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Sports-themed “Films on the Green” festival brings 11 free French films to NYC parks starting May 31 

Transmitter park film screening

Films on the Green at Transmitter Park (c) Nathalie Charles

New York, April 23, 2024 – This summer, cinephiles won’t need to go further than their local park to experience the excitement and drama of sports with a French flair, thanks to Films on the Green, Villa Albertine’s free outdoor French film festival. This year’s selection of films is curated around the theme ‘Sports in Film,’ and kicks off Friday, May 31, with a screening of Gilles Lellouche’s Sink or Swim in Central Park. 

Running through Friday September 6, Films on the Green will show 11 English-subtitled features in eight Manhattan and Brooklyn parks. Screenings begin at sundown.  

“This summer, sports will be a source of international connection, where different cultures come together to celebrate human achievement. We hope that Films on the Green will help spark a similar energy in our local communities and bring people together around a shared love of cinema, cultural exchange, and the outdoors” said Mohamed Bouabdallah, Cultural Counselor of France in the United States and Director of Villa Albertine. 

Audiences will experience contemporary gems, beloved classics, and a variety of genres and directorial voices. From intimate portraits of real-life legends—Jacques Cousteau, Salif Keïta Traoré, Marinette Pichon—to thrilling stories of kidnap, romance, and stardom, and even a US premiere (Les Cinq Tulipes Rouges) the lineup proves that sports films, a stereotypically American genre, are very much alive and thriving in French cinema. Find the full schedule below, and read more about each film, including the cast and partners, here.   

Films on the Green started over 15 years ago as a small film series in local New York City community gardens. Since then, it has blossomed into a beloved summer tradition, hotly anticipated by film buffs and casual viewers alike. This summer the festival will take place in five American cities, a new record and a testament to the ongoing enthusiasm for diverse and accessible outdoor film experiences.  

Villa Albertine and Albertine Foundation would like to thank Films on the Green’s 2024 official sponsors: BNP Paribas, JCDecaux, The Louis Roederer Foundation, and TV5MONDE. 

Explore the full program at #FilmsOnTheGreen 


May 31 – Central Park: Sink or Swim by Gilles Lellouche 
June 7 – Washington Square Park: Final Set by Quentin Reynaud 
June 14 – Washington Square Park: The Odyssey by Jérôme Salle 
June 21 – Transmitter Park, Brooklyn: My Donkey, My Lover & I by Caroline Vignal 
June 28 – J. Hood Wright Park: The Triplets of Belleville by Sylvain Chomet 
July 5 – Seward Park: Marinette by Virginie Verrier 
July 12 – Seward Park: Air of Paris by Marcel Carné 
July 19 – Riverside Park, Pier I: Les Cinq Tulipes Rouges by Jean Stelli – US PREMIERE 
July 26 – Riverside Park, Pier I: The Golden Ball by Cheik Doukouré 
TBA: Ride Above by Christian Duguay 
Sept. 6 – McGolrick Park, Brooklyn: Racetime by Benoît Godbout 


All films are free and open to the public, registration is recommended but not required. Screenings begin at sunset. 

Friday, May 31, Central Park, Cedar Hill (79th St & Fifth Ave)  
SINK OR SWIM (LE GRAND BAIN) directed by Gilles Lellouche 
2018, Comedy-Drama, 2h01, France-Belgium 
With Mathieu Amalric, Guillaume Canet, Benoît Poelvoorde, Virginie Efira, Leïla Bekhti, Marina Foïs, Philippe Katerine 

In French, English, Sinhala, Norwegian, with English subtitles 

In their local swimming pool, Bertrand, Marcus, Simon, and their comrades—men in their forties teetering on the brink of mid-life crises—gather under the somewhat stern guidance of Delphine, a former swimming champion. Together, they embark on an unconventional journey: mastering synchronized swimming, a discipline predominantly associated with women. Despite facing skepticism and ridicule from their peers, this audacious challenge becomes a beacon of purpose in their lives. 

(Lellouche’s latest film, Beating Hearts, is in competition at the Cannes 2024 Film Festival). 


Friday, June 7, Washington Square Park 
FINAL SET (5ÈME SET) directed by Quentin Reynaud 
2020, Drama, 1h43, France 
With Alex Lutz, Ana Girardot, Kristin Scott Thomas 

In French with English subtitles 

Once hailed as a young tennis prodigy, Thomas’ dreams of a successful career in the sport never fully materialized. Now, at 37, he resolves to make a comeback at the prestigious French Open in Roland-Garros, despite his declining physical fitness and a shattered knee. Defying the warnings from his wife Eve and mother Judith, Thomas persists, confronting his inner demons and navigating the fiercely competitive qualifying rounds to earn his place in the tournament. 


