Opening and Closing Night Films Announced

With the 2018 programme safely in the hands of our printer, the final countdown is on to the launch of the Festival! As a further teaser of what’s in store, we are beyond excited to reveal our electric Opening and Closing Night films.

Launching in Auckland on 1 March, the 2018 Festival will open with the effervescent C’est la vie! (Le Sens de la fête) by Olivier Nakache and Éric Tolédano (The Intouchables, 2010). An entertaining look at a disastrous day in the life of a wedding planner, the lead role was written for and stars the legendary Jean-Pierre Bacri.

A brilliant comedy of errors, C’est la vie! will provide a grand opening night experience for audiences across the country.

Celebrating rich French talent and a diverse programme, the Festival will close with Mrs. Hyde (Madame Hyde) by Serge Bozon, a fantastic and surreal reinterpretation of Robert L. Stevenson’s literary classic The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Starring the iconic Isabelle Huppert as an eccentric science teacher who is struck by lightning while in the lab, this deadpan comedy blends the inspirational teacher genre, 1980’s science fiction and contemporary social criticism. Huppert was awarded Best Actress at the 2017 Locarno Film Festival for her brilliant performance. Screening exclusively as the closing night film, Mrs. Hyde is undoubtably a must-see.

“We feel honoured once again to present you with a diverse selection of some of the best contemporary French and Francophone cinema. Our Opening and Closing night films perfectly sum up what the Festival has to offer: innovative, exciting, moving and surprising cinéma français. Come along and enjoy!” says Festival director Dorothée Basel.


The full 2018 programme will be available online from Thursday 8 February and in print at screening venues from Friday 9 February. We look forward to sharing the joy of French cinema with you from 1 March – 18 April 2018 in 13 cities across New Zealand. Visit our Dates and Venues page for details.

Education Outreach Selection Revealed

Continuing our goal to fascinate, inspire, and educate, we are delighted to announce the line-up for the 2018 Education Outreach programme.

Learning a language is a way to understand our globalised world and expand cultural horizons. Cinema and film offer the perfect medium for an enjoyable language learning experience.
The Festival puts an emphasis on the importance of learning languages through its Education Outreach programme. The films selected are suitable for different ages and can be booked by schools for individual screenings during the Festival.

The 2018 Education Outreach films are:

French-language study guides for Belle & Sebastian: Friends for Life (Belle et Sébastien 3, le dernier chapitre) and Orchestra Class (La Mélodie) will be available to download free of charge from the Festival website following the full programme launch on Thursday 8 February. The study guides have been conceived by French teachers of the Alliance Française network in New Zealand, supported by ILEP.

For more information visit our Education Outreach page.

Presenting our 2018 Festival Poster

The holiday season has arrived and we would like to wish you all Joyeux Noël et une Bonne Année.

The French Film Festival elves are busy finalising the print programme and preparing for a fantastic celebration of French cinema, but before we ring in the holidays, we are delighted to reveal our bold and bright 2018 poster.

Celebrating the legacy of cinéma français, our 2018 poster features Louis Garrel and Stacy Martin in a still from Michel Hazanavicius’ Redoubtable (Le redoutable), a biographical drama about revolutionary director Jean-Luc Godard.


“Innovation, diversity, fresh talent, modernity and a rich film history – our 2018 Festival poster conveys what makes up France’s outstanding cinématographie.
Une femme et un homme invite for a dialogue – come along and enjoy the special experience the Festival offers!” says Festival director Dorothée Basel.

You can read more about Redoubtable (Le redoutable) and watch the trailer on the film page.

The full AF FFF 2018 programme will be available online from Thursday 8 February 2018. We look forward to sharing the joy of French cinema with you from 1 March – 18 April 2018 in 13 cities across New Zealand. Visit our Dates and Venues page for details.

We have a few more special announcements in the works, so keep an eye on our official online channels and register for our e-newsletter for your chance to win a double pass to the 2018 Festival.

First Films for 2018 Revealed

Festival HQ is buzzing with excitement as we finalise the 2018 poster and print programme ahead of the holiday break. As a sneak peek of what’s to come, we are thrilled to reveal our first three titles of the Festival.

Featuring a mix of comedy, drama and coming of age stories, these first feature films highlight a fresh generation of filmmakers on the rise.


France 2017
Director: Léa Mysius
Cast: Noée Abita, Laure Calamy, Juan Cano
Thirteen-year-old Ava is on vacation when she learns that she will lose her sight earlier than predicted. Her mother decides to behave as though nothing has changed so that they can spend the loveliest summer of their lives by the seaside. Ava however deals with the problem in her own way. Exploring her identity, she questions her surroundings and steals a large black dog that belongs to a young man on the run…
Energetic, sensual and sensitive, this coming of age story moves by its creative form and overflowing imagination.

Bloody Milk (Petit Paysan)

France 2017
Director: Hubert Charuel
Cast: Swann Arlaud, Sara Giraudeau
Pierre, thirty-something, is a dairy farmer. His life revolves around his farm, his veterinarian sister, and his parents, whose farm he has taken over. Just as the first indications of an epidemic are announced in France, Pierre discovers that one of his cows is infected. He refuses to accept the idea of losing his cows. They are all he has, and he will fight to the bitter end to save them.
An unusual subject choice for a thriller, Bloody Milk demonstrates a narrative simplicity which creates a chilling tension that is skilfully maintained until the film’s final moments.

