The Alliance Française French Film Festival will hit select Australian cinemas in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Byron Bay and Hobart from March 3 to April 21, with an exciting and varied line-up of current and classic French cinema. Melanie Laurent’s directorial debut Breathe will feature alongside French staple François Ozon’s The New Girlfriend, Mathieu Amalric’s The Blue Room and Mia Hansen-Løve’s Eden.
The festival will be opened by Anne Fountaine’s Gemma Bovery, a modern reimagining of the French classic by Gustave Flaubert, which sees Tamara Drew graphic novelist Posy Simmonds giving a similar treatment to the literary giant, with Tamara Drew star Gemma Arterton taking on the eponymous role.
For closing night the festival will revisit Paris, je t’aime (2006), the iconic love letter to the iconic city that features directors such as Olivier Assayas, Gus van Sant and the Coen brothers.
Those who’ve been following the festival circuit this year will recognise Samba, which premiered at 2014’s Toronto International Film Festival and comes from Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, the team behind popular French hit The Intouchables, as well as the highly acclaimed Girlhood from Céline Sciamma, which opened in the Directors’ Fortnight section of Cannes last year.
Cinephiles should look forward to Cedric Jimenez’s The Connection, which tells the true story behind William Friedkin’s classic film The French Connection, offering the European perspective and starring Oscar winner Jean Dujardin. Also of note for lovers of classic cinema is a “luminous restoration” of Jean Renoir’s La Grande Illusion (1937).
For those gearing up for the Oscar season can check out France’s entry (ultimately not nominated) for the 2015 Academy Awards, Bertrand Bonello’s 2014 Cannes-competition selected biopic Saint Laurent, the second (but from all accounts superior) Yves Saint Laurent biopic this year.
If you’ve been suffering from Margaret and David withdrawal since their retirement from ABC’s At The Movies, you can find their festival choices and recommendations on the festival’s website.
You can find the full line-up here.