Festival Patrons Share Their Picks of the Programme

With the full programme reveal only a week away, we want to share one final sneak peek of what’s to come in the 2017 Festival by revealing our Festival Patrons’ picks. Peter Calder and Antonia Prebble took great care in selecting their top two films from the programme, and we hope you’ll be just as enthusiastic about these fantastic titles.

Peter Calder’s Festival Picks

“I fell in love with Catherine Deneuve and the movies on the same day, when, still a teenager, I saw Buñuel’s Belle de jour.

French cinema has been a staple of my moviegoing diet ever since, which seems fair enough, since France is where a movie was first screened, in March 1895 (the men behind it, Auguste and Louis Lumière, later decided it was a fad that would not catch on).”

Standing Tall
“The lustrous Deneuve features in one of my two picks as must-see films in this festival. In La tête haute, she’s fierce and magnificent as a youth court magistrate who becomes something of a foster mum to a troubled teenager. The film, which scrupulously avoids the bland pieties to which the genre is prey, has a steely heart: it does not allow us, as an audience, to remain disengaged from the social problems it depicts. And it is fuelled by an awesome performance by 19-year-old Rod Paradot as the tormented adolescent.”

150 Milligrams
“Fans of the irresistibly effervescent Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen, the central figure in the political drama Borgen, will enjoy her performance in La fille de Brest, which adapts a true story about a doctor in a provincial hospital who took on Big Pharma and the lumbering behemoth that is the French civil service.”

Antonia Prebble’s Festival Picks

“It is my great pleasure to be an ambassador for the Festival once again this year. Having watched a wide selection of films from the programme I can confidently say that French cinema is alive and well.”

The Unknown Girl
La fille inconnue is a simple yet sophisticated film that follows a young doctor who is haunted by the death of a stranger that she feels she could have prevented.
The film is told in an unadorned manner, but what elevates this film is the stunning performance of lead actress Adèle Haenel. She is simultaneously raw and held – and always intelligent. She has a grace and humility to her that is quietly captivating and, as she is in almost every scene of the film, she serves to make the otherwise straightforward plot utterly compelling.”

The Odyssey
“The second film that I would recommend is L’Odyssée, a biopic that charts the life and career of Jacques Cousteau.

Cousteau, the man, is revealed to be a complex individual whose unrelenting ambition makes life difficult for those close to him. I came away feeling enriched from learning about the extraordinary life of this extraordinary individual and inspired to watch more of Cousteau’s own films.”

The full programme will be available online from 7pm on Thursday February 2, with print programmes available from screening venues the following day.

We look forward to sharing the joy of French cinema with you from 1 March – 12 April 2017 in 12 cities across New Zealand. Visit our Dates and Venues page for details.

For further information, keep an eye on your inbox, and our official online channels.

Spotlight on a Sponsor: Renault New Zealand

To celebrate our 2017 Festival sponsors, we are continuing our ‘Spotlight on a Sponsor’ special on our blog to introduce the people behind the brand. This week, we are pleased to present our wonderful Sponsor Renault New Zealand.

Sal Marti sat down to answer our short questionnaire and give us some insight into the company.

What is your favourite way to enjoy fine French cinema?
After a lovely dinner of sautéed mushrooms and a garlic butter Eye Fillet, medium rare, so I’m full and ready to sit back, relax and enjoy the movie.

Which French films are you hoping to see in the 2017 programme (contemporary or classic)?
A Journey through French Cinema, Monsieur Chocolat (as I’m a joker myself) and Baden Baden and The Odyssey.

How does your company bring a French touch to New Zealand?
Renault was born in Paris by Louis Renault and his brothers in 1898, and since then we’ve been creating some of the world’s most innovative and ‘runway worthy’ automobiles for the past 100 years.
Renault draws on our rich French heritage to help raise awareness and strengthen the brand in New Zealand.

If you could dine with any French star, who would you choose?
Eva Green.

What are you most looking forward to at the 2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival?
To enjoy the French experience within the festival, and celebrate the culture.

Opening and Closing Night Films Revealed

The programme has gone to print which means the final countdown to the 2017 Festival is underway! As a further teaser of what’s to come, we are excited to reveal our Opening and Closing Night films.

Launching in Wellington on 1 March, the Festival will open with Jérôme Salle’s breathtaking The Odyssey (L’Odyssée), starring Lambert Wilson, Audrey Tautou, and Pierre Niney.

Based on the life of oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, The Odyssey invites the audience to marvel at the magic that lies underwater. Combining elements of biopic and romantic fresco full of family drama, the film will take you on an adventurous journey.

In the spirit of celebrating French cinema, the Festival will close with Bertrand Tavernier’s magnificently epic documentary A Journey Through French Cinema (Voyage à travers le cinéma français).

A lifetime in the making, Tavernier explores the French films from the 30s through to the 70s that inspired him to start out as a director. From giants like Renoir, Godard, and Melville (for whom he worked as an assistant) to now overlooked figures like Edmond T. Gréville and Guy Gilles, he rediscovers and reassesses filmmakers, films, and composers, taking us on a voyage through time and stories.

The 2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival programme will showcase over 30 French-language feature films, offering audiences a chance to immerse themselves in one language, and a world of emotions.

The full AF FFF 2017 programme will be available online and in print from Thursday 2 February 2017. We look forward to sharing the joy of French cinema with you from 1 March – 12 April 2017 in 12 cities across New Zealand. Visit our Dates and Venues page for details.

For further information, keep an eye on your inbox, and our official online channels.

Education Outreach Films Announced for 2017

Continuing our goal to fascinate, inspire, and educate, we are delighted to announce the line-up for the 2017 Education Outreach programme.

The Education Outreach programme is designed to engage student audiences by exposing them to French language in context, and encourage discussion in the classroom through comprehensive French-language study guides, which are provided free of charge.

The 2017 Education Outreach films are:

  • My Mommy is in America and she met Buffalo Bill (Ma maman est en Amérique, elle a rencontré Buffalo Bill) by Marc Boreal and Thibaut Chatel, recommended for ages 6+
  • Adama by Simon Rouby, recommended for ages 8+
  • Fanny’s Journey (Le voyage de Fanny) by Lola Doillon, recommended for ages 10+
  • Standing Tall (La tête haute) by Emmanuelle Bercot, in cross section with the main programme, is recommended for ages 16+

French-language study guides will be available to download free of charge from the Festival website following the full programme launch on Thursday 2 February. The study guides have been conceived by French teachers of the Alliance Française network in New Zealand, supported by ILEP. For more information on the Education Outreach programme, visit our Education Outreach page.

The full AF FFF 2017 programme will be available online and in print from Thursday 2 February 2017. We look forward to sharing the joy of French cinema with you from 1 March – 12 April 2017 in 12 cities across New Zealand. Visit our Dates and Venues page for details.

For further information, keep an eye on your inbox, and our official online channels.

Get a Taste of the Festival with Our 2017 Trailer

Bonne année et bonne santé! We hope you have had a lovely holiday season and a happy start to the New Year.

We are only three weeks away from announcing our 2017 line-up, and we cannot wait to share this year’s selection of films with you.

We have a few more surprises in store ahead of our programme launch, but for now, treat yourself to a taste of what the 2017 programme has to offer with our new Festival trailer.

The full AF FFF 2017 programme will be available online and in print from Thursday 2 February 2017. We look forward to sharing the joy of French cinema with you from 1 March – 12 April 2017 in 12 cities across New Zealand. Visit our Dates and Venues page for details.

For further information, keep an eye on your inbox, and our official online channels.

A très bientôt au cinéma,
The Festival Team