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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Alliance Francaise French Film Festival Has Revealed Its Hefty 2020 Lineup

This year's program — which kicks off in March — features voodoo, space travel and distinctive deerskin jackets.
By Sarah Ward
February 06, 2020
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Alliance Francaise French Film Festival Has Revealed Its Hefty 2020 Lineup

This year's program — which kicks off in March — features voodoo, space travel and distinctive deerskin jackets.
By Sarah Ward
February 06, 2020
  shares

UPDATE: MARCH 18, 2020 Organisers have announced that all remaining sessions of the 2020 Alliance Francaise French Film Festival have been cancelled from Thursday, March 19 — hopefully to be rescheduled at a later date, but with further details to be decided down the line. The decision comes "following the Australian Government's additional restrictions on non-essential social gatherings". Ticket holders will receive a full refund.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

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In one of the films screening at this year's Alliance Française French Film Festival, Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin (The Artist) takes his obsession with a deerskin jacket to quite the extreme. In another of movies on the 2020 program, Eva Green (Penny Dreadful) rockets into space, playing a single mother who's also the only woman in the European Space Agency's astronaut training program. And, in yet another flick showing at the fest, voodoo, a secret literary society and a Haitian teen all combine. In other words: no matter what kind of French film you're looking for, you'll likely find it on the event's 31st lineup.

If you're eager to catch the three aforementioned movies, then put Deerskin, Proxima and Zombi Child on your must-see list. There's more where they came from, of course, with the 2020 festival screening 49 new and classic French flicks when it tours the country from March 10.

It all begins with Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano's The Extraordinary, which dramatises the real-life efforts of Frenchman Stéphane Benhamou — who runs his own Parisian shelter for autistic youth who aren't cared for by the system otherwise. And, when the fest comes to a close, it'll do so with comedy The Bare Necessities. In the Cannes-premiering title, a radio show agony aunt in a small village is completely unaware that her adult sons have been calling in with their own problems.

Other highlights: Xavier Dolan's Matthias & Maxime, which stars the acclaimed Mommy filmmaker as one of two friends forced to confront their feelings for each other; Oscar-nominee Les Misérables, about clashes between cops, teens and gangs in Montfermeil; and the 1968-set How to Be a Good Wife, which sees Juliette Binoche run a housekeeping school that prepares teenagers to become housewives. Or, French film lovers can catch Farewell to the Night, where The Truth's Catherine Deneuve is forced to deal with her grandson's radicalisation; Invisibles, a comedy abut an illegal women's shelter; and rom-com Room 212, the latest movie by Sorry Angel's Christophe Honoré.

For those particularly interested in How to Be a Good Wife, this year's fest is putting on special bushfire-relief sessions in all capital cities that'll donate 100 percent of the ticket sales to the Australian Red Cross Bushfire Appeal and Rural and Remote Mental Health — so you see a movie and support a good cause. The same will be the case with In the Name of the Land, a drama about French farmers.

Elsewhere, French and Russia trade nuclear threats in submarine thriller The Wolf's Call, a secret manuscript sparks a twisty whodunnit in The Translators, and life in 90s Afghanistan gets animated in book-to-screen adaptation The Swallows of Kabul. Because TV is increasingly finding a place on the film festival circuit, small-screen fans can also feast their eyes on the first three episodes of French series Vernon Subutex, which stars Romain Duris as an ex-record store owner trying to work out what to do next with his life.

The Alliance Française French Film Festival tours Australia from March 10, screening at Sydney's Chauvel Cinema, Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Palace Central and Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace from March 10–April 8; Melbourne's Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, Kino Cinemas and The Astor Theatre from March 11–April 8; Perth's Palace Raine Square, Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX, Windsor Cinema and Camelot Outdoor Cinema from March 11–April 8; and Brisbane's Palace Barracks and Palace James Street from March 18–April 14. For more information and to buy tickets, visit the AFFFF website.

Published on February 06, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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