If the Oscars got you in a moviegoing state of mind, you're in luck: In addition to about 20 new movies opening in theaters this weekend, three cool film festivals kick off in the coming days. Here's a roundup of what to expect from the events spotlighting French cinema, first-time filmmakers and family movies:
Rendez-Vous with French Cinema
The Film Society of Lincoln Center's annual event celebrating the best of new French film features a typically eclectic lineup. Things start tomorrow night with the upcoming Weinstein Company release "Populaire," the story of a woman who becomes a famous high-speed typist.
Other offerings include the father-son drama "You Will Be My Son," starring the great Niels Arestrup, "Augustine," about a 19th century doctor studying hysteria and Francois Ozon's "In the House," starring Fabrice Luchini and Kristin Scott-Thomas, about an unusual teacher-student relationship.
The Renoir family is spotlighted this year, with the premiere of drama "Renoir" about famed painter Pierre-Auguste and his filmmaker son Jean. The fest features screenings of the younger Renoir's classics "The River," "Boudu Saved from Drowning" and "The Rules of the Game," which is one of the greatest films ever made. (Thursday through March 10, rendezvouswithfrenchcinema.com, 212-875-5601)
First Time Fest
The brand new First Time Fest has an exciting lineup of competition films from brand new directors and a retrospective of debuts from prominent directors such as Sofia Coppola ("The Virgin Suicides"), Darren Aronofsky ("Pi"), Wes Anderson ("Bottle Rocket") and the immortal John Huston ("The Maltese Falcon"). The competition flicks are about everything from meth addicts to a New York Jewish family and Mongolian hip-hop. Martin Scorsese, Ellen Burstyn and other big names are slated to attend in one capacity or another. (Friday through March 4, firsttimefest.com, 646-580-1383)
New York International Children's Film Festival
Get caught up on some of the more interesting films geared toward youngsters at this animation-heavy festival. The opening night feature is the French/Belgium film "Ernest & Celestine" - which comes from the producers of "The Triplets of Belleville" and "The Secret of Kells" - about a friendship between a mouse and a bear (which is generally not accepted from their respective communities).
Some of the other films showcased at the festival are "From Up On Poppy Hill," written by Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki ("Spirited Away") and directed by his son Goro ("Tales of Earthsea"), and "Hey Krishna," an Indian film about the early life of the Hindu God Krishna. (Friday through March 24, gkids.com, 212-349-0330)