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FrancoFiles: the podcast of the Embassy of France

FrancoFiles: the podcast of the Embassy of France


Featuring exclusive interviews, FrancoFiles seeks to take every francophile in the U.S. on a transatlantic rendez-vous with notable French and American guests. Hear experts talk firsthand about their experiences of the collaborations and cultural crossover between these two oldest allies. From the pre-revolutionary era to today’s modern tech movement, explore with FrancoFiles the ever-evolving relationship between France and the US. Brought to you by the Embassy of France, support from France-Amérique Magazine.

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Episode S03E01 – December 15, 2021

Sex, Style and Stereotypes: the creator of Emily in Paris

We kick off our third season with a sneak peek at the upcoming season of the wildly popular Emily in Paris. Host Tracey Madigan speaks to Darren Star, the creator of the Netflix smash, and actor William Abadie, who explains why he has a special place in his heart for the U.S.


For the Season 2 finale of the FrancoFiles Podcast, the team is joined by the "Woman in Charge" Diane von Furstenberg. This title is a self-ordained and true testament to the success she has had as a fashion designer, entrepreneur and a strong female icon. In February 2020, Diane was awarded with France’s highest honor–the Légion d’Honneur–for her life’s work in breaking the boundaries of women’s fashion to encourage self-expression and freedom through her designs like her iconic wrap dress. Her commitment to woman-celebrating ideals fueled her support for the major development in philanthropy for the Statue of Liberty Museum inaugurated in 2019 on Liberty Island. As the US prepares for the arrival of one of the eight Bartholdi Statue of Liberty originals from Paris, the team talks to Diane about the revival of this historic journey but more profoundly, what Lady Liberty, in all her shapes and sizes, means to all of us.

In this installment of the FrancoFiles Podcast, we chat with Anthony Tsougranis, an International Programs Specialist at NASA. He is at the forefront of supporting projects with European and international space organizations like CNES, the French Space Agency, and ESA, the European Space Agency, both of which we will virtually visit in this episode. With Anthony, we also explore topics like recent Franco-American partnerships with SpaceX, the SuperCam on the Mars Perseverance Rover and then much anticipated international missions like the launch of the James Webb telescope from French Guiana and the FIRST woman on the moon. Any one of those achievements would be a stellar feat, but it’s just another day at the office for Anthony and his colleagues. Enjoy this out-of-this-world episode on the final frontier!

On this episode of FrancoFiles, we speak with the director of France-Amérique, Guénola Pellen, on the magazine that is a steady and unshaking voice for the Francophone and Francophile community in the US. Founded in 1943 by French exiles, France-Amérique was born into an era of restoration that called for strong Franco-American friendship. Acting as a transatlantic liaison, the magazine brought news, culture and ideas from across the ocean to communities alike. It quickly gained a strong footing and flourished, keeping its original purpose of cultural diplomacy while exploring creative avenues of storytelling. Today, the publication is bilingual and catches the eye of a linguistically diverse audience due to its stunning cover illustrations and exclusive interviews. Sit back and enjoy the story of France-Amérique explored by FrancoFiles and Guénola.

Go behind the pastry counter and into the kitchen with La Cuisine Paris!
This English-language cooking school seeks to immerse Francophiles in the French savoir-faire with curated, hands-on cultural experiences. Founded by small-business supporter, Jane Bertch and her staff have curated a fine selection of classes covering everything from savory to sweet, taught by French chefs for a variety of skill levels. La Cuisine Paris even takes to the streets to teach newcomers how to appreciate and navigate outdoor markets, participate in food tours, all while supporting small businesses and artisans! Explore with FrancoFiles and Jane Bertch the meaning of building a business based on the exchange of culinary experiences and French culture through la cuisine.

French-language comics, or bande dessinée, are a beloved piece of media around the world. Classics are still popular today, and modern creatives continue to build on the genre’s vast body of work. To learn more about popular BD culture in France, we spoke with Matt Madden, a U.S. cartoonist and Francophile who shares his views about the French “ninth art” and his experiences working in Angoulême, city of the second largest comics festival in Europe. As a translator, a teacher, a U.S. Correspondent of Oubapo and a French knight in the Order of Arts and Letters, Matt dives into the importance of cartoons and the opportunity they give to challenge the limits of one’s creativity and imagination.

American-Parisian Elaine Sciolino has spent much of her career writing love letters to the City of Lights. An accomplished author and a former Paris Bureau chief for The New York Times, Elaine has spent many years chronicling French culture, life and politics for both French and American audiences. Her ability to translate concepts across cultures has earned her the chevalier of the Legion of Honor for fostering Franco-American friendship, and she is seen as a valuable American ally to France. On this episode of the #FrancoFiles Podcast, we listened to this master storyteller and true Francophile recount her tale of her time in Paris.

"The New French Revolution" that’s the name given to La French Tech, a government initiative of France, one of the few in the world that has dedicated a national strategy to support French start-ups in hubs around the world, including in the US. The leader of this pro-business movement is Director Kat Borlongan, a Filipino-French citizen whose cross-cultural experience and vision for innovation is putting the already-accelerating tech movement in France on the map. Working with teams in France and in the U.S., Kat is broadening the scope and influence of French entrepreneurship and the broader startup culture by promoting diversity and challenging the discourse around women leaders.

It’s a noble thing to follow in the footsteps of your hero, and Julien Icher has taken this notion a step further. His nonprofit, the Lafayette Trail, retraces the 1824-1825 Farewell Tour of famed Franco-American hero General Lafayette. Julien is a French geographer and historian who is fascinated by the Marquis’ visit that united the U.S. during a trying time. An advocate of Franco-American history and friendship, Julien is forming relationships across the U.S. by placing commemorative markers in towns that hosted Lafayette and bringing to light Lafayette’s profound influence in American history. Listen to learn more about Icher’s journey and America’s favorite Frenchman.

