The annual French festival "Voilah!" returned here Saturday to showcase the very best of French creativity and innovation with over 40 bespoke programs, ranging from visual and performing arts, gastronomy experiences, cinema retrospective and science.
Organised by the Institut Français Singapour and the French Embassy in Singapore, in collaboration with the French Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the Alliance française, Voilah! also partners the community to provide a diverse and immersive festival experience with something for everyone.
The annual festival opened with the enchanting Luminéoles Ballet where giant dream-like changing colour LED light birds dance in a spectacular aerial ballet around Marina Bay with the city skyline as backdrop.
Other highlights include the Asian premiere of Transboundary Rivers, an exhibition by French photographer Franck Vogel at Gardens by the Bay to increase awareness of global water issues, the Gourmet Picnic at the Singapore Botanic Gardens with French classical music, the Asian premiere of Gaumont: 120 Years of Cinema exhibition which offers the best of French cinema through posters and exclusive screenings of emblematic masterpieces from the French studio.
There is also a focus on the Aquitaine Limousin Poitou-Charentes region in France through the showcase of some of their food products and talents including the world premiere of Le Clown des Marais that presents French arts practitioner Jean Lambert-wild and students from Lasalle College of The Arts.
"The multi-faceted and organic relationship between Singapore and France for over 50 years has facilitated collaborations and exchanges which allowed us to develop an appreciation towards the different aspects of our communities. Singapore is also an important gateway to showcase French culture and innovation to the rest of Asia. In this spirit, Voilah!, in bringing the best of French culture to Singapore, will provide the platform for French and Singaporean communities to meet, exchange ideas and contribute to the cultural vibrancy in both countries," said Benjamin Dubertret, ambassador of France to Singapore.
The vibrant, multi-faceted festival also gathers the community to actively participate in the seven-week-long French savoir-faire. This year's edition rallied more than 120 local and French partners, including Asian Civilizations Museum, Indochine, Centre Pompidou, Airbus, Musée du Louvre, Iggy's and Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle.
"The community is instrumental to the success of Voilah! The response to last year's Voilah! had been very encouraging, and we are excited to present this year's line-up together with our many local and French partners who have come on board to share and learn about the French culture. We hope to continue engaging the festival goers meaningfully and establishing Voilah! as a must-attend perennial festival for everyone in Singapore," said festival director Bertrand Pous.
Voilah! 2016 will take place from April 15 to May 31 across Singapore.