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!
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.
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)
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)
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