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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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MEET YOUR EDITOR Bruno Chatelin, Board Member of many filmfestivals and regular partner of a few key film events such as Cannes Market, AFM, Venice Production Bridge, Tallinn Industry and Festival...Check our recent partners.  

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The Alliance Française French Film Festival returns for its spectacular 30th season!

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Screening nationally across 7 cities and 3 satellite locations throughout March until mid-April, the Festival, which is presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia and Unifrance Films, will be celebrating this momentous birthday edition with a thrilling selection of 54 feature films and documentaries that are guaranteed to enthral and entertain.

 

The full programme will be available from today at:  www.affrenchfilmfestival.org

 

In keeping with such a momentous landmark in this sprightly Mademoiselle’s venerable history, we’re delighted to announce the proud support of several leading figures from Australia’s own film industry who will serve as esteemed Festival Patrons for 2019.

 

David Stratton, arguably Australia’s most beloved film critic, will once again lend his considerable expertise to this honorary role, and will be accompanied by renowned producers Liz Watts (Animal Kingdom) and Rosemary Blight (The Sapphires), both of whom have been champions of cinema for many years.  Filmmakers Wayne Blair, Greg McLean and Phillip Noyce, who between them have directed an incredible slate of internationally feted film and television projects, will also be Patrons.  And in a nostalgic nod to the Festival’s inaugural 1989 season, for which the Sydney Film Festival  (SFF) was a partner, SFF’s current director, Nashen Moodley, will join them.

 

Launching this momentous 30th birthday edition nationally will be The Trouble With You (En liberté!), directed by Pierre Salvadori (Beautiful Lies, Priceless) and starring Adèle Haenel, Pio Marmaï, Audrey Tautou and Damien Bonnard.  Screening courtesy of Palace Films, this sparkling comedy set on the French Riviera, premiered as the centrepiece of Directors’ Fortnight at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where it emerged as a huge audience hit. An irresistible blend of laughs, action and romance, the story follows detective Yvonne, the principled young widow of the local police chief, who is horrified to learn that an innocent man has been languishing in jail for crimes committed by her late husband.  Without a doubt, The Trouble With You is poised to weave its spell upon Australian audiences as it did in France, where it was a huge critical and box office success.

 

Although the conclusion of each season is a sad occasion for the Festival’s many devotees, this year we will say ‘au revoir’ with another wonderful comedy, Kiss & Tell (Voyez comme on danse) In this portmanteau of loosely connected storylines helmed by actor/writer/director Michel Blanc, a superb ensemble cast, including Karin Viard, Carole Bouquet and Charlotte Rampling, beguile with familial chaos, mystery, drama, deception and adultery.  How will it end?  The answer…in hilarious chaos!

 

The programme highlights of the 2019 Alliance Française French Film Festival are too numerous to include in their entirety, but here’s a taste of what’s to come:

 

A MAN IN A HURRY (Un home pressé)

Director:  Hervé Mimran                            Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Leïla Bekhti, Rebecca Marder

When Alain, the powerful CEO of a car manufacturer, whose work has always come first, suffers a major stroke, he finds he must completely rebuild his life and family relationships, in this surprisingly amusing take on physical rehabilitation.

 

AT WAR (En guerre)

Director:  Stéphane Brizé                    Cast:  Vincent Lindon, Mélanie Rover, Jacques Borderie

After promising 1,100 employees that their livelihood would be safe if they made heavy financial sacrifices, the managers of a factory decide to close shop, sparking a ‘call-to-arms’ by the workers determined to do whatever it takes to reverse this brutal decision and save their jobs.

 

BY THE GRACE OF GOD (Grâce à Dieu)

Director:  François Ozon                        Cast:  Melvil Poupaud, Denis Ménochet, Swann Arlaud

By chance, a family man discovers that the priest who abused him as a youth is still working with children.  Determined to see justice served, he re-establishes contact with his fellow boyhood victims who vow to see the truth be told, no matter the consequences.

 

CELEBRATION:  YVES SAINT LAURENT

Director: Oliver Meyrou                                        Cast: Yves Saint-Laurent, Catherine Deneuve

Go behind-the-scenes to witness the one and only Yves Saint Laurent, as he prepares his final collection. Surrounded by icons of the fashion industry we meet this larger than life, yet incredibly complex man whose legend lives on.

 

CLAIRE DARLING (La dernière folie de Claire Darling)

Director:  Julie Bertuccelli             Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Alice Taglioni

On the first day of summer, reclusive millionaire Claire, impulsively decides to sell all her possessions, echoes of her tragic and flamboyant life, on the front lawn of her mansion – an act which sees her long-estranged daughter return home, determined to stop her mother’s ‘madness.’