Montparnasse Bienvenüe (Jeune Femme)

France/Belgium 2017
Director: Léonor Serraille
Cast: Laetitia Dosch, Grégoire Monsaingeon, Souleymane Seye Ndiaye, Nathalie Richard
With a cat under her arm, no money and no work, facing closed doors and broken relationships, Paula returns to Paris after a long time overseas. Landing in Montparnasse, Paula is set on starting over. Even if she has no idea which direction she is heading or how to get there, she’ll do it with panache.
A delightful debut feature that was awarded the Caméra d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.


The Alliance Française French Film Festival will run from 1 March – 18 April 2018 in 13 cities across New Zealand. Visit our Dates and Venues page for more information.

Meet our 2018 Festival Patron

Alongside our first sneak peek of the Festival programme, we are delighted to welcome Kate Rodger as the 2018 Festival Patron.

Kate Rodger is the Newshub Entertainment Editor and Film Reviewer, and a self-confessed addict of all things cinema.

Over her past 15 years with 3News (now Newshub) her job has taken her all over New Zealand and all over the world, covering film premieres and festivals, visiting movie sets, shooting interviews and filing stories from as far afield as Egypt, Rome, Samoa, Sydney, Chicago, Hollywood and Hamilton.

A veteran of the Oscar’s red carpet carnage, she has crossed live from Royal premieres in London with James Bond, survived rabid Robert Pattinson fans at not one but two Twilight red carpet premieres, and has covered the Cannes, Toronto, Sundance and Doha film festivals.

“I am honoured to be asked to be a patron for this year’s Alliance Française French Film Festival, and can’t wait to dive into the vast and delectable array of French cinema!” — Kate Rodger

We look forward to sharing her picks of the programme with you in the new year.

AF FFF at Akaroa French Fest

Bonjour Festival Fans,

From Thursday 05 October, Akaroa Cine Café will be screening five delights from past French Film Festivals: Up for Love, Blind Date, Boomerang, Planetarium and the family delight Belle and SebastienTickets are $10 for all sessions.

Tickets are now available from Akaroa Cine Café.

If you are joining the fun of the Akaroa French Festival, be sure to secure your spot for Le Cabaret Renault, and say bonjour to the Alliance Française Christchurch.

Bon film!

A très bientôt au cinéma,

The Festival Team

C’est fini!

Bonjour Festival Fans,

Voilà le festival est terminé — the 2017 Alliance Française French Film Festival is over. Six very intense cinephile weeks lie behind us with with many memorable openings, events and emotional film moments.

Merci again to everyone who joined us in cinemas across New Zealand to celebrate the best of French cinema. We look forward to seeing you again for our 2018 edition.

Want to “French up your life”? Say bonjour to your local Alliance Française and enjoy francophone activities all year round.

Looking for more French films? Check out for the latest information on new cinema and home video releases, like From the Land of the Moon, now playing in select NZ cinemas.


Bonne semaine et à l’année prochaine!

A très bientôt au cinéma,

The Festival Team

Slice of Heaven

Following the 2016 Festival, Julie Hill hit the jackpot when she won a trip to New Caledonia in our Website Competition. Thanks to New Caledonia Tourism and Aircalin, Julie experienced a fantastic taste of what the Pacific Heart had to offer.

“Before leaving I had plenty of time to bring back memories of 1968 when I was last in New Caledonia. How could all those years go by without returning to this tropical paradise so French but only three hours from Auckland?

… The highlights for me included visiting the Tjibaou cultural centre …This building, an architectural wonder by Renzo Piano, with material on display that reveals his inspiration from the great houses and traditional villages of the Kanak and from the majestic natural environment. We were lucky enough to be involved in a performance of the Waan Dance festival set in the grounds. The Yumi Danis (“We Dance”) is a performance by Melanesian musicians and dancers from Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

…This holiday included visits to two destinations that might be called “next best thing to Paradise”. First: two days on Ile des Pins gave a taste of luxury seldom enjoyed (since I am not a globe-trotting billionaire). Le Mériden Ile des Pins, at Oro Bay, is a tropical resort with bungalows fringing a white sand beach and backed by forest in which is located the Natural (coral) Pool bordered by the Column Pines that Captain Cook saw and so assigned the name.

…Second highlight: our trip to Ouvéa of the Loyalty Islands. Paradis D’Ouvéa was set on a stretch of magnificent Mouli Beach. This was the premium 4-star island resort. Most other accommodation here is “Tribal Accommodation” and as this early part of September seems to be “off season” there were few tourist around. In the hotel dining room in the evening there were 10 guests and during the day we basked in the sun under a coconut umbrella and swam with barely a person around.

…I also cannot believe my luck to have had this fabulous holiday and I do indeed plan a return visit in 2017. Thank you to the Alliance Française French Film Festival, Aircalin, Air Calédonie, Arc En Ciel Services, Sheraton Deva Spa and Resort, Le Meriden Ile Des Pins and Le Meriden Noumea, The Ramada Hotel and Suites and a special thanks to Sally Pepermans of New Caledonia Tourism New Zealand, for making all the arrangements run smoothly.” — Julie Hill, Auckland, New Zealand

Stay tuned for your chance to enter our 2017 Website Competition by filling out our Festival Survey.