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Alliance Francaise French Film Festival Has Unveiled Its Jam-Packed 2019 Lineup

The festival's star-studded 30th anniversary program features everyone from Charlotte Gainsbourg and Juliette Binoche to Joaquin Phoenix and Robert Pattinson.
By Sarah Ward
January 31, 2019
By Sarah Ward
January 31, 2019

Thirty years, hundreds of films and thousands of minutes spent staring at the silver screen: that's what the Alliance Française French Film Festival is celebrating in 2019. Three decades since first launching in Australia, the event is marking its mammoth milestone with a particularly huge festival. And like all of the best big birthday bashes, the fest has assembled quite the on-screen guest list.

When AFFFF starts touring the country from March 5 — kicking off in Sydney before heading to heading to Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Avoca Beach, Parramatta and Byron Bay — it'll not only screen 54 movies across a six-week period, but also showcase a heap of French acting greats. Think Juliette Binoche, Audrey Tautou, Isabelle Adjani, Vincent Cassel, Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Mathieu Amalric, plus Vanessa Paradis and her daughter Lily-Rose Depp. The list goes on (obviously).

With acclaimed French directors Claire Denis and Jacques Audiard each making their English-language filmmaking debuts over the last 12 months, this year's AFFFF also boasts a bit of Hollywood star power. Robert Pattinson and André Benjamin (aka André 3000) join the aforementioned Binoche in Denis' stellar dystopian space effort High Life, while Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly and Jake Gyllenhaal star in Audiard's western, The Sisters Brothers. Both titles have been gathering praise on the international festival circuit since late last year, and will hit Aussie screens for the first time at AFFFF.

From opening film The Trouble with You to closing night's Kiss & Tell — both comedies — the full lineup boasts plenty of other features to get excited about. Intimate drama A Faithful Man steps into the complications of romance, with Louis Garrel both in front of and behind the camera; César award-nominee Amanda follows a twentysomething forced to bond with his niece; and doco fans can get a fashion fix with both Celebration: Yves Saint Laurent and Jean-Paul Gaultier: Freak & Chic. Elsewhere, famed director François Ozon returns with By the Grace of God, which comes our way after premiering in Berlin in February, and Olivier Assayas is back with his thoughtful latest offering, Non-Fiction.

While the trio of The World Is Yours, Knife + Heart and Sorry Angel have already played on Australian screens, specifically in Melbourne last year, they're also worth looking out for — the crime caper, campy slasher and queer romance all made our best of MIFF list for a good reason.

Finally, if you're keen on both old and new French talents, they're both in the spotlight in a considerable way. The former comes courtesy of a restored screening of Alain Resnais' classic 1961 effort Last Year at Marienbad, and a dedicated program strand highlights the latter, including emerging filmmakers such as Coralie Fargeat (Revenge), Cécila Rouaud (Family Photo) and Dominique Rocher (The Night Eats the World).

The Alliance Française French Film Festival tours Australia from March 5, screening at Sydney's Chauvel Cinema, Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Palace Central and Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace from March 5 to April 10; Melbourne's Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, Kino Cinemas and The Astor Theatre from March 6 to April 10; Perth's Palace Raine Square, Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX, Windsor Cinema andCamelot Outdoor Cinema from March 13 to April 10; and Brisbane's Palace Barracks and Palace James Street from March 14 to April 14. For more information and to buy tickets, visit the AFFFF website.

Published on January 31, 2019 by Sarah Ward


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