Alliance Francaise French Film Festival Has Just Revealed Its First 15 Movies for 2023
Get ready for zombies, comedies, Cannes titles, French box office hits, acclaimed filmmakers, Oscar contenders and more.
January 17, 2023
If you live in Australia and you love French cinema, then you already have a hefty chunk of autumn blocked out in your 2023 diary. To help cap off 2022, the annual Alliance Française French Film Festival locked in its dates for the year ahead, when it'll take its movie-adoring show on the road throughout March and April. What's even better? Unveiling the initial 15 titles that'll be gracing its big screens in Aussie capitals, and also a heap of regional locations.
Among the first titles revealed, both variety and high-profile names feature heavily. Among the latter, there's a big focus on France's leading ladies, such as Juliette Binoche (The Staircase), Marion Cotillard (Annette), Virginie Efira (Benedetta), Léa Seydoux (Crimes of the Future), Laure Calamy (Call My Agent!), Noémie Merlant (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) and Isabelle Adjani (The World Is Yours). And, AFFFF already boasts its usual smattering of homegrown box-office sensations and up-and-comers, aka already-proven hits and the talents who'll be making them in years to come.
Get ready for zombies, comedies, Cannes titles, acclaimed filmmakers, Oscar contenders and more. One big highlight: Final Cut, a French remake of Japanese cult hit One Cut of the Dead from The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius, starring Bejo and Romain Duris (Eiffel), and a movie that is playful with that whole setup. If you missed the original, it follows a film crew making a zombie special that's being broadcast live — but then things get real.
Selected as France's submission to this year's Oscars, in the Best International Feature category — and already named on the Academy's shortlist — Alice Diop's Saint Omer is another absolute must-see. The documentarian draws from true events to craft a drama about a young Parisian journalist and novelist attending murder trial, then wading through the complexities it surfaces within her own family history.
Acting icon Adjani is part of the cast for Masquerade, which has the honour of opening this year's AFFFF. Directed by La Belle Époque's Nicolas Bedos, and playing at last year's Cannes Film Festival, it tells of glitz, glamour and a far-less-glossy underbelly in the Côte d'Azur, as led by Pierre Niney (Yves Saint Laurent).
Or, film fans can also look forward to One Fine Morning, the latest film by Bergman Island's Mia Hansen-Løve, this time a family drama starring Seydoux; The Innocent, as written and directed by, and starring, Louis Garrel (A Faithful Man), based on his own experiences and featuring Merlant; and Other People's Children, an Efira-led effort about being a stepmother that's also inspired by director Rebecca Zlotowski's (Planetarium) own life. And, Efira pops up again in Paris Memories, which is set in the aftermath of Paris' November 2015 terrorist attacks, and is helmed by Proxima director and Mustang screenwriter Alice Winocour.
Binoche features in Winter Boy, the new film from Sorry Angel's Christophe Honoré, an autobiographical drama focusing on 17-year-old Lucas (newcomer Paul Kircher). As for Cotillard, she's part of the cast of Brother and Sister, playing a stage actor and sibling to Melvil Poupaud (Summer of 85). And, after proving so astounding in 2022's Full Time, Calamy appears in two of AFFFF's 2023 titles: Two Tickets to Greece, a comedy about estranged childhood friends heading off the eponymous country, as hailing from fellow Call My Agent! alum Marc Fitoussi and also starring Kristin Scott Thomas (Slow Horses); and the 1974-set Annie's Fire, which follows a working-class mother of two who unexpectedly falls pregnant at a time when abortion isn't legally accessible.
Rounding out this first drop of titles: November, one of the biggest French box-office hits of 2022, with Jean Dujardin (Deerskin) playing the lead anti-terrorist squad investigator into the Paris 2015 attacks; Notre-Dame on Fire, about the 2019 blaze; Everybody Loves Jeanne, a comedy about self-doubt; and Lie with Me, as based on Philippe Besson's award-winning autobiographical novel.
Notching up its whopping 34th year, AFFFF will play Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart — plus Byron Bay, Parramatta, Victor Harbour, Bendigo, the Gold Coast and Margaret River.
ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2023 DATES:
March 7–April 5: Sydney, NSW
March 8–April 5: Melbourne, VIC
March 8–April 5: Perth, WA
March 9–19: Hobart, TAS
March 9–April 5: Canberra, ACT
March 15–April 12: Brisbane, QLD
March 16–April 5: Byron Bay, NSW
March 23–April 19: Adelaide, SA
March 29–April 2: Parramatta, NSW
March 29–April 16: Gold Coast, QLD
March 31–April 2: Margaret River, WA
April 3 and 10: Victor Harbour, SA
April 21–23: Bendigo, VIC
+ encore dates in some cities
The Alliance Française French Film Festival tours Australia from Tuesday, March 7–Tuesday, April 25, 2023. For more information, visit the AFFFF website. Check back here on Wednesday, February 1 for the full program.
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