French Film Festival of Switzerland 2011

STARS-FOR-VENUSThe 7th Edition of the FFFH – Festival du Film Francais d’Helvetie (French Film Festival of Switzerland)– has been proclaimed a real success. The organizers presented no less than 35 premiere films, unreleased shorts, and “decouverte” films in Switzerland’s largest bilingual city Bienne, thus promoting the ideals of bilingualism.

Distinguished contributors from the film industry took part in presenting their films during several passionate and absorbing screening sessions.

By associating itself with the Festival, Montres Venus is revisiting its history, as in the 1960s the watchmaker was already known with the by-line “Venus, the star of watches and the watch of the stars”.

Through this partnership with a renowned and quality film festival, Montres Venus has uncovered innovative and elective affinities that unmistakeably characterize the identity and originality of the brand.

To our great pleasure, Carlo Brandt (official patron of the Festival), Ismaël Ferroukhi (producer of the Les Hommes Libres), Robert Guédiguian (producer of “Les neiges du Kilimanjaro”), Paul Belmondo, Booder and Djamel Bensalah (actors in Beur sur la ville), as well as Fernand Melgar (producer of Vol Spécial), to mention but a few, honored us and accepted this watchmaker’s nod to the measurement of time that passes by.


Patron of the 7th Edition of the Festival

Born in 1954, Carlo Brandt is a Swiss actor who is known internationally. His career has encompassed theatre, television and cinema. Celebrated producers such as Benno Besson, Claude Startz, Georges Lavaudant, and Emmanuel Meirieu, have directed him on scene. With Happy End and L’Etat de Grâce, Carlo Brandt takes on the film world and plays important roles, such as in Indochine, Ridicule, Marie Antoinette, and Largo Winch 2.

In 17 filles, released for the opening of the 7th Edition of the Festival, he has the role of a school principal.



Born in 1962 in Kenitra, Morocco and brought up in France, Ismaël Ferroukhi, the film director gained exposure with his short Film, L’Exposé, which won a prize at The Cannes Film Festival in 1993. He then took part in the writing of the scenario of Trop de Bonheur. In 2004, he directs Le Grand Voyage and becomes the first film director ever allowed to film at the pilgrimage site of Mecca. In 2005, he contributes to the scenario of L’Avion before taking on the project of Les Hommes Libres, presented at the Festival.



Domique Abdel was born in Thuin, Belgium, while Bruno Remy was born in Caen, France. Co-creators of La Fée, they met each other while being on tour in the Normady Coast. Together, they produced Merci Cupidon (1994), L’Iceberg (2005) which was nominated in several International Festivals.

La Fee is a new collaboration which was presented during the opening of the “Directors‘ Fifteen” at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.



Djamel Bensalah was born in the Paris suburbs and is passionate about cinema. He registered himself with several casting agencies and actually began his career in advertising, in TV shows (Navarro) and finally in film with L’Eau Froide. Very soon after he appears in Le Ciel, les Oiseaux et…ta Mère (1998), and again in Le Raid (2001). He writes the dialogues of Neuilly Sa Mère before appearing in Beur sur la ville.

Booder is a French comedian of Moroccan origin with an atypical physical appearance. He does one man shows and works as a columnist for Laurent Ruqier. Appearing in Bab El Web, he earns his first role in cinema when he appears in Neuilly sa mère. He plays in Halal Police d’Etat before incarnating Khalid Belkacem, a policeman in the film Beur sur la ville.

Steve Tran, a Frenchman with vietnamese origins, has a passion for art. He started his career at 13 years old in the movie Rends moi mon nom, and since then he has been appearing regularly on TV shows such as Lycée and Julie Lescaut. In 2009 he appears in Neuilly sa mere then in Tellement proches. In Beur sur la ville he plays Henry Tong, a police officer.

Issa Doumbia was invited to improvise at the age of 12 by the actor and comedian Jamel Debbouze. He plays in the movie Brigade Navarro, then participates in the improvisation show of the Jamel Comedy Club. In 2011 he plays the role of a deliveryman in Au bistrot du coin before playing the role of Mamadou in Beur sur la ville.

Paul Belmondo is a motor racing fan and has participated to several races of Formula 1 and of the Famous Paris-Dakar rally. In 1988 he starts his acting career with the movie Itinéraire d’un enfant gaté. Among others jhe also plays in Les Misérables (1995). In the movie Beur sur la ville he plays the role of a criminal inspector.



Born in 1953 from an Armenian Father, Robert Gueduguian is brought up in Marseilles and pursues his studies in Aix-en-Provence before joining the finema industry in Paris when he wrote write the scenario of Fernand. He directs Dernier Eté, then A l’attaque, and Marius and Jeannette (which wins the Delluc Award). Surrounded by cult actors, such as Jean Pierre Daroussin and Gérard Meylan), we find him again in Les Neiges de Kilimandjaro.



Born in Tangiers and of Spanish origin, the Swiss actor, producer and director Fernand Melgar lives in Lausanne since 1963. Self-taught, he begins creating in 1985, mainly documentaries. Founding Partner of the Climage Collective (a group of independent film-makers), Fernand Melgar has produced almost 20 films such as Remue-Ménage (2002), Exit (2005), La Forteresse (Golden Leopard of the Locarno Film Festival in 2008) and Vol Special, now presented at the Festival.