Friday, June 14, Washington Square Park 
THE ODYSSEY (L’ODYSSÉE) directed by Jérôme Salle 
2016, Drama-Biopic, Rated PG, 2h02, France-Belgium 
With Lambert Willson, Audrey Tautou, Pierre Niney, Laurent Lucas, Benjamin Lavernhe  

In French and English with English subtitles 

Summer 1946. The Cousteau family—Jacques, his wife Simone, and their two children Philippe and Jean-Michel—reside in their beautiful house by the Mediterranean Sea. By day they dive, exploring the depths of the ocean, while by night they watch the stars. It’s paradise on Earth. But Jacques is never content. He longs to explore the world beneath the sea and believes in the virtues of progress. With his invention, the Aqualung, his recently acquired vessel, the Calypso, and a crew of free-spirited adventurers led by his wife, Jacques is ready to delve where no man has been before… 


Friday, June 21, Transmitter Park, Greenpoint (Brooklyn) 
2020, Comedy-Romance, 1h36, France-Belgium 
With Laure Calamy, Benjamin Lavernhe, Olivia Côte 

In French with English subtitles 

Antoinette, a dedicated schoolteacher, eagerly awaits her summer holiday with Vladimir, her married lover, and the father of one of her students. But when Vladimir cancels due to a surprise hiking trip planned by his wife in the Cévennes National Park, Antoinette’s disappointment turns into determination. Following in their footsteps, she sets off on an adventure, with an unlikely companion, a protective donkey named Patrick, by her side. 


Friday, June 28, J. Hood Wright Park (West 173rd St) 
2003, Animation-Adventure, PG-13, 1h20, France-Canada-Belgium 

In French, English, and Portuguese with English subtitles 

Champion, a melancholy boy adopted by his grandmother, Madame Souza, discovers his passion for cycling. Under her guidance, he trains relentlessly, becoming a cycling prodigy. When he competes in the Tour de France, he’s kidnapped by two mysterious men. Determined to rescue him, Madame Souza and her faithful dog Bruno embark on a journey to find him, leading them to the bustling city of Belleville. 


Friday, July 5, Seward Park 
MARINETTE directed by Virginie Verrier 
2023, Drama-Biopic, 1h35, France 
With Garance Mariller, Emilie Dequenne, Alban Lenoir, Sylvie Testud 

In French and English with English subtitles 

Marinette Pichon has soccer in her blood. Raised by a courageous mother who had to cope with a violent husband, she overcomes difficulties and forges an unfailing determination. While juggling odd jobs with her sporting career, she is selected for the French national team and then spotted by a major American club. And so, Marinette sets off for the United States with her mother, to pursue her dream of becoming the best player in the world. 


Friday, July 12, Seward Park 
AIR OF PARIS (L’AIR DE PARIS) directed by Marcel Carné 
1954, Drama, 1h50, France-Italy, courtesy of Rialto Pictures 
With Jean Gabin, Arletty, Roland Lesaffre 

In French with English subtitles 

In 1954 Paris, Victor Le Garrec, a retired boxer, pours his unfulfilled dreams into training young talents at his gym. His hopes soar when he spots potential in André Ménard, a railway worker. Offering to mentor him, Victor faces resistance from his wife, Blanche. Meanwhile, André becomes entangled in a passionate affair with Corinne, a wealthy woman, diverting his focus from training. As his heart and ambitions clash, André must weigh his love against his boxing aspirations. 


Friday, July 19, Riverside Park, Pier I (at 70th St) 
1949, Crime, 1h37, France 
With René Dary, Suzanne Dehelly, Raymond Bussières, Jean Brochard 

In French with English subtitles  

A police investigator named Colonelle and Commissaire Honoré Ricoul team up to unravel the mystery behind five murders during the 1948 Tour de France. Each victim, a champion wearing the yellow jersey, is found with a red tulip—the killer’s chilling signature—by their side. Colonelle and Ricoul must race against time to stop the elusive killer before they strike again. 


Friday, July 26, Riverside Park, Pier I (at 70th St) 
THE GOLDEN BALL (LE BALLON D’OR) directed by Cheik Doukouré 
1994, Comedy-Drama, 1h33, France-Guinea, courtesy of Rialto Pictures 
With Salik Keïta, Agnès Soral, Aboucar Sidiki Soumah, Habib Hammoud 

In French and Malinké with English subtitles  

In the heart of Guinea, 12-year-old Bandian, known as “Turbo Makono” for his lightning speed, dreams of soccer stardom. Gifted a genuine leather ball by a visiting French doctor, Bandian’s journey kicks off as he flees to Conakry, the capital. There, his remarkable talent catches the eye of scouts, propelling him onto the national team. With his eyes set on the horizon, Bandian is determined to chase his soccer dreams to the fullest. 


Date and location to be announced 
RIDE ABOVE (TEMPÊTE) directed by Christian Duguay 
2022, Drama, 1h49, France-Canada 
With Pio Marmaï, Mélanie Laurent, Carmen Kassovitz, Danny Huston, Carole Bouquet 

In French with English subtitles 

Raised among horses on her parents’ stud farm, Zoé dreams of becoming a jockey. She finds pure joy in riding, especially with Belle-Intrigante, the prized mare. With the birth of Tempête, Zoé sees her chance to become a champion. However, tragedy strikes when Tempête accidentally injures Zoé, leaving her unable to walk. Now facing her darkest moment, Zoé must summon the strength to turn her shattered dreams into a triumphant reality. 


Friday, September 6, McGolrick Park, Greenpoint (Brooklyn) 
RACETIME (LA COURSE DES TUQUES) directed by Benoît Godbout 
2018, Animation-Adventure, PG, 1h29, Canada 

Dubbed in English, recommended for ages 6+

Frankie-Four-Eyes and Zac, the new kid on the block, go head-to-head in a traditional sled race through the village. When Frankie loses miserably due to a fault with his supercar, he is convinced that his opponent has cheated and is determined to prove it. When Zac challenges him to a rematch with high stakes, Frankie must confront his pride and overcome betrayal to emerge victorious. In a race that goes beyond sleds and snow, Frankie learns the true meaning of going beyond oneself. 

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