Christchurch Encore Sessions

Encore! Encore! We are bringing back the most popular 2017 films for two days at Hoyts Northlands in Christchurch.

Tickets are available from the cinema or through the links on the film pages.

The Odyssey (L’Odyssée)
Saturday 8 April, 3:30 pm
1948. Jacques-Yves Cousteau, his wife, and his two sons live in paradise, but Cousteau dreams of adventure and exploring the world under water. He is prepared to sacrifice everything…

One Man and his Cow (La vache)
Saturday 8 April, 6:00 pm
Fatah is a simple Algerian farmer who sets off on a grand adventure with his beloved cow Jacqueline to present her at the Paris International Agricultural Show. A feel-good comedy at its best.

Penny Pincher! (Radin!)
Sunday 9 April, 3:30pm

François Gautier (Dany Boon) is a talented musician with a fatal flaw – he is a penny pincher! Everything changes when a daughter he never knew he had comes unexpectedly into his life.

150 Milligrams (La fille de Brest)
Sunday 9 April, 5:30pm

After losing a number of her patients, a lung specialist at a hospital in Brest is determined to bring the truth to light by exposing the toxic effects of a popular prescription drug. A compelling film.

Auckland Encore Sessions

Encore! Encore! We are bringing back the most popular 2017 films for three days at Rialto Cinemas Newmarket and Berkeley Cinemas Takapuna in Auckland.

Tickets are available from screening venues or through the links on the film pages.

Penny Pincher! (Radin!)
Friday 31 March, 6:00 pm, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket
Saturday 8 April, 6:00pm, Berkeley Cinemas Takapuna

François Gautier (Dany Boon) is a talented musician with a fatal flaw – he is a penny pincher! Everything changes when a daughter he never knew he had comes unexpectedly into his life.

150 Milligrams (La fille de Brest)
Friday 31 March, 8:00 pm, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket
Friday 7 April, 8:00pm, Berkeley Cinemas Takapuna

After losing a number of her patients, a lung specialist at a hospital in Brest is determined to bring the truth to light by exposing the toxic effects of a popular prescription drug. A compelling film.

The Odyssey (L’Odyssée)
Saturday 1 April, 4:00 pm, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket
Sunday 9 April, 3:30pm, Berkeley Cinemas Takapuna

1948. Jacques-Yves Cousteau, his wife, and his two sons live in paradise, but Cousteau dreams of adventure and exploring the world under water. He is prepared to sacrifice everything…

One Man and his Cow (La vache)
Saturday 1 April, 6:30 pm, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket
Fatah is a simple Algerian farmer who sets off on a grand adventure with his beloved cow Jacqueline to present her at the Paris International Agricultural Show. A feel-good comedy at its best.

In Bed with Victoria (Victoria)
Saturday 1 April, 8:30 pm, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket

Victoria is a struggling thirty-something lawyer on the verge of a breakdown. When she has to defend an old friend in court with a dog as only witness and meets Sam, an old client, her life takes a new turn.

Just to be Sure (Ôtez-moi d’un doute)
Sunday 2 April, 3:45 pm, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket
Widowed munitions expert Erwan discovers that the man who raised him isn’t his biological father, and sets out to find the man who is. A series of hilarious misunderstandings turn his life upside down.

Things to Come (L’avenir)
Sunday 2 April, 5:45 pm, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket
Out of nowhere Nathalie’s husband tells her that he is leaving her to live with another woman. Confronted by daunting freedom, she must reinvent her life. Isabelle Huppert gives a mesmerising performance.

Wellington Encore Sessions

Encore! Encore! We are bringing back the most popular 2017 films from 1 – 2 April at Embassy Theatre, Wellington.

Tickets are available from the cinema box office or through the links on the film pages. Encore sessions will be screening in Deluxe, so be sure to book your seats tout de suite.

Things to Come (L’avenir)
Saturday 1 April, 3:45 pm
Out of nowhere Nathalie’s husband tells her that he is leaving her to live with another woman. Confronted by daunting freedom, she must reinvent her life. Isabelle Huppert gives a mesmerising performance.

