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:: Spotlight :: 2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

In splendid form for its 28th season, the Alliance Française French Film Festival will return to Palace Cinemas throughout March and April with a host of thrilling, contemporary movies and documentaries exemplifying the very best of France’s vibrant film industry with a programme that will celebrate both established and emerging talent.

Screening across seven cities from early March 2017, this tantalising feast of cinema, proudly presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, Unifrance Films and the generous patronage of distinguished Principal Sponsor, Renault Australia, promises to captivate audiences by transporting them to an idyllic sojourn with this evocative and most romantic of cultures.

Brimming with highlights, the 2017 event will present 45 films, unveiling the artistry of renowned directors ranging from Emmanuelle Bercot, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Nicole Garcia, Benoît Jacquot and Mia Hansen-Løve, to Philippe Lioret, Martin Provost, Jérôme Salle, Bertrand Tavernier and Roschdy Zem.

And in the egalitarian spirit of the Festival, it’s great to note that 17 female directors will be represented, along with the feature-debuts of 7 exciting new filmmakers including Guillaume Senez (Keeper), Sacha Wolff (Mercenary) and Stéphanie di Giusto (The Dancer).

As in past years, actors appearing in the 2017 line-up represent France’s finest, such as Daniel Auteuil, Nathalie Baye, Bérénice Béjo, Juliette Binoche, Dany Boon, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard, François Cluzet, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Catherine Frot, Louis Garrel, Sandrine Kiberlain, Mélanie Laurent, Virginie Ledoyen, Noémie Lvovsky, Fabrice Luchini, Benoît Poelvoorde, Léa Seydoux, Emmanuelle Seigner, Omar Sy and Gaspard Ulliel, to mention just a few.

Helming the Festival for the first time, Artistic Director, Philippe Platel, has assembled a brilliant programme encompassing romance, adventure, comedy, historical tales, thrillers and dramas, that will be showcased across 10 aptly named sections, incorporating many Australian première screenings.

Treats awaiting audiences include It’s Only the End of the World (Juste la fin du monde), which garnered director Xavier Dolan the Grand Prize of the Jury at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival; the multi-award winning Things to Come (L’avenir) starring Isabelle Huppert; the deliciously comedic Slack Bay (Ma Loute); Planetarium, from writer/director Rebecca Zlotowski in which Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp portray sisters surviving as mediums in 1930s Paris; The Odyssey (L’Odyssée), starring Lambert Wilson and Audrey Tautou as famed oceanic adventurers Jacques-Yves and Simone Cousteau; director Anne Fontaine’s haunting 1940s drama The Innocents (Les innocentes) and The Dancer (La Danseuse), the story of Loïe Fuller, the toast of the Folies Bergères and embodiment of the Art Nouveau movement.

National dates and venues for the 2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:

SYDNEY
7-30 March
Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema & Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

MELBOURNE
8-30 March
Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino Cinemas & The Astor Theatre

CANBERRA
9 March – 4 April
Palace Electric Cinema

PERTH
15 March – 5 April
Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX & Windsor Cinema

BRISBANE
16 March – 9 April
Palace Barracks & Palace Centro

ADELAIDE
30 March – 23 April
Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas

HOBART
30 March – 8 April
State Cinema

PARRAMATTA
6-9 April
Riverside Theatre

CASULA
8-9 April
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

For more information, visit

www.affrenchfilmfestival.org