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DC Francophonie Festival 2022



La Maison Française, AFI Silver Theater
Washington, DC, US 20007

March 1, 2022 to March 31, 2022


From March 1, 2022, the Embassy of France in the United States celebrates the DC Francophonie Cultural Festival, in association with the many embassies, members of the International Organization of Francophonie, to offer a diversified cultural program, presenting French-speaking films, workshops, events and cultural programs from all over 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 visit:

March 8, 7 pm – #salepute, directed by Florence Hainaut and Myriam Leroy, Belgium, 2021, 57 mins

Florence Hainaut and Myriam Leroy, journalists, have suffered cyber violence like 73% of women in the world. This film revolves around their personal history. Starting with their legal troubles, their upcoming court case against their most violent harasser, they tell viewers an international story of cyber harassment that is both intimate and political. From Finland to Switzerland through Austria, France, and Germany, this film takes stock of the issue and explores any individual and collective responses to this freewheeling gangrene that is online misogyny.

English subtitles

A panel discussion will follow the screening. More details to come.


March 10, 7 pm – Naïs au pays des loups, directed by Rémy Masséglia, France, 2021, 53 mins

For more than two years, a father and his daughter – then only one year old – set off on an extraordinary adventure in the heart of the Mercantour, the wildest national park in France. An initiatory journey and education to nature before entering into school, Naïs will live magical moments. Their path won’t be without crossing one of the most elusive of all the animals living in this park, the wolf.

English subtitles

A discussion with Ambassador Maccario of the Embassy of Monaco in Washington, D.C. will follow the screening.


March 12, 2-3 p, Virtual Literary Encounter with writer Gaël Octavia

Join us Saturday, March 12 for a virtual meeting with Gaël Octavia, Martinican playwright and novelist. This event is organized in partnership with the Embassy of France within the DC Francophonie Festival. The conversation will be conducted entirely in French.

Gaël Octavia was born in 1977 à Fort-de-France and lives in Paris. Scientist by training, a jack-of-all-trades, she writes (novels, theatre, poetry), paints, and makes short fiction films. Largely inspired by Martinican society where she grew up, she addresses universal themes such as migration, family, and the female condition in her texts. Her pieces are read and performed in France, the United States, in the Caribbean, in Africa, and in the Réunion. She received the ETC Caraïbes/Beaumarchais prize for the best French-language text in 2013 for her piece Cette guerre que nous n’avons pas faite (This War That We Did Not Do) (Lansman Editeur), created by Luc Clémentin, and special mention from the Wepler Prize Jury in 2017 for her first novel, La fin de Mame Baby (Gallimard). In 2020, the novel La bonne histoire de Madeleine Démétrius (The Good History of Madeleine Démétrius) (Gallimard) et the theatre piece Rhapsodie (Rhapsody) (Lansman Editeur), created by the Congolese director Abdon Fortuné Koumbha appeared.


March 15, 7 pm – Le Père de Nafi, directed by Mamadou Dia, Sénégal, 2019, 109 mins

When Tierno, the acting imam of a small town, discovers that his daughter Nafi has agreed to marry the son of his older brother Ousmane, he becomes desperate to find a way to stop the wedding, without getting in the way of his daughter’s independence. The source of his alarm is Ousmane’s growing affiliation with a fundamentalist form of Islam that believes in employing any means to prevail, even violence. As Ousmane’s power in the town strengthens, his relationship with his more moderate brother becomes ever more fractured.

English subtitles

A conversation between Professor Isabel Rivero-Vilà and the director Mamadou Dia will follow the screening.


March 17, 7 pm – Călărași, A Land by the Gate of Heaven, directed by Dumitru Grosei, Republic of Moldava, 2018, 52 mins

The land of Călărași is a very special place. Even though the whole of Moldova is a really charming and beautiful place, Călărași stands out because of its location. The land is situated right in the middle of the “Codrii” (ancient dense woods). This rich and beautiful location, has its own specific priorities: of history, culture, spirituality, ethnography, agriculture, crafts and customs, but also of using the “Codrii” as a means of defense. Because of ”Codrii”, Calarasi was able to resist to all the barbaric invasions that happened in the past. Călărași is situated in the region of a great Basarabian cross, formed by four holy monasteries, Hârjauca, Frumoasa, Hârbovăț și Răciula. And if we look at the Basarabian (Moldovan) map, we can see this huge cross of these four locations.