One Man and his Cow (La vache)
Saturday 1 April, 6:00 pm
Fatah is a simple Algerian farmer who sets off on a grand adventure with his beloved cow Jacqueline to present her at the Paris International Agricultural Show. A feel-good comedy at its best.

The Odyssey (L’Odyssée)
Sunday 2 April, 3:20 pm
1948. Jacques-Yves Cousteau, his wife, and his two sons live in paradise, but Cousteau dreams of adventure and exploring the world under water. He is prepared to sacrifice everything…

150 Milligrams (La fille de Brest)
Sunday 2 April, 6:00 pm

After losing a number of her patients, a lung specialist at a hospital in Brest is determined to bring the truth to light by exposing the toxic effects of a popular prescription drug. A compelling film.

Direct-From-France Titles You Won’t Want to Miss

With the 2017 Festival underway in several cities, we want to highlight our unmissable direct-from-France titles. Screenings are limited for these sessions, so we recommend booking in tout de suite.

A Kid (Le fils de Jean)
Directed by Philippe Lioret
One morning, 33 year-old Mathieu receives a phone call and discovers that his biological father was Canadian and has just died. He also learns that he has two brothers. Mathieu drops everything and leaves Paris in hope of reuniting with a part of his unknown family. But upon his arrival in Montréal, nothing goes as expected and Mathieu finds himself in hostile territory.

From the Land of the Moon (Mal de pierres)
Directed by Nicole Garcia
Based on Milena Agus’ novel of the same name, Marion Cotillard (also in It’s Only the End of the World) gives a luminous performance as Gabrielle, a repressed woman who yearns for a romantic love she was denied. Louis Garrel (also in Two Friends and Planetarium) excels as the dashing war veteran André.

Julie and the Shoe Factory (Sur quel pied danser)
Directed by Paul Calori and Kostia Testut
Auteur duo Calori and Testut call this film a ‘musical and social comedy’ and touch on serious societal issues whilst also entertaining with charming musical numbers. Full of charm and truth, this dazzling film follows in the line of director Jacques Demy, known for his comédies musicales such as The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

Mercenary (Mercenaire)
Directed by Sacha Wolff
Soane, a young man of Wallisian origin from New Caledonia, defies his father’s authority to go play rugby in France. French, but not considered such and left to his own devices on the other side of the world, Soane struggles to get the recognition that he deserves.

Moka
Directed by Frédéric Mermoud
Equipped with a few items of clothing, a little bit of money, and a weapon, Diane Kramer (Emmanuelle Devos) leaves for Evian. She has a sole obsession: to find the driver of the mocha-coloured Mercedes who ran over her son and turned her life upside down. But the path of truth has more bends than it appears.

Ogres (Les ogres)
Directed by Léa Fehner
Ogres plunges the audience into the vibrant and eccentric world of a troupe of travelling performers, who bring magic and hilarity along with them as they move from place to place. The complex dynamics of this family of misfits is shaken up when a former romantic dalliance re-enters the scene, and a pregnancy promises to bring both joy and new tensions.

One Man and his Cow (La vache)
Directed by Mohamed Hamidi
Fatah is a simple Algerian farmer with a big dream: to show his beloved cow Jacqueline at the Paris International Agricultural Show. When – to the amazement of his whole village – he receives an invitation to the show, an intrepid journey begins for one man who has never before left his country.

Visit our Dates and Venues page for details on when the Festival is screening near you.

Spotlight on a Sponsor: Eau Thermale Avène

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 Eau Thermale Avène.

Brand Manager Sarah Navarro 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?
I don’t have any specific way to enjoy french cinema, I just love it, much more real and emotional. I always like cinema with the traditional popcorn but the ones we have in France, the french caramel ones, they are different from here, and sharing a good moment with some friends. I guess with a glass of good wine is also always better.

Which French films are you hoping to see in the 2017 programme (contemporary or classic)?
Definitely Monsieur Chocolat just because I really like Omar Sy.

