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BIENVENUE

I am particularly happy and proud to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Alliance Française French Film Festival, the most remarkable French-Australian cultural event in an already very rich calendar. Year after year, the organising teams and partners are committed to make it the biggest Festival dedicated to French films in the world, and one of the main film festivals in Australia with a new record of 185,000 spectators in 2018. This would not have been possible without the unwavering support from Palace Cinemas, Unifrance Films, sponsors, partners, and distributors who have continuously offered the Festival an incredible selection of films which serve to highlight the richness and diversity of French cinema to our ever growing and faithful audience. I hope this 30th edition will be a very special milestone for this wonderful moment of dialogue between our two cultures.

H.E. Mr. Christophe Penot, Ambassador of France to Australia
There are 30 Alliance Française centres all across Australia, teaching over 11,000 students every year and involving more than 4,000 dedicated members. Most of our students and members are Australian adults, along with children, who have developed a passion for French culture and language. And all will be looking forward to attending this year's 30th edition of the Alliance Française French Film Festival! Almost 30 years ago, when I was sent as a French language assistant by the Queensland Department of Education to several remote places such as Roma, Saint George, Dirranbandi and Mount Isa, I was already fascinated by the popularity of French culture in Australia. The 30th Alliance Française French Film Festival will showcase the best of French cinema for our audience’s pleasure along with highlights from the cinema of Canada, Belgium and Switzerland. We look forward to seeing you at our opening nights, gala launches, special events and closing nights as these are great festive moments to share. There's no doubt that thanks to your ever growing support, it is going to be a roaring 30th!

Mr. Patrice Gilles,
Chief Representative of Fondation Alliance Française in Australia
& Director of Alliance Française de Canberra

MESSAGE & FESTIVAL PATRONS

PHILIPPE PLATEL
This 30th Anniversary edition is set to be exceptional, with a 54- films line-up -the biggest yet for the Festival. Showcasing works from prodigies of French cinema (Yann Gonzalez, Mikhaël Hers, Coralie Fargeat, Jeanne Herry...) alongside those who inspired them (Claire Denis, Jean-Luc Godard, Olivier Assayas, Jacques Audiard), indulge in a voyage into the broad spectrum of French cinema. This upbeat and cheery celebration is also a breath of fresh air to French-Australian shared values: openness, diversity, and awareness. Opening to other cultures and international talents, this year’s dynamic selection delivers a broad and diverse vision of contemporary issues, such as social justice, gender equality or ecology. Sometimes with a quirky take (I Feel Good, The Summer House, Dilili in Paris, Revenge), sometimes with an accurate and well documented approach (At War, Wine Calling) and sometimes by crossing the border (Keep Going, The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir, Girl).

