January 3, 2017


For movie fans who don’t speak French, going to the cinema in Paris can be a limiting experience. Do you stick to films made in English, with French subtitles, or do you brave the screening of a French film, with no English subtitles – hoping you’ll at least get some of the dialogue?

Happily, there’s another choice: you can go to the special events of Lost in Frenchlation – a company that presents recently released French films with English subtitles, and which now has a partnership with WICE.

Matthew Bryan and Manon Kerjean,
the co-founders of Lost in Frenchlation.
At these screenings, spectators not only get to watch the films, but they also have the opportunity to meet other movie-goers in a convivial atmosphere. That’s because Lost in Frenchlation provides an added social component, enabling ex-pats living in Paris to meet over cocktails after the movie.

Started in 2015 by French and Australian friends, Manon Kerjean and Matthew Bryan, the initiative was born from the wish to be able to see the same films together.

“Manon is passionate about film, but we could never go together to see a French film because there were no subtitles in English,” Matt recalls. “The idea really came when we couldn’t find a cinema showing a subtitled version of a movie that we really wanted to see. And besides, we believe that French cinema is a part of France’s culture, so it’s important to have access to this.”

The two met as Erasmus (year-abroad) students in Berlin, Germany, in 2014 and developed the idea for Lost in Frenchlation on Manon’s return to Paris, where Matt also lived for several months -- he now shares his time between the French capital and London. They said they decided to focus mostly on independent, art-house films.

Poster for Demain Tout Commence.
If such movies have been shown in international festivals, there’s usually a subtitled version, and it is this that they work to obtain for the screenings. “We try to show movies close to the national screening date, so that English-speakers see it nearly at the same time as other cinema-goers,” Manon says.

Their team provides two screening per month, in Montmartre and in the 10th arrondissement, with shows in Paris’s oldest cinema, Studio 28. They’ve shown films such as Mon Roi, the highly rated Divines – set in a Parisian suburb – and the moving Réparer les vivants (Heal the Living), all of which had packed houses.

On Jan. 6, they will screen Demain Tout Commence, starring popular French actor Omar Sy. The film, about a playboy character who suddenly finds himself with a baby that he might have fathered, is a comedy as well as a tear-jerker, and it raises relevant issues about the notion of family in contemporary society. Those who have already seen the film in its original version might also gain added insight from the English subtitles.

“We’re opening up the world of French cinema to the international community in Paris,” Manon says. “This is a part of French culture, and you can also make friends while having a great night out.”

For more information and to book tickets for screenings, see:  http://lostinfrenchlation.com.