14 - 27 MARCH

Kiss and Tell

Julien is haunted by a hostile force. Alex, his son, finds out that Eva, 17, is pregnant. Eva’s mother, is financially strained. Lucie is exasperated by her husband Julien’s paranoid delusions. Julien’s lover can tell he’s been lying to her but Julien can’t tell that she is lying to him. It seems Loic is the only stable element in the lot – or not…! And one absentee is excruciatingly present, all the time.

Claire Darling

On this beautiful, bright first day of summer, Claire Darling has decided to get rid of all her estate. She’s laid down all her favourite objects on her front lawn for one splendid garage sale.

As a horde of curious bystanders and neighbours fights over the ridiculously under-priced antiques, each object resurrects flashes of Claire Darling’s tragic and flamboyant life. Alerted by her childhood friends, Marie Darling, Claire’s estranged daughter, is forced to come back to the family mansion to stop this sale and unveil the reasons behind her mother’s eccentric decision.

Memoir of War

It’s 1944, and Duras is an active Resistance member along with her husband, writer Robert Antelme, and a band of fellow subversives in Nazi-occupied Paris. When Antelme is deported to Dachau by the Gestapo, she becomes friendly with French collaborator Rabier (Benoît Magimel) to gain information at considerable risk to her underground cell. But as the months wear on without news of her husband, she must begin the process of confronting the unimaginable. Through subtly expressionistic images and voiceover passages of Duras’ writing, Finkiel evokes the inner world of one of the 20th century’s most revolutionary writers.

Promise at Dawn

From his childhood in Poland to his adolescence in Nice to his years as a student in Paris and his tough training as a pilot during World War II, this tragi-comedy tells the romantic story of Romain Gary, one of the most famous French novelists and sole writer to have won the Goncourt Prize for French literature two times.


Rose and Alice are two very different sisters. Rose is free and rock n’roll. Alice is tidy and responsible. They do not agree on anything except for the urgency of cheering up their mother, Françoise, who was recently dumped by their father for a much younger woman. While depressed, her two daughters, Rose and Alice, decide to go with her on holiday in Reunion. It works pretty well, but there’s a catch: Rose is an inveterate party girl while Alice prefers to go to bed early. Will the two sisters know how to stay with their mother?

Le Grand Bal

It’s the story of a ball. A big ball. Every summer, more than two thousand people come from all over Europe, to a small town in the French countryside. During 7 days and 8 nights, people dance again and again, lose the notion of time, defy their fatigue and their bodies. It turns, it laughs, spins, cries and sings. And life pulses.

The Summer House

Like every summer, Anna will spend a few days on the Riviera in her dynasty’s gigantic estate. But this time, she must not only face a dysfunctional family but also face a brutal break up, an unfinished script and a haunting ghost.

The Image Book

Do you still remember how, long ago, we trained our thoughts? Most often we’d start from a dream…. We wondered how, in total darkness, colours of such intensity could emerge within us. In a soft, low voice saying great things. Surprising, deep and accurate matters. Image and words, like a bad dream written on a stormy night. Under western eyes. The lost paradises. War is here.

The World Is Yours

A small-time dealer dreams of another life but can’t afford it. To escape, he must accept one last job involving Spain, drugs, the Illuminati and his overbearing mother.

Girls of the Sun

Somewhere in Kurdistan, Bahar, commander of the “Girls of the Sun” battalion, is preparing to liberate her hometown from the hands of extremists, hoping to find her son who is held hostage.
A French journalist, Mathilde, comes to cover the attack and bear witness to the story of these exceptional warriors. Since their lives have been turned upside down, they have all been fighting for the same cause: Women, Life, Liberty.

The Sisters Brothers

It’s 1851 and Charlie and Eli Sisters are both brothers and assassins, boys grown to men in a savage and hostile world. The Sisters brothers find themselves on a journey through the Northwest, bringing them to the mountains of Oregon, a dangerous brothel in the small town of Mayfield, and eventually, the gold rush land of California — an adventure that tests the deadly family ties that bind.

Normandy Nude

As everywhere in France, the breeders of the small village of Mêle sur Sarthe, in Normandy, are severely affected by the economical crisis. Their mayor, Georges Balbuzard, has a great idea to save his village: a famous photographer, known for posing completely naked crowds, is just passing through the region. Balbuzard sees the opportunity to have the breeders pose for a photo shoot with the famous photographer and save the village. But the breeders are reluctant to lay it all bare for this American photographer.

Family Photo

Gabrielle is a “statue” for tourists, much to the chagrin of her teenage son. Elsa is angry at the world and desperate to become pregnant. Mao is a chronically depressed video game designer who drowns his melancholy in alcohol and psychoanalysis. They are brother and sisters, but do not hang out due to such different personalities. Ever. Their parents Pierre and Claudine, separated for a long time, have really done nothing to strengthen the bonds of the family – yet, at their grandfather’s funeral, they are going to have to meet, and together answer the question: “What to do with grandma?”