 

DUMPED (Larguées)

Director:  Eloïse Lang                                Cast: Miou-Miou, Camille Cottin, Camille Chamoux

Two wildly different sisters decide to take their recently ‘dumped’ 60 year-old mother, Françoise, for a getaway on a beautiful tropical island.  But when they plot to boost her morale by arranging for the suave Thierry to court her, events swiftly spiral out of control.

 

GIRL

Director:  Lukas Dhont                                 Cast: Victor Polster, Arieh Worthalter, Oliver Bodart

An adolescent transgender girl from Belgium struggles not so much with her gender identity, but with her passion to become a professional ballerina. Supported by her family, she commences her journey into gender reassignment, yet her teenage impatience and the immense pressures of ballet, push her to the brink.

 

HIGH LIFE

Director:  Claire Denis                        Cast: Juliette Binoche, Robert Pattinson, André Benjamin

Far beyond our solar system, Monte and his infant daughter, Willow, the sole survivors of a prison crew where they were treated as human guinea pigs by the deranged Dr Dibs, drift closer to a black hole where all time and space cease to exist.

 

 

 

I FEEL GOOD

Director:  Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern                    Cast: Jean Dujardin, Yolande Moreau

In this hilarious tale, Jacques, an unstable ne’er-do-well with perennial delusions of grandeur, reappears in the life of Monique, his long-suffering sister, to try and persuade her to join him in an outlandish plan that he’s convinced will make them both rich.

 

IN SAFE HANDS (Pupille)

Director: Jeanne Herry                      Cast:  Sandrine Kiberlain, Gilles Lellouche, Éodie Bouchez

When baby Theo’s birth mother surrenders him for adoption, we are thrown deep into the milieu of the French social assistance services, exposing the conflicting conundrums faced by many woman – those giving up their babies and those desperate to have their own.

 

IN YOUR HANDS (Au bout des doigts)

Director Ludovic Bernard                    Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Lambert Wilson, Karidja Touré

Mathieu, a housing project kid who is falling into petty theft, crosses paths with Pierre, director of a prestigious music conservatory, who hears him playing piano at a railway station. Using his influence to secure private lessons for the boy, Pierre has a secret agenda: to enter Mathieu into a prestigious, international piano competition.

 

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER:  FREAK & CHIC (Jean Paul Gaultier fait son show)

Director:  Yann L’Hénoret                      Cast: Jean Paul Gaultier, Stéphane Bern, Daphné Bürki

Documentarian Yann L’Hénoret immerses us in the eccentric universe of this iconic genius by following the ambitious conception of the ultra-glamorous Fashion Freak Show cabaret, shooting the film’s footage across a six-month period in intimate and extravagant detail.

 

KNIFE+HEART (Un couteau dans le coeur)

Director Yann Gonzalez                               Cast: Vanessa Paradis, Kate Moran, Nicolas Maury

During a steamy 1979 Parisian summer, Anne, a gay porn producer, recently shunned by her girlfriend and editor, Loïs, strives to regain her love by shooting her most ambitious film yet. But when one of the actors is brutally murdered, she finds herself implicated in a strange and twisted investigation.

 

LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD (L’anée dernière à Marienbad)

Director:  Alain Resnais                         Cast: Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff

As powerful today as when it first screened in 1961, this para-surrealist masterpiece from director Alain Resnais follows a group of unnamed aristocrats whose romantic interactions at a sumptuous château result in an enigmatic tale told partially in flashback.

 

LE GRAND BAL

Director:  Laetitia Carton

Each summer, in an idyllic countryside estate south of Paris, several thousand people converge to dance over seven days and eight nights. Le Grand Bal chronicles this extraordinary annual event, where participants defy fatigue and gradually lose all sense of time as they lose themselves in the magic of dance.

 

NON-FICTION (Doubles vies)

Director:  Olivier Assayas            Cast:  Guillaume Canet, Juliette Binoche, Vincent Macaigne

This slyly seductive tale of sex, lies and literature, traces the romantic and emotional fallout when a controversial writer blurs the line between fact and fiction, using his real-life love affairs - including a passionate fling with an actress who happens to be married to his editor - as fodder for his explosive new novel.

 

PROMISE AT DAWN (La promesse de l’aube)

Director:  Eric Barbier                        Cast:  Pierre Niney, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Didier Bourdon

From his childhood in Poland to his adolescence in Nice, to his years as a student in Paris and arduous training as a pilot during World War II, this tragi-comedy tells the story of famed French novelist and diplomat, Romain Gary, whose relationship with his endearing yet eccentric mother shaped the man he ultimately became.

