the so-called “refugee crisis” in Europe, focuses on the issue of migration. 26 short scenes explore the plight of migrants as they cross seas, deal with profiteers, face dehumanization and exploitation, and navigate cultural and political barriers on their endless obstacle race to the host country. A brilliant and bold satire shining a critical and sobering light onto one of the biggest human tragedies of our time.

Expats Theatre ( was founded by Karin Rosnizeck to bring contemporary international plays with global themes to DC.

Dictée de la Francophonie, Fourth Edition

March 6, 7:00pm – 8:00 pm l Online Event

Everyone is invited to take their pen, in front of their screens, to participate in this writing exercise!

This dictée is organized as part of the Festival de la Francophonie in Washington, DC and will take place on March 7 at 6:00 pm ET on Zoom. Sarah Diligenti, Executive Director of AFDC, will read an excerpt from a text by a Francophone author, which will be announced later.

The event is free and open to everyone! However, we recommend a B2+ level of French. All registrants will receive a Zoom link a few days before the event.

La vie Parisienne – Offenbach’s Operetta

March 8, 7:00 – 8:00 pm l La Maison Française, French Embassy

An enchanting evening of music, laughter, and romance with this concert version of the operetta “La vie Parisienne.” Step into the glittering world of 19th century Paris, where love, intrigue, and hilarity collide in a whirlwind of colorful characters and unforgettable melodies.

In partnership with Opéra Comique de Washington. Limited capacity.

Each person attending must have a ticket registered in their name and an ID that matches the name on the reservation. No one will be accepted without reservation and a valid ID.

Special Storytime to Celebrate La Francophonie!

March 9, 10:30am – 11:30 am l Bonjour Books DC, 3758 Howard Avenue Kensington, MD 20895

Join us for stories and fun. Recommended for children ages 3+ and accompanying adults. Limit is 10 children. Please purchase tickets for children only. Tickets are not required for accompanying adults.

Each ticket includes $5 to spend on books at Bonjour Books DC!

This event will be held inside the store.

Pelican Girls: Conversation with Julia Malye

March 14, 6:30pm – 7:30pm l Bonjour Books DC, 3758 Howard Avenue Kensington, MD 20895 l Bonjour Books DC, 3758 Howard Avenue Kensington, MD 20895

Join us for a conversation with French author Julia Malye, who will discuss her recently translated book Pelican Girls. A sweeping epic inspired by a true story, this stunning US literary debut captures the never-before-told journey of the Baleine Brides, a ship full of young women plucked from a Paris asylum and sent to marry settlers in North America’s rough Louisiana Territory.

Format: The conversation (in English) will be followed by a Q&A and a signing session. Copies of the book will be available for sale. If you would like to pre-order your copy, click here.

About the Book: Paris, 1720. La Salpêtrière hospital is in crisis: too many occupants, not enough beds. Halfway across the world, France’s colony in the wilds of North America has space to spare and needs families to fill it. So the director of the hospital rounds up nearly a hundred female “volunteers” of childbearing age—orphans, prisoners, and mental patients—to be shipped to New Orleans. Among this group are three unlikely friends: a sharp-tongued twelve-year old orphan, a mute ‘madwoman,’ and an accused abortionist. Charlotte, Pétronille, and Geneviève, along with the dozens of other women aboard La Baleine, have no knowledge of what lies ahead and no control over their futures. Strangers brought together by fate, these brave and fierce young women will face extraordinary adversity—pirates, slavedrivers, sickness, war—but also the private trauma of heartbreak and unrequited love, children born and lost, cruelty and unexpected pleasure, and a friendship forged in fire that will sustain through the years.

At once a gorgeously written work of startling depth and emotion and a gripping drama marrying high-seas adventure with pioneer grit, Pelican Girls is a powerful, thought-provoking novel about female friendship and desire and the daunting compromises women are forced to make to survive.

