Swiss agenda for the Francophonie Festival 2017 in Guangzhou

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Literary salons, film screenings, rendezvous with award-winning filmmakers, pop concerts, and singing along popular tunes of French songs in Karaokes are just some of the highlights of Switzerland’s participation at this year’s Fête de la Francophonie (Francophonie Festival). 

In March, on the occasion of the 22nd edition of the Francophonie Festival in China, the Embassy of Switzerland and its consulates general will be joining hands with the official presentations of other Francophonie countries in China to present a series of film, literary, music, culinary, art events and activities that reflect the diversity of the Francophone world. 

The festival, which officially starts on March 8 and lasts till the end of the month, will see the inauguration of the young professional residency program at the end of February. An important part of the Francophonie Festival, the workshop gathers French and Chinese speaking young professionals and provides them the opportunity to meet, interact and improve their skills and create new works in their own artistic fields. 

With the focus on pastry, this year’s workshop will bring 20 young chefs from Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland, Morocco and China to Beijing and Changsha. With the coach of famous Swiss chef Joachim Caula, the two youngsters from Switzerland - Sara Bezençon and Normand Jubin - will be working with the other young chefs, to develop new recipes and create new works. Their creations will be showcased during the Francophonie Festival. 

A literary program that should not be missed is the literary salons and lectures given by Genevan author Daniel de Roulet. Throughout his 24-year literary career, de Roulet has penned 10 novels and three autobiographies, documenting 18 historical figures and portraying 29 characters and 12 places. The high-achieving author is renowned for creating “dreamers” in his fictional stories. 

During his visit to China from March 3 to 22, de Roulet will give readings of his latest publications: Terrestrial Terminal: 200 Love Letters; and You Haven’t seen Anything in Fukushima: About March 11, 2011. During his lecture on the writing and numerical tools, de Roulet, a former director of a computer center at a university hospital, will demonstrate the advantages and limitations of reconstructing novels in the digital age.

‘Ma Vie de Courgette’ 定格动画片《我是一个小葫瓜》 (1).jpg

Ma Vie de Courgette

A partner of the Francophone Film Encounters, this year Switzerland presents the award-winning animation ‘Ma Vie de Courgette’ (‘My Life as a Zucchini’) to the audience in Beijing, Chengdu, Jinan, Tianjin and Guangzhou from March 9 to 28. Directed by Swiss director Claude Barras, the film is Switzerland’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars 2017. 

In this beautifully animated film, a young boy is sent to a care center after the death of his mother. Contrary to the often dark and depressing images of orphanages, the boy finds comfort, acceptance, and hope with his equally troubled new companions. Director Barras will meet and interact with audience following the screenings in Beijing on March 9 and 10. 

In Shanghai and Hong Kong, audiences are invited to the screenings of Keeper, an award-winning film focusing on the popular topic of teen pregnancy. Maxime and Mélanie, both 15 years old are in love. One day, Mélanie finds out she is pregnant. Maxime wants to keep the baby no matter what. Director Guillaume Senez and Swiss rising star Kacey Mottet Klein give a deep analysis of the characters and the topic. 

Mars en Folie, a unique French contemporary music festival, will kick off on March 9 in Beijing. Now in its tenth year, the music festival, organized in collaboration with the Alliances Françaises network, the embassies of Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and Canada, Quebec government offices in China, the Wallonia-Brussels Delegation will have five distinguish bands staging 30 concerts in 11 Chinese cities.

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Adventurous music with LiA

After more than 300 concerts, Swiss singer, songwriter LiA (aka Félicien Donzé) refined his artistic identity upon the release of his third album “Quand l'Homme s'endort” (“When the man falls asleep”) in 2015. LiA, 26, develops and deepens his characteristic simple and sincere way of singing and songwriting in an exploring manner. His songs delve into human mysteries, dreams, languages, and inner beings. 

A dictation competition, “La Dictée de Pivot” (“Pivot Dictation”) returns to China for its second time on March 20. After an initial competition and selection through social media, finalists will be invited to the Swiss Embassy in Beijing for the competition. Winners will be awarded prizes by organizers. 

The dictation is co-organized by the embassies of France, Switzerland and Quebec government offices to promote French language learning. The first Dictée de Pivot was held at the Swiss Embassy last year, and its online competition attracted over 30,000 participants from more than 250 Chinese cities.