Sorry Angel

The year is 1990. Arthur is twenty years old and is currently studying in Rennes. His life changes when he meets Jacques, a writer living in Paris with his young son. During the summer, Arthur and Jacques will enjoy each other’s newfound company and a deep love grows for one another. But Jacques knows this love must be lived quickly.

Selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

In Safe Hands

Theo is a newborn – under French law, his birth mother has the right to give the State jurisdiction over Theo’s future. The mother has 60 days to reflect on her decision and reverse it, or not. One government agency takes care of such babies during the period of uncertainty, another springs into action to place the child with appropriate adoption parents. The process is gut-wrenching and fraught with complications. Pupille is the story of “Theo meets Alice” (Élodie Bouchez), a 41-year old who has fought for 10 years to adopt a child.

A Man in a Hurry

Alain is a business executive who’s racing against time. There is no room in his life for leisure or family. After a massive stroke, Alain wakes up in a hospital, where it is quickly determined that he has sustained significant loss of language and memory. Jeanne, a young speech therapist, is assigned to help him re-learn, as a child learns, how to speak and how to put himself back together. As he recovers, he begins to see that he has let a whole section of his life slip through his fingers. But he also finds that all is not lost, that he can make up for lost time, especially with his daughter.

One Nation, One King

Paris, 1789. The Bastille has been stormed and a breath of liberty blows through the streets of Paris.

Françoise, a young washerwoman, and Basile, without a family or a name, discover the unique exhilaration of love and revolution. With their friends and the working-class people of Paris, they begin to realise dreams of emancipation in the newly formed assembly where they witness, with both hopes and doubts, the creation of a new political system. Their debates and the riots on the streets hold the fate of their once sacred king and the birth of a republic. Freedom has a story.

Wine Calling

Recently the world of wine has been in full effervescence, shaken by a counter culture as strong as the rock scene was in its time. All around the world, joyous rebels have invaded the vineyards to create the wine they love: a natural wine free of codes and norms.

While there are more than 3,000 wine growers in France, less than 3% of them are working in bio, biodynamic or natural methods of wine production. For ethical reasons, this relatively small community of wine growers has chosen environmentally friendly farming practices aimed at finding the natural expression of “terroir” – the full breadth of land, geography and climate – and the living character of the wine.

It’s in the south of France, in the heart of Catalonia, that Wine Calling has followed over a year, from the harvest to the bottling, some of the most exciting of these new wine growers, springboard of a rising global movement for taste and sustainability.

The Fall of the American Empire

Pierre-Paul Daoust, 36, an intelligent man with a PhD in philosophy is forced to work as a delivery man to afford a decent living.

One day while delivering a parcel, he gets caught in a hold up gone terribly wrong: two dead and millions in money bags laying on the ground. Pierre-Paul is confronted with a dilemma: leave empty handed, or take the money and run?

The Ideal Palace

The story begins in the South of France in 1879. Ferdinand Cheval is a reserved and quiet man. A rural postman, he enjoys the solitude of his 20-mile rounds, daydreaming about a world full of wonder and beauty that he can only glimpse through postcards and magazines. After the birth of Alice, his daughter, he has a revelation: he will build a palace to turn her into a princess.

With no architectural background, driven by his love for Alice and the unconditional support of his wife, Philomène, Ferdinand Cheval will turn his vision into a reality with his bare hands, dedicating 33 challenging years to the construction of the Ideal Palace, which was classified as a historical monument in 1969 and is considered to be the first cultural landmark of native art.

A Faithful Man

Eight years ago, Marianne left Abel for Paul, his best friend and the father of her unborn child. Abel doesn’t see Marianne again until Paul’s funeral after his sudden passing. Abel sees this tragic event as a good omen and Abel and Marianne get back together.

But their newfound coupling is not without its obstacles and arouses feelings of jealousy in both Marianne’s son, Joseph, and Paul’s sister, Eva, who has secretly loved Abel since childhood. Joseph and Eva team up and work behind the scenes in an attempt to break them up.

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir

After his mother’s death, a young fakir from the streets of Rajasthan, Aja, leaves India for France to track down the father he never knew.

From the moment he arrives in Paris, nothing goes as planned. A disaster with an eccentric taxi driver leaves him stranded outside Paris at IKEA, where he falls head over heels for Marie, a lovely Franco-American who befriends him. But his hopes for love are dashed when he accidentally gets stuck in a wardrobe and shipped across Europe!

On the run from border police and bandits, he meets a colourful cast of characters as he hops across the globe escaping danger. Can his clever imagination and briefcase of magic tricks get him back to Paris to meet Marie and discover his father’s identity?

