Upon reflection, it would appear that French cinema is comparable to wine; there are good years and some less so. At the twilight of my fourth and final year as Artistic Director of the Alliance Française French Film Festival,
I’m relishing the opportunity to once again present the pinnacle of French cinema to the Australian public. Following the success and record-breaking 30th edition (195,000 attendees), this 31st year continues on this stride,
embodying an outburst of joy, humour, emotions, generosity and astonishing stories. Notably, the choice to select The Extraordinary as the opening night film reflects the bold and ambitious nature underpinning this year’s edition.
The year 2020 began with dramatic events that have shaken Australia, its people, its flora and fauna. I was deeply touched and moved by the solidarity among the Australian people yet also by the international aid deployed across the country.
It is no coincidence that the movie chosen for the opening of the 31st Alliance Française French Film Festival showcases these strong humane values that allow us to face the difficulties of everyday life.
The Extraordinary by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano is a unique film, at once touching and fascinating, it makes us smile and realize that kindness is a fundamental quality for living together.
This year again, the Alliances Françaises of Australia are proud to promote French film culture through this long-awaited annual meeting that is the Alliance Française French Film Festival.
Our teams and partners have fully invested themselves in order to offer you a season filled with surprise and emotion. The diversity of the compositions selected allows all film lovers, young and old, to immerse themselves in French culture.
And to go further, do not hesitate to visit our Alliances Françaises to discover more about French language and culture!
Easy laughs have made way for real emotion, intensity, tenacity and the certainty of discovering an essential story about collective support, collaboration and acceptance of differences.
This edition is also very centred on the concept of society, reflecting on the types of local and global communities we can aspire to build together, bolstered by a spirit of generosity and engagement (Invisibles and School Life).
Indeed, the French public have not been mistaken in their critical acclaim of incredibly powerful films such as Les Misérables (Special jury Prize at Cannes Festival) and In the Name of the Land. This year more than ever,
the device of laughter is deployed to intelligent and insightful effect in the flamboyant La Belle Époque or in the sincerely feminist How to Be a Good Wife, anchored by the always extraordinary Juliette Binoche.
Young and old will flock to the long-awaited blockbuster by “The Artist's” Michel Hazanavicius, The Lost Prince with Omar Sy, who we could easily envision teleported into Jacques Demy’s classic fairy-tale Donkey Skin.
The latter is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and stars the marvellous Catherine Deneuve, also starring in 4 of the Festival’s films. Finally, one of the strongest and most gripping stories is a TV series, Savages,
(which is screening in its entirety during the Festival) by the wonderful and always surprising Rebecca Zlotowski, our first guest in 2017.