About the Author: A native Parisian and graduate of Oregon State University’s MFA program in fiction, Malye is the author of three published novels—La fiancée de Tocqueville (Balland, 2010), which was awarded the Prix des Lycéens du Salon du Livre du Touquet in 2010; Thémoé (Balland, 2013), nominated for the Prix du Jury du Salon du Livre du Touquet in 2013; and Les fantômes de Christopher D. (Fayard, 2016). Upon graduating from Oregon State University, Julia also received a degree from Sciences Po Paris and La Sorbonne in Social Sciences and Modern Literature, and was awarded the Prix de la Nouvelle of La Sorbonne Nouvelle for one of her short stories in 2015.

She’s also a Fulbright Commission Leonora Lindsley Memorial Fellowship recipient. Her work in English has appeared in the Chicago Quarterly Review. As a translator for the Parisian publisher Les Belles Lettres, she translated into French David Galula’s Pacification in Algeria, John Steinbeck’s Bombs Away the Story of a Bomber Team, Evelyn Waugh’s War Diaries, and Steven Moore’s The Longer We Were There. She lives in Paris where she teaches creative writing at Sciences Po Paris, and at the Center for Writing and Rhetoric of Sciences Po Paris.


New African Film Festival at AFI

March 15 and March 28, 2024

Celebrating its 20th edition, the New African Film Festival (NAFF), presented by AFI and Africa World Now Project, brings the vibrancy of African filmmaking from all corners of the continent and across the diaspora to the Washington, DC area. Featuring 26 films from 16 countries, including three US premieres, this year’s festival opens with Mohamed Kordofani’s Cannes-premiered Goodbye Julia, a rich moral drama deftly exploring the personal and political divide between a wealthy Muslim woman and a poor Christian mother from South Sudan, set on the precipice of Sudan’s major split in 2011. The festival closes with the Slamdance award-winner African Giants, which follows two first-generation Sierra Leonean American siblings navigating the changing dynamics of brotherhood after a surprise announcement.

The pass grants one admission to every screening in the 2024 New African Film Festival, including Opening Night. NAFF All-Access Pass: $150.

Silver Cinema Club discounts on festival passes are available for in-person purchases and phone orders only. Visit the box office during operating hours, or call 301 – 495 – 6720 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday – Friday for assistance buying your festival pass.


Book Signing with Local Togolese Author Kevin-Alex

March 16, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm l Bonjour Books DC, 3758 Howard Avenue Kensington, MD 20895

Event: Come meet local Togolese author Kevin-Alex, who will be signing his novel, Rendez-vous avec le Destin, at Bonjour Books DC on Saturday, March 16 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Venez Nombreux! Books available for purchase at Bonjour Books DC and online via their bookshop.

About the Book: When Mr. George Gordon Byron wrote: “The love of a man occupies only a part of his life as a man, the love of a woman occupies her entire existence,” he did not know me. It has been years since you parked yourself in my heart, and since then, I have not been able to dislodge you. I have loved you since the very first day. My love was so strong right from the start that my head could only follow my heart’s decision.

When she had to relocate to the new city to continue her studies, Pélagie was far from suspecting that her past could come back to disturb the normal course of her stay. Who is the mysterious admirer who leaves her sweet words without ever revealing his identity? Is it the mysterious neighbor? What role does her ex play in this new chapter of her life? Is the key to happiness found in her past or rather in the future?

Learn more

Francophone Embassies Walking Tour

March 15-16 l 2:00pm -3:30 pm

This tour will be outside and does not include entering any Embassies. We will communicate later if some Embassies will be welcoming us for a visit inside, but in any case the major part of the tour will be happening outside.

Washington, DC offers a unique opportunity to travel across the world without taking the plane. With more than 175 embassies, ambassadors’ residences, and cultural centers, DC is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the United States. Most embassies, including those from Francophone countries, are located on Massachusetts Avenue NW between Dupont Circle and the US Naval Observatory, and the adjacent Kalorama neighborhood.

Join us for a walking tour across these historic neighborhoods to learn more about the French-speaking world and people who represent it here in DC… without the jetlag! Did you know, for example, that both Greece and Madagascar are part of the Francophonie? Learn many more interesting facts about La Francophonie with the founder of “Off The Mall Tours” Katie Kirkpatrick.

