33rd Alliance Française French Film Festival is back! (1st March to 6th April 2022)
Vive le cinéma!
The Alliance Française French Film Festival is back with it’s 33rd edition. Arriving in multiple locations around Australia from 1st March to 26th April 2022, the festival offers a wild, liberating and deeply seductive line-up for its 33rd season.
Set to feature Cannes highlights, premieres and all the ‘amour’ and drama that has defined one of the world’s largest celebrations of French Cinema, artistic director Karine Mauris uncovers the ten must-see movies and what to expect from the 2022 Alliance Française French Film Festival:
“Storytelling is in the DNA of human nature, and cinema is one of the most profound ways to share our stories of romance, humour, culture, action, tragedy and every emotion in between.”
“The festival’s 2022 edition is a French 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.”
Ten must-see highlights from this year’s programme include: Opening night:
LOST ILLUSIONS – directed by Xavier Giannoli (Australian premiere)
Cast: Benjamin Voisin, Cécile de France, Vincent Lacoste, Xavier Dolan, Salomé Dewaels, Jeanne Balibar, Gérard Depardieu, André Marcon, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, Jean-François Stevenin
Lucien de Rubempré, a young, lower-class poet, is madly in love with the baroness Louise de Bargeton. The risk of scandal forces them to flee to Paris where they hope to live and love freely. Lucien soon finds rejection and loses the baroness’s support. He finds himself alone, penniless, hungry, and humiliated until the day he seeks revenge by writing controversial – yet banal – articles. Inside the Paris he so coveted, he finds a cynical world where everything – and everyone – can be bought and sold. Can he find his way and remain faithful to his hopes and dreams…?
Mauris added: “We’re thrilled to open the festival with a lavish masterpiece told with such panache and covering a subject matter very relevant to our times. Lust, drama, press, breathtaking costumes, revolution, all set against the backdrop of 19th century Paris – we couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the season of French cinematic escapes. Bienvenue à Paris et bon Festival.”
For the romantics
THE YOUNG LOVERS – directed by Carine Tardieu (Australian premiere)
Cast: Cécile de France, Fanny Ardant, Melvil Poupaud
Fanny Ardant, Melvil Poupaud and Cécile de France star in The Young Lovers, Carine Tardieu’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to Just to Be Sure, a modern and nuanced romantic drama about a woman who embarks on an affair with a younger man. Elegant, retired architect Shauna (Ardant) crosses paths with Pierre (Poupaud), a happily married doctor in his 40s, who first made an impression on her in a brief meeting 15 years previously. Both are quite troubled to meet again and begin an affair. While Pierre’s family life is soon turned upside down, Shauna struggles with feelings she thought belonged to the past.
WAITING FOR BOJANGLES – directed by Régis Roinsard (Australian premiere)
Cast: Virginie Efira, Romain Duris, Grégory Gadebois
Spirited and eccentric, Waiting for Bojangles is a passionate love story adapted from Olivier Bourdeaut’s international bestselling novel of the same title. Seen through the eyes of their son, Gary, Camille (Virginie Efira) and Georges (Romain Duris) dance to their favourite song Mr Bojangles in their magnificent Parisian flat. Their love is magical, dazzling, a perpetual party. Camille sets the tone, an unpredictable and extravagant will-o’-the-wisp. One day however, she goes too far, obliging Georges and Gary to go to extreme lengths to avoid the inevitable, at all costs. Enjoy a whimsical and melancholic tale of un amour fou, bright and tender, an enchanting film with elegant cinematography.
LOVE SONGS FOR TOUGH GUYS – directed by Samuel Benchetrit
Cast: François Damiens, Vanessa Paradis, Bouli Lanners
Featuring a delicious ensemble cast led by the fabulous François Damiens and Vanessa Paradis, the hilarious new romantic comedy from Samuel Benchetrit is a charmingly-affectionate fable of a disparate group of ordinary people finding love and fulfillment through an unexpected source: the arts. In the port city of Dunkirk, weary crime boss Jeff has a big problem: young punks are muscling in on his turf. But Jeff is distracted: he’s fallen for Roxane, a supermarket cashier he adores from afar. Taking a leaf from the Cyrano playbook, he tries to win her heart by writing love poems, but doesn’t have the courage to deliver them.
LA TRAVIATA, MY BROTHERS AND I – directed by Yohan Manca
Cast: Maël Rouin Berrandou, Judith Chemla, Dali Benssalah
In his feature debut, French filmmaker Yohan Manca breaks down the barriers surrounding art and culture with a touching story of hope, chance and overcoming adversity. La Traviata tells the story of 14-year-old Nour, who dreams of becoming the new Luciano Pavarotti. Between his work and rising tensions at home, Nour dreams of escaping to a faraway place. When he crosses paths with an Opera singer teaching summer classes, he finally finds the opportunity to come out of his shell and explore new horizons. Avoiding clichés, the filmmaker presents an inspiring slice-of-life film filled with tender, touching moments.
Classic focus on Alain Delon – The Legend:
PURPLE NOON – directed by René Clément
Cast: Alain Delon, Maurice Ronet, Marie Laforêt
Alain Delon was at his most impossibly beautiful when Purple Noon was released and made him an instant star. This ripe, colourful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s vicious novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, directed by René Clément, stars Delon as Tom Ripley, a duplicitous American charmer in Rome on a mission to bring his privileged, devil-may-care acquaintance Philippe Greenleaf back to the United States. What initially seems a carefree tale of friendship soon morphs into a thrilling saga of seduction, identity theft, and murder. Purple Noon is crafted with a light touch that allows it to be at once suspenseful and erotic, and it gave Delon the role of a lifetime. A brand-new remastered version of this masterpiece.
THE KITCHEN BRIGADE – directed by Louis-Julien Petit (Australian premiere)
Cast: Audrey Lamy, François Cluzet, Chantal Neuwirth
The follow up movie to Petit’s box-office hit Invisibles, The Kitchen Brigade (La Brigade), explores 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, finally fulfilling her lifelong dream of opening her own high-end restaurant. Things do not go to plan. Facing serious financial difficulties, she reluctantly accepts a job in the cafeteria of a shelter for young migrants. Though she hates the new job at first, Cathy’s remarkable skill and passion for cuisine start to change the kids’ lives. And it turns out they also have a lot to teach her.
HEAR ME OUT – directed by Pascal Elbé (Australian premiere)
Cast: Pascal Elbé, Sandrine Kiberlain, François Berléand
This romantic comedy is centred around Antoine (Pascal Elbé), a history teacher in his early 50s, who learns that he has become very hard of hearing. Unable to own up to his handicap, he resigns himself to living in his bubble, as his entourage finds his behaviour increasingly odd. His encounter with Claire, widow and mother of a young girl who has stopped speaking, will help him to open up to the world again.
HAPPENING – directed by Audrey Diwan (Australian premiere)
Cast: Anamaria Vartolomei, Luàna Bajrami, Pio Marmaï, Sandrine Bonnaire
France, 1963. Anne is a bright young student with a promising future ahead of her. But when she falls pregnant, she sees the opportunity to finish her studies and escape the constraints of her social background disappearing. With her final exams fast approaching and her belly growing, Anne resolves to act, even if she has to confront shame and pain, even if she must risk prison to do so…Winner of the Golden Lion and the FIPRESCI Prize at the Venice film Festival.
THE VELVET QUEEN – directed by Marie Amiguet
In the heart of the Tibetan highlands, photographer Vincent Munier brings writer Sylvain Tesson on his quest to find the snow leopard. He introduces him to the subtle art of waiting from a blind spot, tracking animals and finding the patience to catch sight of the beasts. Through their journey in the Tibetan peaks, inhabited by invisible presences, the two men engage in a conversation on our place among the living beings and celebrate the beauty of the world.
AMBASSADOR FESTIVAL PICKS
This year’s festival boasts a talented and diverse line-up of ambassadors eager to celebrate the profound impact of French cinema on their careers personally and filmmaking more broadly. Ambassadors include blockbuster film director Phillip Noyce, renowned actor David Wenham, acclaimed screen and theatre director Shannon Murphy and internationally recognised filmmaker Samantha Lang.
“Growing up the last of seven children in a working-class family, I was fortunate to have a father who introduced me to world cinema from a young age. Every so often he would take me to the cinema without telling me what we would be seeing. It was here that I discovered the magic of Jacques Tati, Les Enfants du Paradis, the French new wave and the richness, inventiveness and power of French cinema. The abundance of imagination and skilful storytelling continues in contemporary French cinema inspiring filmmakers worldwide – myself definitely included! Patrice Leconte’s Monsieur Hire, a subtle, unnerving psychological thriller was one of my favourite films the year it was released. I look forward to experiencing his latest film, Maigret with Gerard Depardieu. I also look forward to entering the cinema during the film festival knowing nothing about the films I will see, so I can enter in to the unknown and be surprised.”
The legendary Gérard Depardieu brings to remarkable life one of the most beloved characters from 20th century crime fiction in Maigret, the masterfully directed and hugely entertaining new film from multi award-winning writer/director Patrice Leconte (Monsieur Hire, Ridicule, The Girl on The Bridge), based on Georges Simenon’s internationally best-selling novels.
“I am so honoured to be an ambassador this year. I have been fortunate to have lived so close to France over these past two years and experienced the French film scene up close and personal. I was recently left breathless after watching Petite Maman and can’t wait for festivalgoers to experience this enchanting masterpiece from one of our greatest female filmmakers, Céline Sciamma (also writer of Jacques Audiard’s Paris, 13thDistrict).”
A sublime modern fairytale about the quiet wonder of mother-daughter relationships. After the death of her beloved grandmother, eight-year-old Nelly meets a mysterious friend in the woods. Together they embark on a fantastical journey of discovery which helps Nelly come to terms with this newfound loss.
This devastatingly beautiful story from French director Emmanuelle Bercot, centres around a man (Benoît Magimel) grappling with terminal cancer prognosis. The movie, which received a standing ovation at Cannes, stars real-life oncologist Dr Gabriel Sara, and leans on his experiences supporting patients as they engage in a tragic ‘dance’ with the disease, trying to tame it, and coming to understand what it means to be dying while still living.
In her debut feature, director Anaïs Volpé explores the power of ride-or-die friendship, youth and the unexpected challenges life can present.Dreaming, failing, starting over. Best friends Margot (Souheila Yacoub, Savages, AF FFF20) and Alma (Déborah Lukumuena, Invisibles, AF FFF20) are young, carefree and chasing their dream to become theatre actors through the streets of Paris, until adversity suddenly threatens their plans and tests their sisterhood. A film full of energy and life, The Braves was selected to be part of the Directors’ Fortnight la Quinzaine des Réalisateurs at the Cannes Film Festival 2021, and also features Angélique Kidjo.
FAREWELL MR HAFFMANN
A suspenseful tale beginning in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1941, Farewell Mr Haffmann presents the unusual pact between a Jewish jeweller (Daniel Auteuil) who seeks refuge for his family from his French Catholic employee (Gilles Lellouche) and wife (Sara Giraudeau).” Rich in moral complexity and empathy, with several twists too good to spoil, this is one of the festival’s major highlights. It’s a must-see!
With stunning cinematography inspired by the photographic work of Seydou Keita and Malick Sidibe, Mali Twist is a time capsule that explores a lesser-known side of Mali’s history. This powerful love story captures a country torn between tradition and revolution. Against a backdrop of change, audiences are treated to a unique blast from the past where iconic 60’s hits punctuate the naivety of youth and reality of politics.
Following last year’s edition, which saw the festival reach record audiences despite the pandemic, the AFFFF will once again present the crème-de-la-crème of contemporary French cinema. The 33rd showcase boasts over 42 feature films, covering a wide spectrum of genres, and several Australian and international premieres. With five directors and many rising-star actors making their feature film debut, the AFFFF continues its commitment to celebrate the next generation of artists creating a new blueprint for French cinema.
To build your watch list and bag your tickets to enjoy the crème-de la-crème of contemporary French film, head to affrenchfilmfestival.org
Sydney: 1st March to 6th April (Encore screenings: 7th to 10th April)
- Palace Central
- Palace Norton Street
- Palace Verona
- Chauvel Cinema
- Hayden Orpheum Cremorne
For more information:
Official website: www.affrenchfilmfestival.org
Youtube: AF FFF 2022 Festival Trailers
Hash Tag: #af_fff_aus
The 2022 Alliance arrives in multiple locations around Australia between 1st March – 26th April 2022.
The safety and well-being of festivalgoers is of utmost importance, and all participating cinemas will be
adhering to strict social distancing and hygiene standards throughout the season in line with
recommended COVID-19 safety protocols.
About Alliance Française French Film Festival Festival
Alliance Française, the French culture and language institution, launched its film festival in Australia way back in 1989. Since then it’s grown into the largest festival dedicated to contemporary French films outside of France. This year the Alliance Française French Film Festival is celebrating its 33rd anniversary with 42 feature films and documentaries. The films will show across Australia in multiple locations from 1st March to 26th April 2022.