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Alliance Francaise French Film Festival 2020

The fest is returning to finish screening its 2020 program — which features voodoo, space travel and twisty whodunnits.
By Sarah Ward
June 18, 2020
By Sarah Ward
June 18, 2020

After initially launching in early March, then shutting down due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival is making a comeback — in line with cinemas reopening in Sydney. Returning to finish its 2020 event, it's heading back to the Chauvel Cinema, Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Palace Central and Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace from July 14–August 4. And, when it restarts on Bastille Day, it's bringing most of its originally announced program with it.

In one of the films on the 2020 bill, 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. In 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 two aforementioned movies, then put Proxima and Zombi Child on your must-see list — but there's more where they came from, of course.

Also on offer is 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, there's also comedy The Bare Necessity. 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 include Oscar-nominee Les Misérables, about clashes between cops, teens and gangs in Montfermeil; as well as 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; plus rom-com Room 212, the latest movie by Sorry Angel's Christophe Honoré.

Elsewhere 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.

The Alliance Française French Film Festival screens at Sydney's Chauvel Cinema, Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Palace Central and Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace from July 14–August 4. Session times are yet to be announced — keep an eye on the festival website for further details.

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