The countdown is on...
for the Alliance Française French Film Festival, which in 2018 will celebrate its 29th season.
Running across 7 cities and 2 satellite locations from late February to early April 2018, the Festival, which screens at Palace Cinemas throughout Australia, is proudly presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, Unifrance Films and the gracious support of esteemed Presenting Sponsor, Renault Australia.
Once again, this beloved, yet very avant-garde -grande dame' will delight with a superb line-up of contemporary French cinema including, for the first time, a LGBT strand spread across categories such as We are Family and Crazy in Love, in celebration of the 40th Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and Australia's recent Yes vote for same-sex marriage.
For his second year at the helm, Artistic Director, Philippe Platel, has selected over 50 features and documentaries – many of which will be Australian premières.
Perhaps as a counterpoint to the increasing challenges faced by modern society, the 2018 programme also reflects the overall sense of positivity infusing many recent French titles, incorporating messages of courage, generosity, camaraderie and equality.
History will also play a key role, with 3 titles in particular - See You Up There (Au revoir là-haut), Golden Years (Nos années folles) and The Guardians (Les gardiennes) - exploring very diverse stories inspired by World War 1.
The work of emerging filmmakers like Hubert Charuel (Bloody Milk / Petit paysan), Léa Mysius (Ava) and David Foenkinos (Jalouse) will screen alongside the latest from established directors such as Anne Fontaine, Philippe le Guay, Cédric Klapisch, François Ozon, Claire Denis and Tonie Marshall. Included will also be films from -artists' adept on both sides of the camera including Mathieu Amalric, Albert Dupontel, Noémie Lvovsky and Valérie Lemercier.
Escorting us on this intoxicating voyage will be new -darlings' of French cinema such as Swann Arlaud, Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Finnegan Oldfield, Laetitia Dosch and Anaïs Demoustier joining acknowledged stars ranging from Fanny Ardant, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Nathalie Baye, Gael García Bernal, Bérénice Béjo, Juliette Binoche, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Vincent Cassel, François Cluzet, and Catherine Deneuve, to Gérard Depardieu, Emmanuelle Devos, Jean Dujardin, Romain Duris, Samy Frey, Nicole Garcia, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Isabelle Huppert, Agnès Jaoui, Tcheky Karyo, Mathieu Kassovitz, Mélanie Laurent, Chiara Mastroianni, Vanessa Paradis, Roschdy Zem and Omar Sy.
As in past years, highlights of the 2018 line-up are extensive and include Montparnasse Bienvenüe, the stunning feature debut from director Léonor Serraille about a young woman adrift in Paris, awarded the Camera d'Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival; Robin Campillo's BPM (Beats Per Minute), also a big winner at Cannes 2017, securing both the Grand Prix and FIPRESCI Prize; Double Lover (L'amant double), an erotic thriller with Marine Vacth, Jérémie Renier and Jacqueline Bisset; Ismael's Ghosts (Les fantômes d'Ismaël) starring Mathieu Amalric and Marion Cotillard as two former lovers whose paths collide, and Custody, the story of a broken marriage that leads to a bitter custody battle that won the Silver Lion at the 2017 Venice Film Festival.
National dates and venues for the 2018 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:
SYDNEY: 27 Feb – 27 March: Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Central Sydney & Hayden Orpheum Cremorne
MELBOURNE: 28 Feb – 27 March: Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Westgarth, The Kino Cinemas & The Astor Theatre
CANBERRA: 1 – 28 March: Palace Electric Cinema
BRISBANE:8 March - 4 April: Palace Barracks & Palace Centro
PERTH: 14 March - 4 April: Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX & Windsor Cinema
HOBART: 15 – 24 March: State Cinema
ADELAIDE: 22 March - 15 April: Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas
RIVERSIDE: 5 – 8 April: Riverside Theatres Parramatta
CASULA: 5 - 8 April: Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre