The Alliance Française French Film Festival launches for its 35th edition – The AU Review

The Alliance Française French Film Festival launches for its 35th edition – The AU Review

This year marks the 35th edition of the Alliance Française French Film Festival, a significant milestone in their cinematic journey where 35 is not just a number – it is an emblem.

From the days of 35mm film screenings to the marvels of today’s digital era, they have proudly showcased the very best of French cinema in Australia.  Adapting and evolving over time, the festival has grown into the world’s largest French film festival outside the borders of France.

As time progresses, so do they.  This anniversary stands as a testament to their continuous modernisation, a rejuvenation that breathes new life into the festival.  It is an annual spotlight on contemporary creation, a lens focused on the emerging talents and innovative voices shaping the cinematic landscape.

For 35 years, the festival has mirrored the evolution of French society itself.  This event is not just about films: it is a celebration of cultural exchange, fostering deeper connections and understanding between France and Australia.

The Alliance Française network is your gateway to a lasting relationship with France.

Touring nationally between March 5th and April 16th, 2024, this year’s line-up promises to be worthy of the festival’s celebratory nature, with a feast of Australian premieres, boasting revelatory performances, gripping narratives, and lavish all-star productions.

Serving as this year’s Opening Night Selection is the eagerly anticipated first instalment of Martin Bourboulon’s lavish, all-star production of Alexandre Dumas’ classic adventure The Three Musketeers, the first French-made big-screen adaptation produced in over 30 years.  The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan unquestionably delivers as a smart and hugely-involving big-screen experience for all ages.  Audiences are assured of lining up for the thrilling conclusion, Milady, within moments of the end credits; the Eva Green-led film also playing throughout the festival.

Some of the other highlights across the line-up include The Animal Kingdom, one of the most talked about films at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, this wild and inventive genre mash-up combines the warmth of a family drama with the disturbing visuals of a Cronenbergian body horror; The Nature of Love, a nod to cheesy romance films of the 70s – think corny music overlays, sentimental montages and exaggerated camera angles – that proves both wickedly sharp and funny; All Your Faces, a compelling drama about France’s Restorative Justice program – brings together crime victims and offenders in a controlled environment for open dialogue – first introduced in Australia in 2001 and later in France in 2014; and Along Came Love, a sweeping romantic drama about love, family and secrets.

There’ll be a collective of screen legends showcased on screen too, with French cinema royalty Juliette Binoche, Isabelle Huppert and Catherine Deneuve appearing, respectively, in The Taste of Things, a deliciously sensual adaptation of Marcel Rouff’s classic 1924 novel “The Life and Passion of Dodin-Bouffant, Gourmet”, which blends cooking with romantic love, Sidonie in Japan, a gentle, bittersweet and occasionally whimsical film about a most unlikely love triangle between a grieving widow, a potential new romantic partner, and the ghost of the widow’s dead husband, and The President’s Wife, an uproarious comedy based on actual events.

Not to feel left out, either, Johnny Depp and John Malkovich will add a touch of Hollywood to the festival, with Jeanne du Barry and Mr Blake at Your Service.  A lavish drama from writer/director Maïwenn, Jeanne Du Barry is freely inspired by the life of the rags-to-riches social climber, a working-class woman who became the mistress of King Louis XV, played with taciturn command by Depp in his first French-language speaking role.  Malkovich’s brilliant underrated comedic style is on full display in Mr Blake at Your Service as he takes on the role of the charming British businessman, Andrew Blake. In a twist of fate, Blake becomes the butler of the Domaine de Beauvillier estate, owned by the graceful and aloof Madame de Beauvillier.  A once-distinguished manor house, the estate is now a shadow of itself, with rooms, staff, and residents all longing for better days.

With thrilling adventures, gripping dramas, uproarious comedies, fascinating biopics, cinema classics and heartwarming stories served across the board, audience should find themselves wanting for not with the finest French cinema has to offer.  For more information regarding ticket prices, session times, and available titles, head to the Palace Films website.

The Alliance Française French Film Festival will be playing across the following dates at participating venues:

  • Sydney – 5th March – 9th April
  • Brisbane – 5th March – 2nd April
  • Melbourne – 6th March – 2nd April
  • Perth – 6th March – 2nd April
  • Canberra – 7th March – 2nd April
  • Byron Bay – 7th March – 27th March
  • Adelaide – 21st March – 16th April
  • Gold Coast – 3rd April – 6th April

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