THE school of life

Recommended for
: Y6 to 10
A teacher’s kit will be emailed to you with your booking confirmation.

Director: Nicolas Vanier
Cast: François Cluzet, Éric Elmosnino, François Berléand
Date of Release: 
116 minutes
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama/comedy

Filmmaker Nicolas Vanier (director Belle and Sebastian 2013; see Belle and Sebastian 3 in this year’s Festival) borrows from his own childhood experiences growing up in Sologne to inform The School of Life – a gratifying, feelgood story about a boy whose miserable existence in a Parisian orphanage is changed forever when he is taken to live in rural France.

Paul (Jean Scandel) has only ever known the dark, prison-like world of high walls, fear and melancholy of the orphanage in which he lives. When entrusted to the care of Célestine (Valérie Karsenti) and Borel (Eric Elmosnino, The Bélier Family, AF FFF 2015) Paul is whisked away to leafy forests, misty ponds and vast fields of Count de la Fresnaye for whom Célestine and Borel work.

When he befriends an eccentric poacher, Totoche (François Cluzet, The Intouchables, 2011), Paul learns about life, the many secrets of the Count’s mysterious forests and that his coming to Sologne was more than just pure chance.

Breathtakingly photographed, Vanier’s film is a loving child’s-eye ode to the beauty of the natural world – and what it can teach us about life and death – that cannot help but make everyone who sees it smile.

Teaching kits [levels A1, A2, B1, B2]  will be available.


 School Program Options (10.30am):

  • Friday 02 March, Palace Kino

  • Tuesday 06 March, Palace Westgarth

  • Thursday 08 March, Palace Kino

  • Friday 16 March, Palace Como

  • Wednesday 21 March, Palace Balwyn

  • Monday 26 March, Palace Brighton Bay

Booking form available here.

For questions and bookings, please contact

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St Kilda branch:
51 Grey Street, ST KILDA
Tel : 03 9525 3463

St Kilda branch opening hours:
Mon - Fri: 9am to 7pm
Sat: 9am to 6pm

City branch:
Level 13, 55 Swanston St, Melbourne
VIC, Australia, 3000
Tel : 03 9525 3463

City branch opening hours:
Mon - Thurs 9am to 1pm & 2pm to 6.30pm
Fri - Sat: 9am to 12pm & 1pm to 6pm