John Lui Film Correspondent and Boon Chan Media Correspondent recommend

Film Picks: French Film Festival and more

PHOTOS: FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL, GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL, GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES, SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL

There are niche movies to suit most tastes this year, but the opening film should be the crowd-pleaser.

Monsieur Chocolat (PG13, 110 minutes) is a biopic of a 19th-century circus performer who became France's first major black artist. It stars Omar Sy (The Intouchables, 2011) in the title role and real-life mime artist James Thierree as Footit the clown. The biopic is among the 18 classics and new works screening at the festival.

WHERE: Locations include Golden Village Plaza Singapura, 07-01 Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road; and Alliance Francaise, 1 Sarkies Road WHEN: Today to Nov 20, various times ADMISSION: Various ticket prices INFO: frenchfilmfestival.sg

John Lui

KEPPEL LATIN FILM FESTIVAL

The opening film, Panama Canal Stories (PG13, 106 minutes), is an omnibus of five dramas that deal with a century of human consequences created by the waterway that operated as part of the United States. The stories include a black construction worker who flees his white supervisor; an American girl who meets a Panamanian boy; and an American singer who discovers a family secret in Panama.

WHERE: Golden Village Suntec City, 03-373 Suntec City Mall, 3 Temasek Boulevard MRT: Promenade WHEN: Thursday to Nov 20, various times ADMISSION: Free, tickets will be given out 30 minutes before the screenings INFO: gv.com.sg

John Lui

20TH GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL

In the award-winning legal thriller, The People Vs Fritz Bauer (M18, 105 minutes) , a public prosecutor (Burghart Klaussner, above) takes on his government to bring escaped Nazis to justice in 1957 Germany.

WHERE: Locations include Golden Village VivoCity, 02-30 VivoCity, 1 Harbourfront Walk; and The Projector, 05-00 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road WHEN: Till Sunday, various times INFO: www.goethe.de/singapore

John Lui

SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

This year's line-up of 161 films run the gamut in country of origin and in style. From Britain comes I, Daniel Blake (starring Hayley Squires and Dave Johns, both above, rating to be confirmed, 100 minutes). Director Ken Loach takes apart the myth of the lazy poor sponging state benefits in this powerful drama about a family stymied by a welfare system.

WHERE: Locations include Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue; and The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane WHEN: Nov 23 to Dec 4 INFO: sgiff.com

John Lui

YOUR NAME (PG)

107 minutes/4 stars

It is easy to see why Your Name has been such a big hit in Japan - it has a compelling story told in an unusual way and the visuals are lovely. Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki), a high-school boy living in Tokyo, has a crush on a senior colleague at an Italian restaurant where he works part-time. Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi), a restless high-school girl living in rural Itomori, performs rituals for the family shrine.

Their lives start to intersect in a mysterious way that confounds them and the people around them. The movie is based on this year's novel of the same name by Makoto Shinkai.

Boon Chan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2016, with the headline 'Film Picks'. Print Edition | Subscribe