Bec Bignell has worked in film and media for many years, including at the ABC (Sydney) as partnership Executive. She produced the exciting female series 600 Bottles of Wine (2017) and Homespun (2021). In 2023, projects Bec has worked on that will be released include Blueblack (directed by Robert Connolly) and The Five Minute Call, a short form comedy produced through her production company COCKATOO CO.LAB in partnership with ARENAMEDIA
"I'm drawn to the creative risks taken in French film and I'm invigorated by the courageous exploration of ideas, and perspectives that push the boundaries, so global audiences can expand their own horizons. My personal approach to filmmaking is naturally unorthodox (thanks to my regional beginnings), and I look to French film to remind me to be brave and unselfconscious, so my emerging stories can truly fulfil their creative potential out in the world. I love that French filmmakers really get their hands dirty, wear many hats and aren't always pigeonholed in one role.
Their holistic approach is evident in their work through the creation of dynamic story-worlds that have a visceral depth, as opposed to static story projections where information is spoon-fed to the audience through dialogue and obvious symbolism. It's this respect for the audience that makes French film so enjoyable; you don't feel patronised, or exploited, you feel empowered, and this is ultimately how I hope the work I create makes people feel. This ambassador role is poignant; it refreshes my ideas about how to achieve this artistically and educates me about new ways of creating, that will likely shape my future trajectory."
"Under the artistic direction of Karine Mauris, and the stewardship of the Alliance Française - the 2023 line-up promises to be as heart-warming and inspiring as ever! I am so excited to see the work of many talented female French directors, including Alice Diop’s Saint Omer, as well as new films by Alice Winocour (Paris Memories), Mia Hansen-Løve (One Fine Morning with Léa Seydoux) and Blandine Lenoir (Annie’s Fire with Laure Calamy)."
Samantha Lang is a multi-award-winning Australian filmmaker, her films have been featured at the Australian Film Institute Awards and more. Working across the globe as a talented writer, director, and producer, Lang’s films have been screened at major international festivals including Sundance and Toronto. Her film The Well competing at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival for the prestigious Palme D’Or.
Themes of gender, the environment, and diversity pervade many of Lang’s projects, from her art to her doctoral research. Her company ‘Handmade Media’ has an eye for both emerging and established talent and produces films which unearth stories from diverse perspectives.
In 2015, Lang was elected as President of the Australian Director’s Guild tasked with increasing racial, gender, and class diversity in the sector, and in 2016 as part of Screen Australia, developed the Gender Matters Initiative. She has worked on everything from informative VR films to TV Drama series. Currently Lang works as an executive producer/ producer with Emile Sherman and Garth Davis at See-Saw Films/I AM THAT. Their current project, with Anonymous Content, is the Amazon Studios Original feature film FOE, starring Saoirse Ronan, Paul Mescal and Aaron Pierre.
Lang speaks fluent French and as an ambassador for the festival will comment on the influence French cinema has had on her film style and career.
"Why am I an ambassador for the Alliance Française French Film Festival? Simply, I love French Cinema! French cinema, for me, is always alive! This year’s festival is a clear example. There are films by revered creators, films showcasing the talents of legends in the industry, along with young filmmakers approaching subjects and filmmaking methods with fresh, objective eyes.”
David Wenham, is one of Australia’s most respected and applauded actors both nationally and internationally, and was recently appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM). David has appeared in movies, television series and theatre productions.
David began his career in 1987, appearing in several telemovies including his AFI award-winning role in the Simone de Beauvoir’s Babies (1997) and his iconic Aussie role of charismatic Dan Della Bosca in Sea Change. David then moved to the big screen.
In 1998, his outstanding performance in the critically acclaimed The Boys (1998) took him to Hollywood. He is well known for playing Faramir in The Lord of the Rings, as well as his roles in 300, and many other blockbusters.
David has divided his time between Hollywood, roles in successful TV series like Top of the Lake, and independent Australian movies. David has a passion for independent films, exploring the challenging depths of characters and their resonance with community as seen in films Lion, The Furnace, and the award-winning performance of the infamous Spitieri in Gettin Square.
Always willing to explore and push the envelope he directed his first feature film, Ellipsis, in 1997. It was shot in ten days in real time. It was an impressive directorial debut, featuring at the Sydney Film Festival.
"The stellar line-up, best experienced on the big screen, will showcase some of the most exciting filmmakers taking France and the world by storm. I’m a huge fan of French cinema, with its signature bold storytelling something that has heavily influenced my career throughout the years. I’m looking forward to being surprised and charmed by the next wave of French cinema at
this year’s festival.”
Born in Griffith, New South Wales, Noyce, began making short films at the age of 18, inspired by a screening of US and Australian experimental films, leading him to pursue a career in cinema. Noyce
was recently appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his creative achievements.
After graduating from Sydney University, he joined the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in 1973, and released his first professional film in 1975.
Noyce would go on to create a number of Australian feature films and television series from 1977 to 1988, grabbing Hollywood’s attention with Dead Calm (1988) which launched the career of Nicole Kidman.
This gave Noyce a gateway to critical and commercial success in the US, going on to work with the likes of Harrison Ford, Angelina Jolie, Denzel Washington, and Michael Caine. Though Noyce’s most important film remains the Stolen Generations saga Rabbit-Proof Fence, which won the AFI Award for Best Film in 2002.
Inspired by the stories he grew up listening to, of his father’s service in the Australian Commando unit Z Force during World War II, many of Noyce’s films feature espionage, such as Clear and Present Danger (1994) and Salt (2010).
Noyce’s upcoming projects include The Desperate Hour, starring Naomi Watts, released in March 2022, while shooting is under way for the darkly comedic thriller Fast Charlie, starring Pierce Brosnan, set to be released in August 2023.
“I can’t wait to see Sugar and Stars a great true story about a young, passionate chef from a difficult upbringing and his journey to become a famed pastry chef. Another film on my watch list is Umami, a story of a chef travelling to Japan on a quest to discover Umami. It stars one of my favourite actors, Gérard Depardieu."
French-born Guillaume Brahimi is one of Australia's most popular and acclaimed chefs. He trained under Michelin-starred chef Joël Robuchon in Paris before moving to Sydney in the 1990s.
In 2001, Guillaume won the prestigious contract to take over the flagship restaurant at the Sydney Opera House, where he opened Guillaume at Bennelong. The restaurant went on to win almost every major accolade in Australian food. By 2003, held Two Chef Hats in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide and regained the Three Hat status in 2014. That same year, Guillaume was also awarded Vittoria Legend Award for his outstanding long-term contribution to the restaurant industry.
In 2009 Guillaume formed a partnership with Crown Entertainment Complex opening Bistro Guillaume in Melbourne, followed by Bistro Guillaume in Crown Perth. In August 2016, Guillaume opened his own Bistro Guillaume in Sydney’s CBD. When Crown Sydney opened its doors in late 2020, Guillaume was appointed as Culinary Ambassador, building on the partnership and relationship with Crown that now spans 12 years.
In late 2014, Guillaume became Knight of the National Order in France, a prestigious honour endowed by the French government for outstanding services rendered to France in Foreign Affairs and International Development.
Complementing his culinary pursuits, Guillaume has authored multiple books, is on the board of national charity Bestest Foundation and has hosted multiple TV shows including SBS’ French Food Safari, Plat du Tour and his latest series Guillaume in Paris.