How does your company bring a French touch to New Zealand?
Eau Thermale Avène is a french dermo-cosmetic skincare brand. It is the perfect association between the expertise of the french skincare industry and the science and research from a strong pharmaceutical industry, Pierre Fabre. It is the only french dermo-cosmetic brand in New Zealand at the moment so it makes it even more unique. But the most unique thing in this brand is the spring water used in all our products that comes from the little town of Avène which has a unique composition.

If you could dine with any French star, who would you choose?
Not sure if I would chose Marion Cotillard, Sophie Marceau, Omar Sy or Romain Duris. We do have a lot of amazing actors in France, intelligent and funny, these two women are also beautiful and represent real french beauty.

What are you most looking forward to at the 2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival?
Meeting people with the same passion for french culture and cinema, and having a great experience before the end of summer.

Planetarium Director Rebecca Zlotowski Announced as Festival Guest

We are delighted to announce director Rebecca Zlotowski will travel to New Zealand to present her stunning feature film Planetarium at selected screenings in Auckland and Wellington.

Rebecca Zlotowski has a reputation for films of emotional depth and striking visuals. Taking us back to the height of studio cinema, Planetarium showcases opulent costumes and stunning cinematography. Starring Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp, two sisters who have the ability to contact ghosts and perform as psychic mediums, the film is set at the close of the 1930s in Paris. There, in the city of light, they catch the eye of film producer Korben (Emmanuel Salinger) who becomes obsessed with the idea of filming the supernatural. The sisters become embroiled in the world of cinema, blissfully unaware of the worldwide turmoil of the years to come.

After graduating from the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure and being a French Language and Literature agrégée, Rebecca Zlotowski joined the famous Paris film school La Fémis where she encountered other distinctive filmmakers such as Teddy Lussi Modeste, Jean-Claude Brisseau, Philippe Grandrieux, Antoine d’Agata (with whom she will collaborate on a future project), and Lodge Kerrigan. Selected at the 2010 Cannes Critics’ Week, her first directorial effort Belle Epine won the Prix Louis Delluc as well as the Critics’ Award for Best First Feature Film. Three years later, Grand Central was selected at the Un Certain Regard in Cannes. Planetarium is Zlotowski’s third feature film.

Rebecca Zlotowski will present her film at the Wellington screening on 12 March at Embassy Theatre. A Q+A will follow the screening, moderated by writer and reviewer Brannavan Gnanalingam. She will also introduce her film in Auckland on 13 March at Rialto Cinemas Newmarket. A Q+A will follow the screening, moderated by film distributor Jill Macnab (Vendetta Films).

Rebecca Zlotowski’s trip to New Zealand is made possible thanks to support from UniFrance, Alliance Française New Zealand, and the Embassy of France in New Zealand.

Tickets are now available from screening venues and the Planetarium film page.

Spotlight on a Sponsor: TV5MONDE

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 TV5MONDE.

Alexandre Muller, Managing Director of TV5MONDE Asie Pacifique, 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?
I believe there is only one-way to enjoy fine French cinema: BIG screen.

Which French films are you hoping to see in the 2017 programme (contemporary or classic)?
Juste la fin du monde (It’s Only the End of the World) by Xavier Dolan featuring Nathalie Baye, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux and Gaspard Ulliel and Planetarium, by Rebecca Zlotowski featuring Natalie Portman, Lily-Rose Depp, Emmanuel Salinger and Louis Garrel, are amongst the two movies that I am hoping to see in this year’s programme.

How does your company bring a French touch to New Zealand?
TV5MONDE Pacific offers several French films and series slots throughout the day. People are thus able to enjoy French cinema and dramas all around the year – it is a way to complete Alliance Française French Film Festival offer! TV5MONDE also offers a tour of French savoir-vivre in the fields of gastronomy, luxury, travel, fashion, home, garden, and design. You can discover French territories and lands only by watching our programmes!

