The 29th Annual Alliance Francaise French Film Festival is due to begin soon. The Festival will run from the 27th February to the 27th March. As usual, the films will screen at Sydney’s Palace Cinemas; Norton Cinema, Verona Cinema, Chauvel Cinema, Palace Central and the Hayden Orpheum in Cremorne.

The Festival will feature beloved stars of French and indeed world cinema including Juliette Binoche, Vincent Casse, Vanessa Paradis, Isabelle Huppert  and Gerard Depardieu. Over 50 films will be screened.

The Festival’s Opening Night film is the comedy  ‘C’est La Vie’ starring Jean- Pierre Bacri, Jean- Paul Rouve, Gilles Lellouche, Vincent Macaigne, and  Helen Vincent. The film has been co-directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano.

The Closing Night film is the romantic comedy ‘50 is the new Thirty’. It has been directed by and stars Valerie Lemercier and also features Helen Vincent, Patrick Timsit,and Denis Podalydes.

Last night the Festival had its launch at Palace Cinema with brief addresses by  Festival Patron  David Stratton and the Festival’s Artistic Director Philippe Platel who also introduced some tantalising trailers of some of his favourite films from the Festival.

Then the audience was privileged to see one of the highlights from the Festival, the film See You Up There, directed by and starring Albert Dupontel along with Laurent Lafitte, Emilie Dequenne and Nahuel Perez Biscayart.

This was a very fine historical drama which starts in the trenches towards the end of World War 1 and follows the journey of two French soldiers who form a very strong and quirky bond long after the war is over.. One is badly injured and defaced as the result of an irresponsible decision by their Commanding Officer. This is the preface to a tale of deception and intrigue told with humour, pathos and wit.

This was a must see film. If this film is any indication of the quality of the film’s at this year’s Festival then cinema lovers are in for a real treat with this 29th year of the French Film Festival.

Sydney Arts Guide has ten double passes to give away to the upcoming Festival. Be one of the first to email editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.com. Please put FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL GIVEAWAY in the subject heading. (Editor’s Note- This competition has now closed).

Information about the Annual Alliance Francaise French Film Festival visit their website or Facebook.  

Featured image is from the film See You Up There.


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