I am always looking for easy ways to improve my French. I leave the radio on in the background at home and in the car. Even if I’m not paying full attention to the news or if the debate goes right over my head, I still always pick up a new word or expression here and there. I do not watch much French TV, but whenever I do watch films I try to listen to the original soundtrack and only look at the subtitles when I miss something (or if the accent is hard to understand). So when I recently received a promotional email about an online French Film festival, I gave it a try.
A word of warning: I tested it this weekend and it was absolutely addictive. After watching Breathe, and How I Came to Hate Math, I was completely hooked. I enjoyed both films tremendously, they were very different, one a delicate teenage angst-gone-awry drama and the other a documentary that was not just fascinating but also switched back and forth into English giving my brain a little break.
I might never have watched either one if it wasn’t that for the convenience of the online festival, and I am so glad I did. The website was easy to use and played very smoothly, and the sound quality was really good. I had to peel myself away from the screen, the film selection was so varied and interesting.
Watching films in French is a great way to improve your language skills, wherever you are in the world. Beginners can take advantage of subtitles to enlarge their vocabulary, while more advanced speakers can switch subtitles off and let the original soundtrack wash over them to absorb the music and nuances of the French language. Right now you can sign on to My French Film Festival and watch the latest feature and short films in competition from the comfort of your home, all you need is a high-speed internet connection to enjoy the latest films with subtitles available in 13 languages.
What’s great about the online festival is that it has the latest titles, and even ones that you would perhaps never hear about, or that you would normally not choose in a cinema, and they are all excellent quality. A new feature this year makes it even better, for the first time, all the short films available for free, worldwide. The feature-length films presented in the festival are also free of charge in many territories, including Africa, Latin America, China, Poland, Turkey, Romania, and Russia. In other regions there is a reasonable fee per view (see website for details).
The festival also allows internet users to vote online for the Audience Award for their favourite film among the 10 feature films and 10 shorts in competition. The 5th Edition of the festival is available from January 16th to February 16th, 2015 at www.myfrenchfilmfestival.com
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