New York's Films on the Green expands to Fort Lee, NJ

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Films on the Green, the free outdoor French film festival produced annually by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE Foundation and NYC Parks, is expanding for the first time to Fort Lee, NJ, with a screening of Jacques Demy’s 1970 fantasy film Donkey Skin on Sept. 1 in partnership with the Fort Lee Film Commission.

Prior to the screening, the Commission will present the Cultural Services of the French Embassy with the 2018 Alice Guy-Blaché Award, given out annually to the individual or institution that best exemplifies the spirit of cinema pioneer Alice Guy-Blaché.

“We are very excited to expand one of our most successful initiatives to a new audience,” says Hervé Ferrage, deputy cultural counselor of the French Embassy. “With its long history of connections to the film industry and its ties to early French film studios, Fort Lee seemed like a natural next step to us. We are also honored to be granted the 2018 Alice Guy Blaché Award from the Fort Lee Film Commission in recognition of a successful collaboration between our festival and the Commission’s Movies and Music Under the Stars initiative.”

Fort Lee, a pre-Hollywood film capital of the United States, has a long history of collaboration with French filmmakers. The birthplace of Universal Pictures in 1912 and the Fox Film Corporation in 1915, Fort Lee was also the home to the early French film studios Solax and Eclair in the early 20th century. The French founder and artistic director of the Solax Studios, Alice Guy-Blaché, known as the first female filmmaker, produced, wrote and directed hundreds of films in Fort Lee. She was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2013. This year, Fort Lee plans to break ground on the Barrymore Film Center, which will house a museum dedicated to the borough’s film history and a space to screen independent and classic films.

The screening of Donkey Skin, starring Jean Marais, Catherine Denueve and Jacques Perrin, is free and open to the public and will take place at the Jack Alter Fort Lee Community Center in Fort Lee on Sept. 1 at 8:30 p.m. The film will be shown in French with English subtitles. Avalon Jazz Band will perform live before the screening at 7 p.m.