It is a movie with multiple international awards, the most recent from 2021: 1) Best Documentary, World Independent Cinema Awards, WICA New York, 2021 (NY, USA). 2) Europe Best Feature Film, Quetzalcoatl Indigenous International Film Festival 2021 (Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico).

English subtitles


March 22, 7 pm – 14 Jours, 12 Nuits, directed by Jean-Philippe Duval, Québec (Canada), 2019, 99 mins

This film is presented in partnership with the Québec Government Office in Washington, as a part of the DC Francophonie Festival.

14 Days, 12 Nights introduces us to the world of Isabelle Brodeur (Anne Dorval), an oceanographer whose adopted Vietnamese daughter Clara tragically lost her life at the tender age of seventeen in an accident in the lower St. Lawrence region of Quebec. One year after Clara’s death and still shaken by the experience, Isabelle is driven by an overwhelming impulse to visit her daughter’s homeland. Once fully immersed in her daughter’s birthplace, she begins to believe that, somehow, she can prolong Clara’s life by retracing her origins. Her path leads her to the person who was once her daughter’s nanny, who in turn, reveals to Isabelle the existence and whereabouts of Clara’s biological mother. Armed with this new information, Isabelle tracks down Thuy Nguyen (Leanna Chea) who works as a tour guide for a travel agency in Hanoi. Motivated by an uncontrollable desire to meet this woman, Isabelle books a private excursion with Thuy. Throughout this stunningly beautiful journey, Isabelle discovers her daughter’s country through the eyes of the woman who brought her into this world. This pilgrimage of sorts leads the two women to unveil their innermost secrets. 14 Days 12 Nights examines the influence of culture, of identity, of loss and of forgiveness, and the extraordinary friendship between two women, cemented by the mutual love they share for the same child.

The film is an original idea and screenplay adapted by Marie Vien.

English subtitles

A panel discussion will follow the screening with Kim Thúy, Vietnamese-born Québécoise author, and Professor Isabel Rivero Vilà from American University.


March 22, 7 pm – AFI SILVER THEATER – New African Film Festival Select: ABOVE WATER, directed by Aïssa Maïga, Niger/Belgium/France, 2021, 90 mins  

AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD, USA

A panel discussion with Director Aïssa Maïga will follow the screening. 

Now in its 18th year, 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.

The village of Tatiste in the north of Niger is on the frontline of the global water crisis — as it is for a billion people worldwide, access to safe drinking water is almost nonexistent for its inhabitants, especially during the dry season. Senegal-born French actress-turned-director Aïssa Maïga (CACHÉ, RUSSIAN DOLLS, THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND) follows 14-year-old Houlaye, who, like many other young people, walks kilometers every day to draw water for her family. When Houlaye’s aunt Suri convinces an NGO to build a well in the village, it is the promise of a new beginning for the whole community. Set against a backdrop of spellbinding desert landscapes and a vibrant musical score, this hopeful documentary paints a visceral portrait of survival in the face of the global climate crisis.

Official Selection, 2021 Cannes Film Festival. 

English subtitles


March 26, 2 pm – ZOOM – Virtual Comic Book Workshop with Julien Paré-Sorel (for 5-12 YO)

Alliance Française of Washington, DC in partnership with the Québec Government Office in Washington invite you to participate in a fun, interactive workshop with a Québécois comic book author, Julien Paré-Sorel.

This workshop is designed for 5-12 years old and will be held in French with Q&A in French and in English. Prepare some pencils and a piece of paper if you would like to participate in the creative process.

This event is organized as part of the 2022 DC Francophonie Festival and is free. All registrants will receive a Zoom link a few days before the event.

Julien Paré-Sorel has been involved in the Front Froid initiative for a long time, an organization that publishes imaginary-themed comics in Québec. In 2011 and 2014, he completed creative residencies in Mons (Belgium) and Lyon (France) respectively. Julien also attended numerous festivals such as Delémont BD in Switzerland, Lyon BD Festival in France, the International Comics Festival of Alger in Algeria and a workshop at Tsukuba University in Japan.

