Francophonie Week suffers turnout blow

HARARE - The second day of the Francophonie festival suffered a turnout blow, with the film I’m An Old Communist Hag attracting a measly 20 people.

While a handful of people showed up for the film, even before the showing came to an end, half of the attendees had already left.

The festival kicked off on Friday with the film Haute Cuisine, which was presented by the French Embassy.

Alliance Francaise Harare administrative assistant, Gerald Mugwenhi, said they expected improvements in due course.

“Saturday’s film may have been overshadowed by the opening which had about 230 people,” Mugwenhi said.

“The venue’s capacity is between 90 to 100 people but there were about 20 in attendance on Saturday. We expect more people to engage with the events this week as the festival gains momentum. Apart from films, this week also features exhibitions.”

The festival is two weeks long and has the input of several embassies from francophone countries.

There will also be input from schools. The festival is taking place in Harare and Bulawayo.

Addressing a press conference in the capital last week, French Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Laurent Delahousse said it was a celebration of the French culture and its diversity.

“The Francophonie has 80 member states, 57 of which are full members and 23 are obscure,” Delahousse said.

“Over 800 million people in the world are associated with French in a way. My message is about cultural diversity, it is what we want as the organisers for people to experience the cultural diversity the French have to offer.

“It also comes out in the choice of films that will be shown, like I said earlier there are 80 Francophonie member states, so some of the films will be coming in from those places as well.”


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