Last Year in Marienbad

At a social gathering at a château or baroque hotel, a man approaches a woman. He claims they met the year before at Marienbad and is convinced that she is waiting there for him. However, the woman insists they have never met.

A second man, who may be the woman’s husband, repeatedly asserts his dominance over the first man, including beating him several times at a mathematical game (a version of Nim).

Through ambiguous flashbacks and disorientating shifts of time and location, the film explores the relationships among the characters. Conversations and events are repeated in several places in the château and grounds, and there are numerous tracking shots of the château’s corridors, with ambiguous voiceovers.

Jean Paul Gaultier: Freak and Chic

Jean-Paul Gaultier is a French haute couture and prêt-à-porter fashion designer.

We are proud to present the new documentary movie about Jean Paul Gaultier and his vision that propelled him to stardom as one of the most famous fashion designers in the world.

I Feel Good

He’s lived too long off his parents and it’s time for 40-year-old slacker Jacques to get by on his own. A one-time gigolo and a borderline bum, he knows what he wants — to become rich and famous. He even has a business plan: tourism combined with cheap plastic surgery.

Jacques moves in with his older sister, Monique, who manages an Emmaus village in the south west of France. And before long, the smooth-talking chancer has convinced a group of workers to pool their meager funds and set out on a trip to a clinic in Bulgaria, where all their dreams of a brighter and more beautiful future will all come true.


Gauthier, a young journalist, learns from his mother that he is the illegitimate son of Guy Jamet, a “has-been” French variety music artist who had his moment of glory between the 60s and 90s.

Guy is currently working on releasing a new album and organising a tour to promote said album. Gauthier decides to follow him- camera in hand- to record his daily life and provincial concerts in the hopes of making a documentary movie about Guy.

Girl (R16)

Girl tells the story of 15-year-old Lara who wants to become a ballerina, with a classical training for female dancers. Lara is accepted in a ballet school and her dream seems closer than ever.

But there is one problem: Lara was born into the body of a boy. A body that she will push to its limits in order for her to succeed.

Rated R16

The Trouble With You

In a town on the French Riviera, detective Yvonne is the young widow of police chief Santi, a local hero. When she realizes her husband was not exactly the model of virtue so idolized by their young son, and that an innocent young man, Antoine, has spent 8 years in prison as Santi’s scapegoat, she is thrown into turmoil. Yvonne wants to do everything she can to help this very charming Antoine get back to his life and his wife. Everything that is, except telling the truth. But Antoine is having trouble adjusting to life on the other side, to say the least, and soon blows a fuse leading to a spectacular sequence of events.

Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion

The druid Getafix nimbly clambers up and down oak trees to gather mistletoe in the forests surrounding the Village of the Indomitable Gauls. But one day the expert climber has a bad fall. And my, does that get him worrying! What on earth would happen if he was incapacitated and couldn’t brew up his magic concoctions?

Following his fall, Druid Panoramix decides that it is time to secure the future of the village. Accompanied by Asterix and Obelix, he undertakes to travel the Gallic world in search of a talented young druid to transmit the Secret of the Magic Potion.

In Your Hands

One day, in the commotion of a Paris train station, a young man from a modest family begins to play a piano. When he plays, the world seems to stop. Especially for Music Academy Director Pierre Geithner, who recognizes Matthieu’s exceptional gift. But Matt brushes him aside.

Since the death of his neighbor and mentor, old Mr. Jacques, Matt’s talent has been neglected and music has become his secret world. After repeat petty theft that lands him in a jail cell, Matt has no one to turn to but Pierre, who gets his prison sentence converted to public work at the academy. Hoping to transform Matt into the prize-winning concert pianist, he assigns him to “The Countess-“- the school’s most brilliant and ruthless professor- to prepare him for one of the nation’s most prestigious piano competitions. But untrained, undisciplined and racked with self-doubt, Matt struggles and falters.

Pierre has bet everything on Matt – but will it pay off?

Two is a Family

Samuel has no attachments or responsibilities and is accustomed to partying hard in Marseille, France. He is awoken one morning by a woman carrying a baby she claims is his. She drives off, leaving him with the wailing infant. Samuel gives chase to London in attempt to find the mother, but in unsuccessful and has no choice but to raise the child himself.

Eight years later, doting Dad and daughter are the best of friends and inseparable. But the sudden reappearance of Gloria’s mother could threaten this bond.


The French Film Festival has grown to become the foremost French cultural event and the second largest film festival in New Zealand.

See you in 2019!


31 January 2019
Line-up and Tickets on Sale

12 March 2019
Opening Night Wellington

13 March 2019
Opening Night Auckland

14 March – 27 March 2019
Festival Dates



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Email: info@frenchfilmfestival.co.nz

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