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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Alliance Française French Film Festival 2019

The festival's star-studded 13th program features everyone from Charlotte Gainsbourg and Audrey Tautou to Joaquin Phoenix and Lily-Rose Depp.
By Sarah Ward
March 11, 2019
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Alliance Française French Film Festival 2019

The festival's star-studded 13th program features everyone from Charlotte Gainsbourg and Audrey Tautou to Joaquin Phoenix and Lily-Rose Depp.
By Sarah Ward
March 11, 2019
  shares
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Thirteen 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. Since launching in New Zealand, the event has become the second largest film festival in New Zealand.

When NZFFF starts touring the country from March 12 — kicking off in Wellington before heading to heading across the country from Auckland to Arrowtown — it'll not only screen 31 movies across a two-week period, but also showcase a heap of French acting greats. Think Audrey Tautou, Isabelle Adjani, Vincent Cassel and Charlotte Gainsbourg, 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 NZFFF also boasts a bit of Hollywood star power. Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly and Jake Gyllenhaal star in Audiard's western, The Sisters Brothers. The title has been gathering praise on the international festival circuit since late last year, and will hit NZ screens for the first time at NZFFF.

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; Cannes' Palme d'Or selection Sorry Angel follows a twentysomething and his newfound relationship; and doco fans can get a fashion fix with Jean-Paul Gaultier: Freak & Chic. Elsewhere, Wine Calling follows natural wine movement from the harvest to the bottling, and the latest avant-garde horror essay film from Jean-Luc Godard, The Image Book.

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 Cécila Rouaud (Family Photo) and Eloise Lang (Dumped).

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