2016 Contest

Focus on French Cinema Festival offers many opportunities for students to get involved and earn extra credit. One such way is through our BECOME A FILM CRITIC CONTEST. This is an engaging way for you to learn how to analyze of a film and be your own film critic.
A special educational screening for High School and Middle School students took place in Greenwich, CT on Friday, April 1st 2016 at 11:00am.
This year’s fantastic film was “Tomorrow” (DEMAIN) which won a Cesar award for best documentary in Feb. 2016.  The film is directed by the French actress Mélanie Laurent and Cyril Dion.

Synopsis and additional info, click HERE

Before the screening students attended a panel discussion featuring directors Mélanie Laurent and Cyril Dion and several of the experts who appeared in the film and they had a lively Q & A with Cyril Dion after the film.

How to submit your film review?

After attending the student screening, high school and middle school students are invited to submit a written or video ecorded film review, either individually or with a partner.

Using the provided guidelines, the written critic should be between 350 – 500 words in length and the video recorded critics should be between 3 – 7 minutes in length.
Please submit your project to Gail Covney at gac0421 @ optonline .net or using the free file transfer site www.wetransfer.com

Entries should include the student’s name, school, grade and teacher and should be submitted no later than Sunday April 17th.

One submission from each school participating will be chosen as the winner and will receive an ITunes gift card and you submission will be posted on the Focus on French Cinema website.

All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation -and your names will be posted on our website (TBC with parents’ approval).

We look forward to your participation!

Good luck!

Jury & Prices

Film critiques will be reviewed by a panel of Festival judges. All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation from the Festival Director.


Download the guidelines>

Use the following questions as guidelines when writing your critique. Virtually anything you can think of or react to is valid fodder for a film critique.

1) What type of film is it: documentary, drama, comedy? Why did the director choose this style for this film?

2) What message is the director trying to communicate in this film?

3) What tactics does the director use to get his message across to the viewer? Does he achieve this?

4) What is the theme of the film? Is it obvious or only subtly evident?

5) Is the setting/locale appropriate and effective?

6) Is the cinematography effective? Does the film make certain use of color, texture, lighting, etc. to enhance the theme, mood, setting?

7) Is the sound track effective and appropriate? Is the music appropriate and functional or is it inappropriate and obtrusive?

8) Are camera angles used effectively? Are they ever used for a particular effect?

9) What three things can a viewer learn from watching this film?

10) Does the film inspire its viewers to make different choices in their lives? If so, how?

Discussion questions

The questions for the 2016 contest have been sent to schools along with additional info about the film.

Examples of questions:

1. What is the main conflict in the film? Who are the contending characters?

2. What was the theme of the film? What were the filmmakers trying to show us? Were they successful? Justify your answer.

3. How do you react to the cultural, social and religious differences? Is there a scene from the movie that is particularly notable or shocking?

4. Did you learn anything new about (country)  in the film? What was it?

5. What were your impressions of the scene XYZ?

6. What exactly do ABC symbolize?

7. Was there something you didn’t understand about the movie? What was it?

8. What did you like best about the film? Why?

9. What did you like least about the film? Why?

10. Select an action performed by one of the characters in the film and explain why the character took that action. What motivated him or her? What did this motivation have to do with the theme of the film?

11. Who was your favorite character in the movie? Why?

12. Who was your least favorite character in the movie? Why?

13. Describe the use of color and decor in the film? Did it advance the emotions the filmmakers were trying to evoke? How would you have used color in the movie?

14. Analyze the use of music in the movie. Did it enhance the story that the filmmakers were trying to tell? How would you have used music in this movie?

15. Did all of the events portrayed in the film ring true? Describe the scenes that you found especially accurate. Which sequences didn’t seem to match reality? Why?

16. What was the structure of the story told by the movie?

17. How did the editing of the film advance the story that the filmmakers were trying to tell? Explain how.

18. Have you ever had a teacher, coach, relative who has inspired you and had an important impact on your life and your perception of the world?

19. Considering this is based off a story, can you imagine what some of these characters went on to do with their lives after the contest?

20. How do you perceive the events? How does this particular historical event affect you in your everyday life?

Project format

Students can be asked to write an essay on any of the discussion questions that will be provided.

• The class can be asked to take positions on and to debate any of the discussion questions.

• Change the ending of the film. (This can be done by the teacher describing a new ending or permitting the class or different groups of students to choose their own ending.) Break the class into groups to create a story board or a script of an altered version of the film accommodating the new ending and, if necessary, changing the order of the scenes.

Additional resources

2015 Contest

Once in a Lifetime (Les héritiers)

In 2015, middle and high School students and teachers were invited to watch Once in a Lifetime (Les Héritiers). They also took part in the “Become a Film Critic” contest sponsored by BNP Paribas.

Click HERE to read the 2015’s contest rules

Need more information?

If you are a teacher and you want to take your students to this event contact us at :

Stay Tuned

Subscribe to our Newsletter and follow us on Social Media to stay current with French Cinema news, screenings and Q&As near you.

Screenings in Schools

Student Screenings

Student Screenings

6,000 students have participated in the festival over the past 10 years.

Round-tables, Q&A

Meet Directors and Actors

Meet Directors and Actors

Masterclasses & workshops

On campus

On campus

Internship & Volunteering