About Katie Kirkpatrick and Off The Mall Tours

Off the Mall Tours is a unique walking tour company that brings a fresh perspective to the history of the nation’s capital. Its mission is to introduce locals and tourists alike to the DC “off the mall” and in the neighborhoods of this fascinating, energetic city. DC is multi-layered and has a multi-cultural heritage, and our company strives to share the contributions of the international community to the city. To really understand Washington, you need to “get Off the Mall!”

Katie Kirkpatrick is proud to call herself a DC resident since 2002. She moved to the capital after graduate school, and then worked in government for many years. However, history was always her first love. So she started her own company, drawing upon her interests in unique stories, a flair for costuming, and her love for DC. She also has a long-term relationship with France, having studied French since high school and living in France and Francophone countries at several periods in her life. She loves all things French! Follow her at @offthemalltours.



Screening of Les Gentils, A Belgian Social Comedy

March 18, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm  l La Maison Française, French Embassy

The Embassy of Belgium invites you to join a screening of Les Gentils, a 2022 Belgian social comedy directed by Olivier Ringer. The screening will be followed by a Belgian beer tasting.

Synopsis: With the relocation of their major customer, Michel and Blandine see their small business gradually go under, taking their staff with them. While they’re busy losing everything, including their home and their love, they get support from Florent, their accountant, and Bruno, one of their workers. Together, the four of them will try to find a way out.

Cast: Renaud Rutten, Tom Audenaert, Achille Ridolfi, and Isabelle de Hertogh

The movie is in French with English subtitles. This event is organized in partnership with Embassy of France – La Maison Française and Wallonie-Bruxelles International.


Piaf! The Show

March 20 – 21, 7:30pm – 9:30pm l La Maison Française, French Embassy

“Piaf! The Show” tells the story of the career of singer Edith Piaf, through her unforgettable songs in an original scenography and projections of unpublished images of her. The show is the biggest French global success since 2015!


La Grande Fête

March 22, 7:00 – 11:00 pm l La Maison Française, French Embassy

Get ready for a spectacular party with a French accent! The annual Francophonie Cultural Festival spotlights the music, art, literature, film, cuisine, and customs of French-speaking countries and regions from across the globe. One of the celebration’s highlights, La Grande Fête is always magnifique, and this year’s bash is no exception.

Starting at 7:00pm, sample food and drink from more than 20 embassies as you explore each nation’s unique attractions and traditions. Participating countries and organizations include Alliance Française de Washington, Canada, Québec, the Republic of Guinea, and Haiti—and that’s just the start of the growing list. Be ready to dance as DJs from around the world bring the unique sounds of Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and plenty of destinations in between.

Film Screening: Coeur de Slush (Billie Blue) with Director Q&A

March 27, 7:00pm – 10:00 pm l La Maison Française, French Embassy

In this romantic comedy, dive into summer with 16 year-old Billie, a water park lifeguard, along with her two best friends and perfect older sister. Billie’s summer is quickly turned upside down when she falls in love with a charming cycling champion. Adapted from the novel Coeur de Slush by Sarah-Maude Beauchesne.

Doors open at 6:00pm with a free tasting of blue raspberry slush, as seen in the film! The film’s director, Mariloup Wolfe, will also be present to introduce the film and participate in a Q&A session afterwards.


In partnership with

Alliance Française DC

Alliance Française is the leading center for French language, French culture and francophone resources in Washington DC.

Bonjour Books

French-language books, gifts & more for all ages.

Embassy of France in the USA

The Embassy of France in the USA

La Maison Française

Unique among French diplomatic missions, La Maison Française at the Embassy of France in Washington, D.C., offers an environment that encourages friendly relations between states, promotes outreach and cultural events, and serves as a center for professional and educational activities.


The Smithsonian Institution is a group of museums and education and research centers, the largest such complex in the world, created by the U.S. government “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge”. Founded on August 10, 1846, the institution is named after its founding donor, British scientist James Smithson. The Institution’s 19 museums, 21 libraries, nine research centers, and zoo include historical and architectural landmarks, mostly located in the District of Columbia. 

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