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10 ways to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the French Film Festival

French | English

With 185,000 spectators throughout the country and three decades of existence, the Alliance Française French Film Festival is setting its sights on even bigger things, with a selection of 54 films on the programme this year. On its 30th birthday, the Festival has never looked so big, bold and beautiful!

Aside from joining us for the exciting Opening Night event that we are organising for you at the Astor theatre on the 6th of March, here are 10 great ways to celebrate 30 years of the French Film Festival. 

1. The Sisters Brothers, by Jacques Audiard.
The visit of a director as esteemed as Jacques Audiard would be a reason within itself, but when his visit comes in time to support his highly anticipated new work The Sisters Brothers, his first English language film and his foray into the western genre: a very special event must be organised. So, on the 12th of March, the ACMI and the Astor will both be paying homage to this celebrated French director, inviting him to participate in a Q&A followed by an introduction at the Astor Theatre before the screening of his film.   

The Sisters Brothers tells the story of two brothers, hit men, who are in hot pursuit of a gold prospector and his associate. The race turns into an unexpected journey, putting into question that which binds us all. Having already won a Silver Lion in Venice, the film has just won four César awards, including Best Director.

2.Girl, by Lukas Dhont
Girl by Belgian director Lukas Dhont is a debut-film with uncommon sensibility. Tackling the question of gender in a surprising new light, the director wipes out any preconceived notions of sex change. By normalising the “phenomenon”, he tackles the subject from a personal perspective, supported by the extraordinary, yet restrained performance of a 15-year-old first-time actor. It’s a film which, as we say in French, possesses grâce.

Girl by Lukas Dhont

3. Sink or Swim by Gilles Lellouche.
Inspired by a true story, the actor-director paints a picture of an unlikely male team of synchronised swimmers. This funny yet touching comedy brings together the crème de la crème of France’s acting talent, and was one of the biggest box-office hits in France in 2018. A special screening in the presence of Gilles Lellouche himself is scheduled for the 7th of March at 6pm at the Palace Como. 

4. Guy by Alex Lutz.
One of the creators and actors behind the cult series Catherine and Liliane, has just completed his second film for the big screen where he skilfully plays a pop singer past his prime. Alex Lutz manages to give depth to corniness, winning himself the César for best actor in 2019.  

5. The Ideal Palace by Nils Tavernier.
A beautiful and poignant film about the life of a postman who, at the end of the 19th century, rises to fame upon undertaking an extraordinary project. The film stars Jacques Gamblin who is at the top of his game.

6. At War by Stéphane Brizé.
A look at France from the perspective of workers who are fighting for their jobs and their honour. A militant and realistic film on the consequences of globalisation.

The Sisters Brothers, by Jacques Audiard.

7. Revenge by Coralie Fargeat & The Night Eats the World by Dominique Rocher
Get ready for a night of goose bumps on Saturday 23 March at 7:30pm. The Astor is offering a special double bill screening of two surprising horror debuts: the first The Night Eats the World is set in Paris and successfully reinvents the zombie genre; the second is the spectacular Revenge, which offers an exhilarating feminist take on revenge and bloodshed. Join us for a murderous night of zombie-taming and man-hunting.  

The Fall of the American Empire by Denis Arcand.
Suspense and action are on the menu in this fascinating crime comedy about the power and temptation of money… but is it possible not to succumb? Kristy Matheson, director of film programs at ACMI will give a Q&A on the 19th of March at the Como Cinema after the 6:30pm screening. 

 9. Dilili in Paris by Michel Ocelot (animation).
The intrepid and mischievous little Kanak is investigating the disappearance of some little girls, and in her tracks, meets every major figure in Paris during the Belle Époque. See it with the whole family, and enjoy the streetscapes of the city, recreated with the magic touch of Ocelot. 

 Dilili in Paris  by Michel Ocelot

10. Memoir of War by Emmanuel Finkiel.
This film is a particularly successful adaptation of Marguerite Duras’ ‘La Douleur’ (Pain), recounting her own story - that of a woman whose life is thrown into despair when her husband is arrested during the occupation of Paris in the 1940s. The film reflects on the idea of absence and waiting, lead by Mélanie Thierry, who is dazzling in the role of the famous French writer.

11. Sorry Angel by Christophe Honoré.  

And because it was too hard to limit ourselves to 10, also don’t miss out on the Q&A screening in presence of writer Christos Tsiolkas who will be discussing the excellent Sorry Angel by Christophe Honoré. 

Written by Michel Richard
Translated from French by Ilaria O'Brien

For more information about the Alliance Française French Film Festival, visit the official website www.affrenchfilmfestival.org