He has won several prizes in the last few years, including the Bédéis Causa for Best french comic book for youth in Canada, also the Dragon prize at the Joe Shuster Awards, for his album Aventurosaure 1: Le réveil de Rex.



March 29, 7 pm – A Selection of African Francophone Short Films

1. Afrykas et la Boîte Magique, directed by Isabel Rivero-Vilá (Senegal, 62 mins)

AFRYKAS is a journey and a tribute to Senegalese cinema, its filmmakers, women artists and the mothers who inspire us. The film introduces us to the African landscape, the vibrant city of Dakar and the daily lives of our characters. Their testimonies allow us to understand the uniqueness of Senegalese cinema, their dedication to cinema, the importance of the mother figure in Senegalese society, the themes that inspire them, their dreams, their struggles and their dedication to the education of future generations.

2. Mothers, directed by Innocentia Alladagbe (Benin, 20 mins)

The film relates the story of girls who get pregnant very early during their education. These so-called child-mothers suffer violence of all kinds. Moral, psychological, verbal and physical violence from their parents and society.

This film immerses us in their universe, and though sometimes victims of their innocence, they were able to draw from their dreams, giving them the courage and the strength to show that a pregnancy does not mean that success is impossible.

3. La Danse des Béquilles, directed by Yoro Lidel Niang (Senegal, 21 mins)

Very often in Senegal, a person with reduced mobility is the victim of stereotypes and social norms which reduce them to a vulgar beggar in search of food. This is what happens to Penda, who gets around in a wheelchair or on crutches. The film proposes to reverse the gaze: will Penda be able to realize her dream and overcome her difficulties?

Original versions with English subtitles

A panel discussion will follow the screening with Pr. and director Isabel Rivero Vilà. More details to follow.

March 29, 12 pm – ZOOM – DC Francophonie Festival and Comic Book Roundtable Discussion

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and La Maison Française are honored to present a virtual roundtable on the theme of African Graphic Novels followed by a Q&A with Joëlle l’Epée alias Elyon’sCénack Winchester, and Jean-Luc Schneider,

The panel will be moderated by Guy Spielmann, Professor at Georgetown University, who specializes in Cultural studies and Politics, and Performing Arts.

All registrants will receive a link a few times before the event.



April 2, 11 AM – ZOOM – Virtual Comic Book Workshop with Anjale (for 6-9 YO)

Alliance Française of Washington, DC in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US, invites you to participate in a fun, interactive workshop with illustrator and comic book author Gael Thirapathi, aka Anjale

This workshop is designed for 6-9 years old and will be held in French with Q&A in French and in English. Prepare some pencils and a piece of paper if you would like to participate in the creative process.

This event is organized as part of the 2022 DC Francophonie Festival and is free. All registrants will receive a Zoom link a few days before the event.

About the cartoonist

Gael Thirapathi, aka Anjale, was born and raised in Reunion. She moved to Lyon in 2009, suitcases full of colors and sunshine to train at the Emile Cohl drawing school from which she graduated in 2013. She creates comics, illustrations and regularly leads comics workshops.


In partnership with

Alliance Française DC

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

Wallonie – Bruxelles International

Wallonia-Brussels International (WBI) is the body responsible for Wallonia and Brussels international relations. It acts as an international policy instrument for Wallonia, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and the French Community Commission of the Brussels-Capital Region (COCOF).

Embassy of the Principality of Monaco in Washington D.C.

The Embassy of the Principality of Monaco in Washington, D.C. to the US and Canada

Québec Government Office in Washington

Opened in 1978, the Québec Government Office in Washington is responsible for furthering Québec’s bilateral relations with the U.S. federal government (Administration and executive agencies as well as Congress). It monitors legislative developments as well as the programs and policies of the U.S. federal government.

Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in the United States

Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in the United States

American University

American University is a student-centered research institution located in Washington, DC, with highly-ranked schools and colleges, internationally-renowned faculty, and a reputation for creating meaningful change in the world.


Learn more

Embassy of the Republic of Moldova to the United States of America and the United Mexican States

The Embassy of the Republic of Moldova to the United States of America

Québec BD

Québec BD is an organization that promotes graphic novels and hosts many activities, including an annual event every spring since 1988, in Québec in Canada.

Senegalese Embassy in Washington

Embassy of Senegal in Washington, D.C., United States

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