If you could dine with any French star, who would you choose?
I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of dining with several French Stars already. Nevertheless Sophie Marceau will definitely be the one I’ll choose amongst them all!

What are you most looking forward to at the 2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival?
I am sure the organisers have been working hard to ensure that this year’s Festival hits all the right notes. I’m looking forward to being surprised, enchanted, thrilled or simply moved!!

Focus on Female Filmmakers

This year, we are proud to shine a spotlight on the brightest female stars of the directing world. This is reflected in the numerous works featured in this year’s line-up which have been crafted by supremely talented female directors.

In the Festival programme section Women to the Fore, viewers are invited to experience a diverse selection of stunning cinema, focussing on the ubiquitous presence of strong female voices in French cinema today. Outside of this section, the programme features a further six films by women, from rising talents such as Rebecca Zlotowski (Planetarium) to Festival favourite Emmanuelle Bercot (150 Milligrams, Standing Tall).

Planetarium (Planétarium)
Director: Rebecca Zlotowski

Rebecca Zlotowski’s Planetarium tells the story of two young mediums in Paris in the 1930s. Zlotowski, famed for visually striking and intricately presented films such as Grand Central, creates another cinematic delight with Planetarium. Deservedly being screened out of competition at the Venice International Film Festival in 2016, Zlotowski’s directing crafts a masterful film of supreme emotional depth and vivid imagination.

Ogres (Les Ogres)
Director: Léa Fehner

Ogres follows the highs and lows of the eccentric life of a travelling troupe of performers. Léa Fehner’s unique personal voice is obvious in this big-hearted and energetic offering, and she features several members of her own family in the cast. Inspired by her own background in her family’s circus troupe, Ogres is a magnificent example of a talented female director bringing her past to life.

From the Land of the Moon (Mal de pierres)
Director: Nicole Garcia

Nicole Garcia presents a gripping tale of repressed femininity and personal liberation in From the Land of the Moon. Featuring a dazzling performance by Marion Cotillard, the film screened in competition at Cannes in 2016. A clear choice for the Festival’s Women to the Fore programme section, Garcia creates a razor-sharp portrayal of societal constraints on the romantic and emotional development of a young woman.

150 Milligrams (La fille de Brest)
Director: Emmanuelle Bercot

Arguably one of the line-up’s most suspenseful thrillers, Emmanuelle Bercot delivers a forceful masterpiece in 150 Milligrams. One of Festival Patron Peter Calder’s top picks, 150 Milligrams was featured in the Official Competition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival 2016. This tale of one woman’s struggle to take on a Pharmaceutical giant is a stunning directorial work from Bercot, focussing on feminine courage and the capacity for change.

Standing Tall (La tête haute)
Director: Emmanuelle Bercot

Bercot’s second offering of the Festival is also a top pick from Peter Calder. Confronting and thought provoking, Standing Tall draws on Bercot’s own experiences with her family’s interaction with the juvenile court system. Bercot’s audacious juxtaposition of gritty reality and moments of true joy highlights her astounding ability to vividly connect to a viewer and retain tension and suspense for the entire span of a film.

In Bed with Victoria (Victoria)
Director: Justine Triet

Justine Triet’s In Bed with Victoria is a true example of the ability of a female director to subvert expectations and make her unique mark on a genre. Due to Triet’s assured and sophisticated directing, romantic comedy is refined in this side splitting comedy. Featured as the Critics’ Week opening night film at Cannes in 2016, In Bed with Victoria is a true delight.

Baden Baden
Director: Rachel Lang

It is not often that a directorial debut is simultaneously hilarious and beautifully complex, but Rachel Lang achieves this in Baden Baden with the assurance of a seasoned director. Following a young woman’s journey through the ups and downs of one unforgettable summer, Lang’s treatment of themes of love lost and the desire for identity elevate this simple tale to a true example of free spirited and confident directing.