 

RÉMI, NOBODY’S BOY (Rémi sans famille)

Director:  Antoine Blossier                 Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Maleaume Paquin, Virginie Ledoyen

An enchanting family epic, this is the story of Rémi, a ten year-old orphan, snatched from his gentle adoptive mother and entrusted to the care of Signor Vitalis, a mysterious, itinerant musician.  As they journey across the France of a bygone era, their adventures lead Rémi to ultimately discover the secret of his origins.

 

REVENGE

Director:  Coralie Fargeat    Cast: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe

In this feminist thriller, Jen is enjoying a romantic desert getaway with her wealthy, married boyfriend until his two sleazy friends arrive unannounced. Mounting tension culminates in a brutal act that sees her left for dead. But she survives and begins a relentless quest for bloody revenge.

 

SINK OR SWIM (Le grand bain)

Director:  Gilles Lellouche           Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Guillaume Canet, Benoît Poelvoorde

An uplifting comedy about a group of disenchanted middle-aged men, who, in the face of scepticism and ridicule, discover fresh self-esteem and a new purpose when they form their local pool’s first-ever all-male, synchronized swimming team.

 

SORRY ANGEL (Plaire, aimer et courir vite)

Director:  Christophe Honoré                               Cast: Vincent Lacoste, Pierre Deladonchamps

Memory, longing and regret linger throughout this romantic drama set in early 90s Paris. Jacques, a worldly writer and Arthur a much-younger man, on the verge of acknowledging his true sexuality, find themselves falling for each other, but must first navigate several hurdles in this this life-affirming celebration of love and friendship.

 

THE FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE (La chute de l’empire américain)

Director:  Denys Arcand                                    Cast: Maxim Roy, Éric Bruneau, Vincent Leclerc

In this provocative comedy, a listless loser with a wasted PhD in Philosophy finds his dull life turned upside down when he’s saddled with a fortune in stolen cash.  Enlisting the help of two dubious associates, he ponders his next move whilst trying to outmanoeuvre the heisters who want ‘their’ money back.

 

THE IMAGE BOOK (Le livre d’image)

Director: Jean-Luc Godard                          Cast: Jean-Luc Godard, Dimitri Basil, Buster Keaton

This incredible work by Jean-Luc Godard, one of the luminaries of the French New Wave, is a wonder of audio-visual poetry that examines civilization, teetering on the precipice, through a provocative potpourri of cinema clips, news footage and narration, resulting in a stunning aural and visual collage.

 

THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD (La nuit a dévoré le monde)

Director:  Dominique Rocher      Cast: Anders Danielsen Lie, Golshifteh Farahani, Denis Lavant

On waking in his ex-girlfriend’s apartment following a raging party, Sam is horrified to discover that zombies have invaded the streets of Paris, and he is one of the lone survivors. Petrified, he barricades himself inside the building to survive. Can he bear the solitude or will he learn that he’s not alone after all?

 

THE SISTERS BROTHERS

Director:  Jacques Audiard                 Cast: John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal

It's 1851, and Charlie and Eli Sisters, both brothers and assassins, accept a contract to kill a mysterious chemist that sends them on a fraught journey through the Northwest to the gold fields of California, on an adventure that tests the deadly family ties that bind.

 

WHO YOU THINK I AM (Celle que vous croyez)

Director:  Safy Nebbou                          Cast: Juliette Binoche, François Civil, Guillaume Gouix

Recovering from the betrayal of her ex-husband who cast her aside for a much younger partner, Claire, a 50ish university lecturer and mother, impulsively creates a fictional Facebook profile, posing as a 24 year-old woman.  But what seems like titillating fun soon leads both of her identities into increasingly dangerous territory.

 

 

National dates and venues for the 2019 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:

 

SYDNEY:            5 March – 10 April     Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel                                                                   Cinema, Palace Central & Hayden Orpheum                                                                     Cremorne

MELBOURNE:     6 March – 10 April     Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema                                                        Como, Palace Westgarth, Kino Cinemas & The Astor                                                          Theatre

CANBERRA:       7 March - 10 April      Palace Electric Cinema

PERTH:               13 March - 10 April    Palace Raine Square, Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX,                                                          Windsor Cinema & Camelot Outdoor Cinema

BRISBANE:         14 March -14 April     Palace Barracks & Palace James Street

HOBART:           14 - 23 March                        State Cinema

ADELAIDE:           21 March -18 April   Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect

                                                           Cinemas

AVOCA BEACH:    22 -27 March                        Avoca Beach Picture Theatre

PARRAMATTA:    28 - 31 March           Riverside Theatres Parramatta

BYRON BAY:       4 - 17 April                Palace Byron Bay

 

 

Follow the Festival on social media to keep up-to-date with the latest news and events:

 

Official website:          http://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org 

 

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Chatelin Bruno
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