The 2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival was an exceptional event, filling more and more seats across Australia. With the French film industry having produced some amazing films last year, the 29th Alliance Française French Film Festival is not to be missed. Iconic stars such as Juliette Binoche, Vincent Cassel, Vanessa Paradis, Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu will be showcased on Australian screens in 50 films over one month in each participating city, starting in Sydney on 27th February.
Comedies and dramas, romances and biopics, period films and animated features…there is something for everyone at this year’s Festival, with a selection of films to make you feel, dream, reflect, laugh or even shed a few tears. France comes to Australia for a few weeks with the Festival epitomizing the ever-strong bond between both nations and cultures.
It is remarkable and very touching for a Frenchman to witness the enthusiasm generated by this Festival across Australia. I was actually living in Australia when the Festival was initiated by the Alliance Française de Sydney in 1989. It gives me great joy that 29 years later, the Festival is still so popular with both our faithful long-term supporters and more and more new spectators every year.
And 28 years later, “I still call Australia Home”...
Chief Representative of Fondation Alliance Française in Australia
Director of Alliance Française de Canberra
A note from the Ambassador
It gives me great pleasure to celebrate the 29th Alliance Française French Film Festival with you. The Festival has been a great success in Australia with more than 174,500 attendees in 2017. In France, cinema is an industry created by artists, which has reformed and adapted itself to a globalised economy. The success of French films in Australia is indicative of their universal appeal.This Festival would not have been possible without the support of partners and sponsors, without the professionalism of teams from the Alliances Françaises and the French Embassy, without Unifrance films, and the French and Australian cinema professionals who will join us for this wonderful French Australian cultural event. I hope you will enjoy our 2018 selection.
H.E. Mr. Christophe Penot,
Ambassador of France to Australia
A spirit of Unity
2017 was incredibly prolific for French cinema. The 29th year of one of Australia’s favourite film festivals will kick off with the 2017 box-office hit, C’est la vie! Prepare yourself for repeated giggles with this comedy about a wedding party that turns to disaster.
The 2018 50-film line-up is sprinkled with humour 'à la Française', as well as compelling and multi-award winning films. Courage, generosity, equality and team spirit are all strong recurring themes that show the unyielding spirit of unity in France today. Keep curious and open-minded when watching these films –they will both delight and surprise you with great cinematography and nexpected storylines.
Festival Artistic Director
David Stratton - Festival Patron
A hundred years ago, when major directors like Louis Feuillade and Abel Gance were making their early films, France was at the forefront of innovation and entertainment in the relatively new art of the motion picture. Forty years later, in 1958, the first features of Francois Truffaut (Les 400 coups) and Claude Chabrol (Le beau Serge) ushered in the Nouvelle Vague, the movement that transformed not only French but also world cinema.
Thanks to the enlightened system that exists in France to support not only the production of French films but also their distribution, exhibition and international exposure – through Unifrance Film – French cinema has remained at the forefront of international cinema while the cinema in other countries has struggled to survive. The French films I saw in Cannes and Venice during 2017, several of which are taking part in the 2018 Alliance Française French Film Festival, are testament to the ongoing quality and inventiveness of the French film industry.
It’s an honour to be the Patron of this year’s event and I sincerely hope that Australians who explore the latest crop of French films will enjoy many stimulating, exciting and pleasurable hours in the cinema over the coming weeks.
The Alliance Française French Film Festival is the result of collaboration between the Alliances Françaises of Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and the cultural services of the French Embassy in Australia:
ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE DE SYDNEY: Philippe Ostermann, General Manager l Laurie-Anne Pecqueux, Deputy General Manager l Morgane Blondel, National Festival Manager l Dominique Giovanangeli, Finance & Administration Manager l Camille Dohet, Festival Coordinator l Anaïs Dagoret, Festival Assistant | Vanessa King, Marketing Coordinator
ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE DE MELBOURNE:Michel Richard, Director l Françoise Libotte, Deputy Director & National Film Logistics Coordinator l Marion Nouvel & Julie David, School Screenings l Ilaria O’Brien, Marketing | Mathieu Vendeville, Designer l Penny Matthews, Administrator | Anne-Solenne Lea, Victoria Batrel & Florent Tauvel, Festival Interns
ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE DE CANBERRA: Patrice Gilles, Director and Chief Representative of Fondation Alliance Française in Australia l Anaïs Garrigues, Deputy Director l Claire Brisoux, Anna Chabat & Gladys Pied, Festival Assistants
ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE DE BRISBANE: Luc Didon, Director | Sophie Laurenceau, Deputy Director | Mélanie Blanquine, Communications & Events Manager | Claire Genrich & Aurore Floury, School Screenings | Flora Tran, Festival Assistant
ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE D’ADELAIDE: Laurent Pointud, Director | Nell Szyndler, Event Coordinator | Kathy Stanford, Communications Officer | Lesley Cooper, Office Administrator
ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE DE PERTH: Audrey Lureau, Managing Director | Valériane Mathieu, PR & Events Manager
FRENCH EMBASSY IN AUSTRALIA: H.E. Mr Christophe Penot, Ambassador of France to Australia | Bertrand Pous, Cooperation and Cultural Counsellor | Philippe Platel, Cultural and Audiovisual Attaché, Artistic Director of the Festival
We would like to take this opportunity to say Merci to our valued Festival partners.
TO ALL NATIONAL AND LOCAL SPONSORS:without your financial and in-kind support, the Festival would not be possible.
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTORS: Bonsai Film, Icon, Limelight Distribution, Madman Entertainment, Palace Films, Rialto Distribution, Studiocanal, Umbrella Entertainment, Vendetta Films
FRENCH DISTRIBUTORS: Bac Films, Be for Films, Celluloid Dreams, Doc & Film International, The Festival Agnecy, Films Distribution, Gaumont, Indie Sales, MK2, Pathé, Pyramide Distribution, Studiocanal, TF1 International, Wild Bunch
EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTORS: M Appeal
EXHIBITION PARTNER PALACE CINEMAS: Antonio Zeccola, Benjamin Zeccola, Elysia Zeccola, Antony Zeccola, Stephanie Zeccola, Paulette Arvizu, Kim Petalas, Ingrid van den Berghe, Lucy Gibson, Charley Greaves, Jade O’Loughlin, Kimberley Allan, Renato Fonti, Karen Karpinski, Laura Emerick, Elise Hehir, Gina Rubiano, Mikaela Burgess, Jade Ward, Sara Bergström, Ally Latimer, Bianca Russell and Sarah Lewis.
FESTIVAL PARTNER EXHIBITORS:Paul Dravet, Rachell Baker, Robert Love, Michelle Kotevski, Elizabeth L Kleinberg, Craig Donarski, Nikki Akbar and John Kelly.
Thanks to all Festival volunteers.
GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Matthew Sharah
PUBLICITY: Annette Smith (Ned & Co), Angela Tolley, Neil Ward, Coralie Wood, Bernie Ryan, Adriana Begovich and Kath Rose & Associates.
SYNOPSES BY : Bakewood (Stephen Baker and Emma Westwood)