Festival News

First Films Announced for AF FFF 2017

As the holiday season approaches, The Alliance Française French Film Festival is preparing to return to New Zealand screens, to once again share one language, and a world of emotions. Following the success of the 2016 Festival, which marked 10 years of celebrating the best of French cinema, the coming year will showcase a collection of over 30 of the finest films from France and French-speaking regions.

We are thrilled to reveal four titles from the 2017 line-up, before the full programme launch in February: keep these gems in mind when tickets become available!

Baden Baden
France/Belgium 2016
Director: Rachel Lang
Starring: Salomé Richard, Claude Gensac, Zabour Breitman, Swann Arlaud
26-year-old Ana (Salomé Richard), leaves a job she detests, and upon returning to her hometown of Strasbourg, engages herself in a DIY reconstruction of the bathroom of her indisposed Grandmother. From this simple concept, laugh and cry as director Rachel Lang’s sparklingly humorous debut explores complex ideas of love lost, and the pursuit of personal transformation. Baden Baden is sure to be a highlight of the 2017 season.

Monsieur Chocolat
France 2015
Director: Roschdy Zem
Starring: Omar Sy, James Thiérrée, Noémie Lvovsky, Clothilde Hesme
Based on a true story, Omar Sy excels as Chocolat the clown, the first black performer in French circus. Joined by James Thiérrée (grandson of Charlie Chaplin) as the white clown George Footit, the two form an unforgettable performance partnership, and journey through the challenges of gaining success in the 1890s. You will marvel at the incredible feats and uplifting moments, while being exposed to thought provoking themes of racism and the corrupting power of fame. One not to miss!

It’s Only the End of the World (Juste la Fin du Monde)
France/Canada 2015
Director: Xavier Dolan
Starring: Gaspard Ulliel, Nathalie Baye, Léa Seydoux, Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard
Derived from the play Juste la fin du monde, by Jean-Luc Lagarce, It’s Only the End of the World introduces Louis (Gaspard Ulliel), a writer suffering from a fatal illness, who returns to his family to inform them of his inevitable demise. Familial divisions, personal conflict, and past grievances are capably treated by director Xavier Dolan, as we follow Louis’s poignant story. A hugely personal and emotional experience, this title is a must-see for the French film lover.

Dark Diamond (Diamant Noir)
France/Belgium 2015
Director: Arthur Harari
Starring: Niels Schneider, August Diehl, Hans Peter Cloos, Abdel-Hafed Benotman
Arthur Harari’s film opens with the death of Pier Ulmann’s father; poverty stricken and ousted by his family after a fatal accident. Pier’s (Niels Schneider) desire to avenge his father leads him to infiltrate the ranks of his affluent diamond-dealing extended family. Considering the family culpable for his father’s loss, Pier plans a heist under the guise of carrying out construction work on the diamond firm. This polished film noir challenges the distinction between right and wrong, and is a master class in the effective building of tension. You will be on the edge of your seat!

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

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.