The Alliance Francaise French Film Festival returns to the Canberra Palace Cinemas 12 –March for its 31st year.
The line-up is as strong as ever, with book, graphic novel and true-life events adaptations, Cannes Film Festival winners, Oscar nominees and Australian premieres.
Patrice Gilles, director of the Alliance Francaise de Canberra, described the Alliance’s aim as a desire to share and promote French language and culture with Australians; citing that French is the 5th most spoken language in the world.
He recognised that the Australian film festival is the 2nd largest French film festival in the world, naming the Cannes film festival as the 1st, but noting that non-french films are part of it and that its hold as number 1 is purely based on the location.
‘When it’s good it’s French’ Patrice stated, and thinking back to my favourite films of all time films a number of them from France.
Foreign films offer a window into different cultures, where you can see the similarities of everyday life and peek into how they deal with them. Given the quality of storytelling in this year’s repertoire, it was not an easy task to select (and limit) our must-not-miss picks of the 2020 Alliance Francaise French Film Festival.
A nostalgic romance featuring Daniel Auteuil as Victor; a cartoonist whose life is suffering both professionally and personally and Fanny Ardant, who plays his aloof wife Marianne, an accomplished woman in her field. The film centres on Victor as he relives his most memorable week in 1974; when he met the love of his life, through the theatrical services of a company where customers are able to revisit memories and historical moments through carefully orchestrated re-enactments.
This film has elements that remind us of The Truman Show, and director Nicolas Bedos guides us between past and present in a heart-warming story that creates nostalgia and reminds us that our past has the potential to shape who we are and what we can become.
A family and adventure film that sees Louis Vazquez as Thomas, a typical 21st century, technology savvy teenager learn the beauty of disconnecting from his gadgets when he is sent to spend the holidays with his ornithologist father Christian (JeanPaul Rouve).
The film develops the father-son relationship in parallel to the relationship Thomas develops with newborn wild geese, as they train the birds for their first migratory flight to Norway.
Inspired by a true story, this film will have you soaring both in spirit and in its cinematographic elements. It is an echo of the plight and the uncertainty that young people are facing as they look to their future.
Vincent Cassel takes on the role of Bruno, based on Stéphane Benhamou; an advocate and protector for young autistic people who have been forgotten by a system that was tasked with their care. The film sees Bruno struggle financially and operationally to keep his unofficial hostel open, and this further comes under threat after authorities begin investigating it.
Although a delicate subject, the film tells its story about inclusion, dignity and equality with a light-hearted, smart and funny narrative that will leave you inspired and uplifted.
Hors Normes is the Opening night film for the festival.
What would you do or say to keep those you love away from disappointment? This is the premise of ‘Fourmi’ where 12-year-old Théo (Maleaume Paquin), nicknamed ant for his size, spins a story for his father Laurent (François Damiens) that sees him being selected for the youth training program of the English football club Arsenal. The film quickly transforms into a story of determination and inspiration for ordinary people.
A classic whodunit with a twist, this film is as ingenious as it is thrilling.
Take a best-selling novel, an arrogant publisher, nine international translators and a lavish bunker then add some paranoia and theft and you are sure to have a story that will keep you guessing until the very end. This is a movie you need to see twice to pinpoint all the clues you missed.
If like us, you are having trouble limiting your choices, we recommend investing in a 5 or 10 festival pass as they are the best value and available from the cinema.
What you need to know:
The Alliance Francaise film festival is at the Palace Cinemas, New Acton
The festival runs from 12 March to 8 April. Check out the Alliance Francaise French film festival website for movies or the Palace Cinemas website for sessions
Join the conversation through the festival’s social handles in Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or use the hashtag #af_fff_aus