Festival blog: 19 March 2013
Phew! The last few months have been absolutely crazy but today we’ve finally got a second to sit down and write a very overdue festival blog.
We’re now about half way through the 2013 festival and already we’ve made huge steps forward from the 2012 edition of the festival, which was already such a success in itself. So far every city has increased its attendance figures; Auckland has increased by over half and Wellington has doubled its figures from last year, which is incredible!
We’ve been blown away by the support across the country and look forward to launching the festival in the final five cities – Dunedin, Havelock North, Palmerston North, Hamilton and Arrowtown. It’ll be a blast!
We’ve summed up our favourite parts of the festival so far into some points below:
Our top three personal highlights of the festival:
- Danièle Mazet-Delpeuch, the real-life inspiration behind Haute Cuisine, attending the Wellington opening night followed by a special Q+A session in Auckland. It was such an honour to meet such an inspirational woman who has spent who life following her dreams and fighting for what she believes in. Danièle, thank you so much for travelling over 18,000 kilometres to celebrate the festival with us!
- People scalping tickets at the door of last Thursday’s Wellington event An Evening with Renoir – it is always nice to feel so popular!
- The incredible French cheese from Le Marché Français at the Wellington premiere of Sophie Lellouche’s Paris-Manhattan – delicieux!
The three most popular films of the festival (so far):
- Haute Cuisine by Christian Vincent
- Renoir by Gilles Bourdos
- Happiness Never Comes Alone by James Huth.
The top three quotes from fans about the festival (so far):
- “I saw the movie Renoir last night with my sister. We both thought it was a delightful & thought-provoking movie so much so we are both looking in the library to do some research into his life & his paintings.” – Renoir fan, Auckland
- “Wish the festival didn’t have to end!” – French Speakers Wellington Group
- “I saw Happiness Never Comes Alone last night and it was so funny I almost wet my pants.” – Festival fan, Auckland
Those are our highlights so far, but now it’s time to share yours below! What films have you seen so far? What are you looking forward to the most? We’re always keen to hear your feedback.
We look forward to touching base with you again soon.
The Festival Team
Friday 15 February
Only six days to go until the festival opens in Auckland! It’s incredible how time has flown by this year! Festival fever has taken over the office and we’re so excited to launch this project to you all from next week.
It’s not the only bit of excitement we have though… for a few days now we have been keeping a secret that we have so desperately struggled to keep in! But we can now officially announce the New Zealand tour of Danièle Mazet-Delpeuch, who worked as the private chef of former French president François Mitterrand. Mazet-Delpeuch is a self-trained chef from the Périgord region in France who became the first woman cook to work at the Elysée Palace. She worked for Mitterrand from 1988 to 1990. Her incredible story has inspired Christian Vincent’s new film Les Saveurs du Palais (Haute Cuisine),which will screen as the opening night film during the Alliance Française French Film Festival 2013 in both New Zealand and Australia.
Mazet-Delpeuch will speak at the Wellington opening night of the festival on Wednesday 27 February at the Embassy Theatre, before the Wellington premiere of Haute Cuisine. We can’t wait to hear the stories she has got to tell and we are thrilled that you will all be able to be part of it. After her appearance in Wellington, Mazet-Delpeuch will then travel to Auckland to promote her new book Carnets de Cuisine du Périgord à l’Elysée before she flies to Sydney to open the Australian festival. More details about her programme in Wellington and Auckland will be announced shortly via our electronic email and on the website, so make sure you stay tuned!
On that note, we wish you all a very safe and relaxing weekend and hope you will all go out and buy your festival tickets… no excuses!
A très bientôt!
The Festival Team
Thursday 31 January
Bonjour French film fans,
We hope you have been making the most of the summer sunshine because from 21 February to 24 April you’ll need to be spending much more time in your local cinema when the annual Alliance Française French Film Festival 2013 returns!
We have had a busy last few weeks adding finishing touches on to the 2013 programme which have now all been delivered and are ready to be made public from Friday 1 February 2013. Don’t forget to pass by your nearest cinema to pick up a copy; they have the dazzling French actress Christa Théret on the front of them so you can’t possibly miss them!
We are thrilled to fill our opening night slot with Christian Vincent’s “deliciously French” film Haute Cuisine, which stars one of our favourite French actresses, Catherine Frot. We knew within five minutes of watching this film that it should take the limelight at this year’s festival, so we hope you’ll lap it up enthusiastically.
Another highlight for us includes Noémie Lvovsky’s run-away hit Camille Rewinds, which has just been nominated for an incredible 13 César awards, France’s prestigious annual film awards. Camille will screen as the closing night film nationwide. Other personal favourites within the festival office include Ursula Meier’s spectacular Sister, the unsettling Oscar-nominated Canadian production War Witch, and Xavier Giannoli’s “enjoyably absurd” Superstar about a man who wakes up to discover he is famous for no reason.
We’re pretty excited about the upcoming festival and having a festival blog and e-newsletter that we can update you on! Make sure you spread the word amongst vos amis et vos familles so you don’t miss out on what’s happening with the festival.
If you’re interested in becoming a guest blogger about French cinema on our site, please feel free to contact us, we’d love to hear from you.
Only three weeks to go until opening night in Auckland, so make sure you have organised some time off work so that you don’t miss out on this feast of French cinema!
A très bientôt,
The Festival Team