The Alliance Française French Film Festival The Alliance Française French Film Festival) is one of the key annual events on the Australian cultural calendar, attracting increasing numbers of film enthusiasts each year (85% Australian). Audience numbers reached 133,000 in 2013, with films screened in six cities. This year, the actors Louise Bourgoin and Pierre Rochefort are invited to the event as guests of honor to present the film Going Away by Nicole Garcia across the country.
The diversity of contemporary French film production is in the spotlight this year, with drama features, animated films, and documentaries included in the 46 titles showcased at the event, which are all recent productions released in France in 2013 and early 2014. A number of French cinema classics are also included in the program. The festival will close with a screening of a restored print of Mon Oncle, while the 30th anniversary of the death of François Truffaut in 2014 will be honored with screenings of The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim, and Confidentially Yours
French films attract the fourth highest attendance figures in Australia, bearing witness to a strong Francophile tradition in this country and local audience's love of cinema (Australian are among the world's most frequent cinema-goers), particularly French cinema.
To coincide with the festival's 25th anniversary, a seventh city will be included in its national tour: Byron Bay, in the far north of New South Wales, where a tribute to French movie legend François Truffaut will be held, with three of his films screened in partnership with the French Institute.
The Franco-Australian actor Julia Zemiro (an Australian radio and TV host, and singer) is the patron of this year's special anniversary festival. Audiences are invited to choose the closing film (among restored prints of films by Jacques Tati).
The festival also features a special evening devoted to the La fémis Film School, with the presentation of three short films by last year's graduates, and an alliance with the Pacific International Documentary Film Festival (FIFO), with a screening of three documentaries from its lineup selected by the festival.
After the festival, Pierre Rochefort will continue his tour of the Antipodes on his own, traveling to New Zealand, where the Alliance Française in Wellington has organized two screenings of Going Away, along with a Morning Tea with the actor.
Australian cities participating in the festival:
Sydney: March 4-23
Melbourne: March 5-23
Canberra: March 6-25
Brisbane: March 6-25
Perth: March 18 - April 6
Adelaide: March 20 - April 8
Byron Bay: March 24 - April 28
For further information, visit the official websites of local Alliance Française offices in each city:
Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide
Photo: Louise Bourgoin and Julia Zemiro in Melbourne