As lovers of French cinema, the Alliance Française French Film Festival is one of the highlights of our year. So, we’re in our element now that the festival – the largest dedicated to contemporary French films outside of France – is once again underway around the country.
The festival is celebrating its 33rd anniversary this year, a remarkable achievement, and film-goers have a fabulous program of 42 feature films and documentaries to choose from. The films are screening in multiple locations around Australia until April 26 (see full list below). Among them are Cannes highlights, numerous premieres and all the amour and drama that people have come to expect of the festival.
At the opening night in Canberra, we saw the lavish period drama, Lost Illusions, which has been nominated for 15 César Awards, France’s equivalent to the Oscars. Set in 19th century Paris, this adaptation of Balzac’s classic novel tells the story of a young idealist who learns that anything can be bought and sold. A monumental production, it is grand French cinema at its finest, full of lust, drama, breathtaking costumes and glamorous backdrops.
Fittingly, we drank Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte – nothing but the best! – and were treated to delicious canapés from Ondine European Brasserie (love this restaurant).
We can’t wait to see what else is in store. Among the expected highlights:
For romantics: The Young Lovers, a modern and nuanced romantic drama about an elegant, retired architect who embarks on an affair with a younger man.
Australian premiere: Waiting For Bojangles, a passionate love story adapted from Olivier Bourdeaut’s international bestselling novel of the same title.
Cannes highlight: La Traviata, My Brothers and I, feature debut from French filmmaker Yohan Manca, telling the story of 14-year-old Nour, who dreams of becoming the new Luciano Pavarotti.
Classic focus on Alain Delon – The Legend: Purple Noon, a colourful adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley, whose release made Alain Delon an instant star. Remastered version.
Australian premiere: The Kitchen Brigade, exploring the world of French gastronomy while also tackling issues of social justice and inclusion through the story of Cathy, an inflexible 40-year-old sous-chef.
Documentary: The Velvet Queen, a celebration of beauty in which photographer Vincent Munier brings writer Sylvain Tesson on his quest to find the snow leopard in the heart of the Tibetan highlands.
For sheer entertainment: Maigret, in which the legendary Gérard Depardieu brings to life one of the most beloved characters from 20th century crime fiction.
Artistic director Karine Mauris sums up the 2022 Alliance Française French Film Festival as a “cinematic adventure, which not only captures our current society, but also shines a light on the future society we strive to build. We invite you to escape and head on enchanting journeys with our beautiful characters, whilst also finding comic relief during these often daunting times.”
Key dates for the 2022 Alliance Française French Film Festival:
• Sydney: 1st March to 6th April (Encore screenings: 7th to 10th April)
Screening at: Palace Central, Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema and Hayden Orpheum Cremorne
• Parramatta: 7th to 10th April
Screening at: Parramatta Riverside Theatres
• Canberra: 2nd March to 6th April (Encore screenings: 7th to 10th April)
Screening at: Palace Electric
• Melbourne: 3rd March to 6th April (Encore screenings: 7th to 10th April)
Screening at: Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Como. Palace Westgarth, Pentridge Cinema, The Kino and The Astor Theatre (Opening Night)
• Perth: 9th March to 6th April (Encore screenings: 7th to 10th April)
Screening at: Camelot Outdoor Cinema, Luna Leederville, Luna on SX, Palace Raine Square and Windsor Cinema
• Brisbane: 16th March to 13th April (Encore screenings: 14th to 18th April)
Screening at: Palace Barracks and Palace James Street
• Adelaide: 24th March to 24th April (Encore screenings: 25th to 26th April)
Screening at: Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas, Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas and Victa Cinemas (Victor Harbor)
• Byron Bay: 30th March to 14th April (Encore screenings: 15th to 16th April)
Screening at: Palace Byron Bay
• Hobart: 9th to 20th March
Screening at: State Cinema
More information: affrenchfilmfestival.org
For posts about previous editions of the Alliance Française French Film Festival, click here.