Come and join the joyous celebration of this 30th anniversary with the 54 unique presents it has to offer!
Philippe Platel is the Cultural Attaché of the French Embassy, and has been the Artistic Director of the Alliance Française French Film Festival since 2016.
WAYNE BLAIR
I have been involved in the Australian performing arts industry for the last eighteen years, from film and television to theatre. I love what I do and love being involved in stories, this is what I live for. I was honored to be invited to France a few years ago, to present my film The Sapphires at the Cannes Film Festival, and took the opportunity to immerse myself with French films. I have a great admiration for French Cinema, and I feel privileged to be a part of this French film celebration in Australia. I look forward to 2019 and to seeing what France has to share with the world and my country, Australia.
Wayne Blair is an Indigenous Australian writer, actor and director, seen most recently on both sides of the camera in Redfern Now. He is also the director of the highly successful feature film The Sapphires.
DAVID STRATTON
For cinephiles, one of the most important and exciting events on the annual calendar is the Alliance Française French Film Festival, and once again, a wonderfully eclectic and rich selection of recent French films has been made this year. There is something here for every age and every taste, with both award-winning films that have been lauded at overseas festivals and also unsung gems that are ripe for discovery. The wide range of films included in the programme poses challenges for lovers of French cinema. There’s nothing more annoying when a friend later asks you if you saw such and such a film, which is said to be wonderful, and it turns out that it was one you missed. But such choices are just one of the delights of festival-going. Enjoy another wonderful collection of the cream of recent French cinema!
Australia’s most famous reviewer, David Stratton, is an English-Australian awardwinning film critic, as both a journalist and interviewer, film historian, lecturer and television personality and producer.
PHILLIP NOYCE
This year marks a momentous milestone for the Alliance Française French Film Festival. As you’re all already aware, we are celebrating this year the 30th anniversary of this important and growing event, which has captured the hearts and imaginations of Australians across the country. The French didn’t just invent the Cinema, they’ve kept reinventing it since the Nouvelle Vague. It is this wonderful spirit of ingenuity and diversity that this special anniversary edition embodies so well. Personally, I am pretty impatient to see the last film by Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers, being such a fan of his Prophet. Also, my admiration for Isabelle Adjani will undoubtedly compel me to go and see her last performance with Vincent Cassel in The World Is Yours. This year’s edition will also be a celebration of young and adventurous French filmmakers delivering exciting new genre films. Thank you for coming on this journey with us. To the next 30 years!
Phillip Noyce is one of Australia's most highly acclaimed and successful film directors. He is well known for directing Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002), Patriot Games (1992), Salt (2010) and Clear and Present Danger (1994).
LIZ WATTS
To speak of French cinema? Well, it’s to speak to the very heart of what is cinema isn’t it! French cinema’s fierce intelligence and influence on how we see the world has been charged by an industry and community of filmmakers who have never failed in challenging, engaging, breaking and remaking the rules and making us see things from such a brilliantly unique point of view. I have to thank the cinema greats from France- from Agnès Varda to Godard, Louis Malle and Truffaut to the more contemporary brilliance of Olivier Assayas, Nicole Garcia, François Ozon, Claire Denis. Leos Carax, Agnès Jaoui and one of my favourites working in the world today, Jacques Audiard, whose films never fail to simply blow me away. I am thrilled to be able to partake in this year’s 30th Alliance Française French Film Festival as it’s a great love of mine - cinema and the sharing of stories. This is such a wonderful curation of French cinema. Enjoy!
Liz Watts is an independent Australian producer and partner of Porchlight Films, well-known for her work on Animal Kingdom (2010), Lore (2012) and The Rover (2014).
ROSEMARY BLIGHT
It is wonderful to see Julie Bertuccelli’s new film Claire Darling with Catherine Deneuve in the program for the Alliance Française French Film Festival this year. I had the pleasure of working as an Executive Producer on Julie’s film The Tree with Charlotte Gainsbourg in 2010, an official French-Australian co-production, and have always been taken by her ability to capture rich and layered relationships on screen, with strong female protagonists. I have a great passion for French Cinema, which began as a young girl watching films from the greats like Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut with my father. To then have our film The Sapphires, by director Wayne Blair, premiere to a standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival in 2012, was a truly incredible experience as a Producer. I am honoured to be an ambassador of the 30th Alliance Française French Film Festival and eagerly anticipate all the great films on offer this year.
Rosemary Blight is one of Australia’s most experienced producers. Her credits include the Cannes-premiering box office hit The Sapphires.
GREG MCLEAN
I am honoured to be associated with the Alliance Française French Film Festival's 30th anniversary, both as a film director and an audience member constantly seeking new, challenging and exciting cinematic adventures. And as a lover of French cinema and in particular, its thrilling genre films (of which there are some superb examples on offer in this year’s fantastic program), I look forward to enjoying these dark delights on the big screen with audiences ready to take a walk on the wild side with works by some of the most dazzling horror and thriller film directors working anywhere in the world.
Australian writer, director, and producer Greg McLean’s debut feature film, Wolf Creek, was an independent horror hit and premiered at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals. He also directed Rogue (2007) and Jungle (2017).
NASHEN MOODLEY
In the world of cinema and festivals, the Alliance Française French Film Festival is a phenomenon. The largest French film festival outside of France, the festival reaches a remarkable audience year, both in size and in enthusiasm. Providing an entertaining, energetic and challenging overview of contemporary French cinema each year, the Festival provides essential viewing for those interested in the one of the most vibrant cinematic cultures.

The program this year is fitting testament to the Festival’s vitality and diversity. Some films that are really not to be missed are Jacques Audiard’s masterful western The Sisters Brothers, Mikhaël Hers touching drama Amanda, Claire Denis’ unforgettable space-set sci-fi film High Life (which will also appear at Sydney Film Festival in June), Denys Arcand’s mischievous The Fall of the American Empire and Olivier Assayas’ intelligent and hilarious Non Fiction.

To our friends at the Alliance Française French Film Festival, from all of us at Sydney Film Festival, we congratulate you and wish you the happiest 30th birthday.
Nashen Moodley is the Festival Director of Sydney Film Festival since 2012 and has served on juries at the Toronto, Rotterdam, Durban and Tokyo film festivals.
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SELECT YOUR CITY
5 MAR - 10 APR