Just to be Sure (Ôtez-moi d’un doute)
Director: Carine Tardieu

Following such gems as The Bélier Family and Rosalie Blum, the Festival is thrilled to feature a World Premiere within its line-up. Carine Tardieu’s delightful romantic comedy Just to be Sure is a touching and humorous exploration of family tension and the search for identity, convincingly directed and charmingly performed. Tardieu is also responsible for The Dandelions which featured in the 2013 line-up, making her one to watch in the directorial field.

The Woods Dreams are Made of (Le bois dont les rêves sont faits)
Director: Claire Simon

In this superb documentary, Claire Simon observes the stories of the people she encounters in a huge park outside Paris. She invites us to see what she sees as openly and non judgementally as she does. Simon demonstrates a unique and thought provoking view of our industrial world and commercialised society, reinforcing the strength of feminine perspectives in French cinema.

Things to Come (L’avenir)
Director: Mia Hansen-Løve

Mia Hansen-Løve’s Things to Come is a moving illustration of new identity and rebirth after loss. Inspired by her relationship with her own mother, Hansen-Løve boldly treats the complexity of mature life as a woman, and skilfully navigates themes of feminine self-fulfilment and self-knowledge. Hansen-Løve deservedly gained the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival 2016, making her a key role model for future female directors, and a sign of the strong female presence among film accolades today.

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 and see our Films page for the full 2017 line-up.

Spotlight on a Sponsor: Aircalin

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 Aircalin.

Angela Hallett 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?
Going to the Alliance Française French Film Festival. With so many movies to choose from it is going to be a busy time trying to fit as many in as possible.

Which French films are you hoping to see in the 2017 programme (contemporary or classic)?
With the French being such good movie-makers, there is always something thought-provoking to see in all genres but I particularly like comedy and drama, so Penny Pincher and Mercenary respectively are two that I am looking forward to seeing.

How does your company bring a French touch to New Zealand?
Aircalin is the international airline of New Caledonia….a little piece of France in the South Pacific, a less than 3 hour flight from Auckland.

If you could dine with any French star, who would you choose?
Gérard Dépardieu because I think it would be a very entertaining dining experience!

What are you most looking forward to at the 2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival?
Seeing French culture lit up on screen and being transported through all different emotions we meet in life.

The 2017 Programme is Now Online

After months of preparation, viewing and selecting films, liaising with partners and much detailed planning, we are excited to have arrived at the moment when we officially announce the full programme.

This year’s Festival will truly explore one language, and a world of emotions, and there is plenty in store with 36 films presented over 6 weeks in 12 cities across New Zealand.

With award-winning titles, numerous female-directed features, and slapstick comedies, the 11th edition of the Alliance Française French Film Festival will feature some of France’s top stars and shine a light on up-and-coming talent. We’ve highlighted a few must-see films.

WORLD PREMIERE
Just to be Sure (Ôtez-moi d’un doute)
Having presented the International Premieres of some superb French jewels in the past, 2017 is no exception, marking the world debut of writer-director Carine Tardieu’s wonderfully funny Just to be Sure (Ôtez-moi d’un doute), starring François Damiens (The Bélier Family, AF FFF 2015) and Cécile de France (La Belle Saison, AF FFF 2016).

CLASSICS REMIXED
Fans of classic French cinema will enjoy a fresh look at classic film genres with the Classics Remixed section of the programme, which pairs musical comedy The Umbrellas of Cherbourg with Julie and the Shoe Factory, and the film noir Le Doulos with Dark Diamond.

EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW
From the Land of the Moon (Mal de pierres)
The Festival has the pleasure of presenting From the Land of the Moon (Mal de pierres) as an exclusive preview before the national New Zealand release.
Based on Milena Agus’ novel of the same name, Marion Cotillard gives a luminous performance as Gabrielle, giving a voice to the torments of a repressed life, and Louis Garrel (also in Two Friends and Planetarium) excels his charms as dashing war veteran André.

You can explore the full 2017 programme on the Films page, and get your copy of the print programme from Festival venues and your local Alliance Française following delivery. Tickets will be on sale through Festival screening venues in the coming days. For more information, head to our Ticket Info page.