The Alliance Française French Film Festival is returning to the Palace Cinemas in Sydney on March 1 with a fabulous film selection for French film lovers.
The Festival, now in its 27th season, is the most popular French film festival in the world, second only to France, with more than 157,000 attending last year across Australia and 50,000 in Sydney alone.
“The French film festival is one of the most exciting film events in Sydney next to the Sydney Film Festival. There are 48 films this year. I always look at the program with trepidation,” said well-known film critic David Stratton, this year’s festival patron.
French cinema lovers will be spoiled with a rich choice between contemporary features, one timeless classic starring Brigitte Bardot and a new programme strand that will showcase five of France’s premier television series.
“In 2015, we broke records. We hope in 2016 to attract even more people in the cinemas,” said Emmanuelle Denavit-Feller, cultural and audiovisual attaché and artistic director of the Festival.
“This year will be exciting because there are films for all tastes. Our trademark in 2016 is about the young generation and discoveries. We are presenting several films from Cannes including Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan.”
The festival will open on March 1 with Rosalie Blum, an enchanting comedy-drama from acclaimed screenwriter Julien Rappeneau in his directorial debut. Rosalie Blum tells the story of Vincent (Kyan Khojandi), a thirty-something hairdresser who one morning experiences a powerful déjà-vu when he meets the gaze of the mysterious Rosalie Blum (played by the beguiling Noémie Lvovsky) and begins following her…a decision that will have unexpected and far-reaching consequences.
On closing night, the Festival will feature one of the most iconic and famous classics in French film history, a fully restored version of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 classic, Contempt (Le Mépris) starring the ravishing Brigitte Bardot at the height of her career. Set against the backdrop of a conflicted film production, Contempt looks at the lengths that a failed playwright is prepared to go to in order to win favour with a brash Hollywood producer. It also stars Jack Palance, Michel Piccoli and, in a rare on-screen appearance, legendary director Fritz Lang.
Screening across seven cities from early March, this much-loved celebration of French artistry is presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia and the support of presenting sponsor Peugeot.
“As for every year, I am happy to provide sick leave certificates because seeing 48 films in a few weeks is quite a challenge. I hope you can enjoy days and nights in the cinema with great actors and stories,” said Denavit-Feller.
The full line-up and tickets, which includes an enticing array of French-themed special events, and première screenings, is available on http://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org.