A master class with French filmmaker Benoit Jacquot, director of Farewell, My Queen, will be held in Johannesburg on 9 August at 10h00 at AFDA Johannesburg, as part of the French Film Festival in South Africa.


Participants will get to meet Jacquot and discuss Farewell, My Queen, which will screened on 8 August, the opening night of the festival, at the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein.

The French Film Festival in South Africa runs in Johannesburg until 12 August at Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau, Rosebank Mall. It then moves to Pretoria from 9 to 12 August and Port Elizabeth from 15 to 18 August. The final leg is in Durban, from 23 to 26 August.

Born in Paris, Jacquot began his career as assistant director of Marguerite Duras’s films, including Nathalie Granger and India Song. He was also as an actor in the 1973 short film La Sœur du Cadre. Jacquot turned to writing and directing with the 1975 film L’Assassin Musicien (The Musician Killer) which starred Anna Karina.

During his career Jacquot has directed nearly 30 films, of which the most notable to foreign audiences are La Désenchantée (1990) and La Fille Seule (1995). In 2003, he directed Massenet’s opera Werther, conducted by Antonio Pappano at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Farewell, My Queen, starring Diane Kruger, Léa Seydoux, Virginie Ledoyen and Michel Robin, is set in 1789 on the eve of the French Revolution. Those living at the court of Versailles continue to lead carefree and privileged lives, far from the growing unrest in Paris. When news of the assault on the Bastille reaches the court, the nobles flee with their servants, deserting the palace. But Sidonie Laborde, a young reader of the court who is devoted to the queen, refuses to believe the rumours. She is certain that under Marie-Antoinette’s protection she will come to no harm.

Watch the trailer for Farewell, My Queen:

The Benoit Jacquot master class is free but bookings – at email Gina@afda.co.za – are essential.

The French Film Festival in South Africa is organised by the French Institute of South Africa and the network of Alliance Française in South Africa, as part of the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013, with the support of Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau and Unifrance Films.