A few facts about the French-speaking regions in Switzerland 

* Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. 

* In Switzerland, French is spoken by around 22.6% of the population.

* In four Swiss cantons, French is the sole official language: Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel, and Jura. There are three cantons where French and German have co-official status: Bern, Fribourg and Valais.

Program in details

Book readings and lectures with author Daniel de Roulet

Date: March 9 & 10

Cities: Guangzhou

This year, the Swiss Embassy is pleased to be represented by Mr. Daniel de Roulet, writer and novelist from Geneva, at the Macao Literary Festival and the Francophone Festival. This is a rare opportunity for the Chinese public to discover the Francophone literature of Switzerland.

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Book readings with Daniel de Roulet

Biography: Daniel de Roulet, writer, novelist 

Born in Geneva in 1944, Daniel de Roulet is the author of about thirty books including a series of ten novels starting with the atomic bomb that went down in Hiroshima until the incident of Fukushima. He directed the computer center of a university hospital before devoting himself entirely to writing. The high-achieving author is also renowned for creating “dreamers” in his fictional stories. 

Invited by the Swiss Embassy in China, de Roulet will be visiting China from March 3 to 22, to give pubic readings of his latest publications: Terrestrial Terminal: 200 Love Letters; and You Haven’t seen Anything in Fukushima: About March 11, 2011. During his lecture on the writing and numerical tools, de Roulet will demonstrate the advantages and limitations of reconstructing novels in the digital age.

21st Century Writer's Workshop: Writing and Numerical Tools

March 9, Thursday 14:30 – 16:30

Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, No. Baiyun Avenue North, Guangzhou

Author de Roulet looks back on 24 years of experience as a writer, during which he published the ten-volume saga beginning with Hiroshima and finishing with Fukushima. He will specify how he wrote, constructed, deconstructed, and barely rebuilt his books. During this process, with the help of his experience in computer science, he implemented different techniques to shift the point of view of the characters and that of his readers.

The duration of the conference is one hour. The application of Human Simulation will be consulted in particular, on mobile phones, tablets and computer, available on all platforms.

Public readings

Terrestrial Terminal: 200 Love Letters

March 10, Friday 19:00 – 21:00

UN Bookstore

407A, 4F, Winter Square, GT Land Plaza, No.16, Zhujiang East Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou 

Francophone Film Encounters

From March 9 to 31, discover the diversity of the French-speaking world via a selection of long and short films screened in original version with French and Chinese subtitles.

Swiss film: ‘Ma Vie de Courgette’ (‘My Life as a Zucchini’)

Date: March 25 Saturday 19:00 – 21:00

Venue: RemixPlayGround, Building 12, No.163 Dongguan Zhuang Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou

Synopsis:

65 minute, 2016, stop-motion animation 

Courgette (or Zucchini) is an intriguing nickname for a 9-year-old boy. After his mother’s sudden death, Courgette is befriended by a kind police officer, Raymond, who accompanies the boy to his new foster home filled with other orphans his age. Courgette struggles at first to find his place in this strange, at times hostile, environment. Yet with Raymond’s help and his newfound friends, he eventually learns to trust, find true love and at last a new family of his own. Director Claude Barras tackles a difficult subject matter beautifully in the stop-motion animated film.

Mars en Folie 2017

Five talented music groups will be performing on stage and showcase to the audience the charm of French chansons, opening a new chapter of the French music in China.

Date: March 28 Tueday 19:00 – 22:00

Venue: Liang Qiu Ju Hall of Sun Yat-Sen University, No. 135, Xingang Xi Road, Guangzhou   

Swiss ensemble: Adventurous music with LiA

After more than 300 concerts, LiA (aka Félicien Donzé) refined his artistic identity upon the release of his third album “Quand l'Homme s'endort” (“When the man falls asleep”) in 2015. LiA, 26, develops and deepens his characteristic simple and sincere way of singing and songwriting in an exploring manner. His songs delve into human mysteries, dreams, languages, and inner beings. The result is a kind of rock music with poetic traits. Melancholic without being depressing, his lyrics leave room for music and sound textures to carry the listener into different spheres.

List of LiA’s albums:

2015 Quand l'Homme s'endort

2014 EP LiA

2012 Asphalte 

2011 LiA 

1999 La rivière 

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