The world’s largest startup campus is a Franco-American marvel. In the heart of Paris in a renovated train station, STATION F is captained by Roxanne Varza, an Iranian-American who is passionate about getting young businesses the resources they need to thrive. She works hard to create an environment where unicorns can brush elbows with the world’s top leaders—all this while leading nonprofits that get female entrepreneurs the equal recognition and representation they deserve. Listen as we speak with Roxanne about what it’s like to be the builder of an entrepreneurial ecosystem and the "room where it happens."

The American Library in Paris is a testament to Franco-American tenacity. Founded and maintained by bibliophiles committed to freedom of thought and open discussion, this institution survived great hardship to provide a haven to those in need. From famous expatriates like Stein and Hemingway to today’s modern bestselling authors, the library has been an arena of inspiration and conversation since its founding during World War I. Learn more from the library’s director: Texan Audrey Chapuis.

Villa San Francisco is a French-founded international space for dialogue between artists and community seeking to connect innovative ideas to solutions that respond to global and local challenges. Today, we speak with Melanie Desliens Flint, a founding member of Villa San Francisco and an integral part of the international Villa Network’s expansion to the United States.


IN DEPTH – “Is it a revolt? No, sire, it is a revolution!” Hop on this time-machine as we take you back to July 14, 1789 with special guest Gary Girod of the ‘French History Podcast’. Explore & understand the series of events leading up to the storming of the ‘Bastille’ and how it forever changed the tides of history. Learn about the profound social effect of France’s National Day post-WWI and the present-day celebrations on the Champs-Élysées.
DRAWING: "Prise de la Bastille" by Jean-Pierre Houël (1789) [©Gallica/BNF]

IN DEPTH – Dive with us into the profound and differing experiences of African Americans in France and in the U.S. during World War I. Gain insight into this particular and important part of our shared history with guest curator, Krewasky Salter from the Smithsonian exhibit "We Return Fighting - World War I and the Shaping of Modern Black Identity" shown at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
PHOTO : Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Alan Laird

IN SHORT – For the past 14 years, Michelin Guide has brought its team of incognito restaurant reviewers and experts to explore the delectable and wide-array of restaurant options in the United States. Enjoy an exclusive behind-the-scenes episode with Gwendal Poullennec, the International Director for The Michelin Guide, as he reveals the how the red guide has brought “France to the US” and how its influence has transformed consumers’ restaurant experiences and altogether the fine dining industry.

IN DEPTH – You’ve heard the word "biodiversity" countless times: on the news, on political speeches, in decisions-maker meetings... What does it mean? As voices for biodiversity and the planet continue to grow louder, we sat down with a French and an American scientist to know what is actually at stake. Fighting inequalities related to environmental degradation is a priority of the French Presidency of the G7, that’s why the Environment Ministers from the G7 Member States and other countries or institutions signed the Metz Charter on Biodiversity in May 2019.

IN SHORT – You’ve most definitely heard about the events held in that amazing place! Located in the Kalorama area in DC, the Residence of France is one of the most impressive mansion in DC. The French tricolor flag has flown over the Kalorama Residence for more than three-quarter of a century. Its is a place of welcome and of celebration, but above all a symbol of the strength of the ties that bind France and the US. Interested in knowing the behind the scene organisation, staring protocol rules and famous attendees?

IN DEPTH – “It was quite a day. When we approached, the entire horizon was red from bombing and bombs exploding, it was almost like a movie screen” veteran John Siewert, who was on the USS Satterlee on June 6, 1944 told us. We sat with History makers and tellers to revive memories of D-DAY, as President Trump and President Macron marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France this year. James Earl “Bud” Rudder, Jr., also shared the great story of his father, a heroic D-Day Veteran Army Ranger. Major General Andrew Davis, President and CEO of the World War II Foundation, reminded us why keeping the WWII memory alive is so important for our society.

IN DEPTH – The Embassy of France was deeply touched by the numerous messages of support received after the tragedy that hit the iconic Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral. Philip Kennicott, Pulitzer Prize-winning art and architecture critic of The Washington Post and Johann Vexo, organist for the choir organ at Notre-Dame cathedral, share their thoughts on why it moved hearts everywhere.

IN SHORT – Does "La Maison Française" or "The French House" ring a bell? You might not be familiar with the name — but you’ve most definitely heard about the events. Located on Embassy grounds, La Maison Française celebrates the longstanding relationship between France and the USA. It offers a rich and diverse array of cultural, scientific, sport and gastronomic programs to many Washingtonians and great facilities to accommodate all sorts of events.

IN SHORT – You’ve heard the word — but do you really know know what a Consulate does? Get an insider’s perspective and explore the world of consular affairs in this episode of FrancoFiles. Plus, test your knowledge and see if you can figure out what’s true and what’s false when it comes to consular issues!

IN DEPTH – Uncover the rich history of African Americans in Paris and the beginnings of an African-American community in the aftermath of World War I. Dr. Tristan Cabello, Assistant Director of the Master of Liberal Arts Program at Johns Hopkins University shares the story of how black culture was born in the City of Lights.

IN DEPTH – Is multilateralism in freefall? Get an inside look at the multilateralism crisis and hear from experts at the French Embassy, including French Ambassador Gérard Araud and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program Stewart Patrick.


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The FrancoFiles podcast is produced at the Embassy of France in the U.S. in Washington DC.
Support by France-Amérique Magazine.

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