Launch Of The 35th Alliance Francaise French Film Festival

February 18, 2024

One of my favourite events of the year is the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival. Now in its 35th year the festival will play host to 42 films in Brisbane, with special screenings, events and so many choices for every taste. She Society were excited to attend the launch of this year’s programme with comedies, romance, drama, family and adventure films galore. Lucky guests were treated to French wine and patisseries while enjoying an advanced screening of fabulous comedy film, Bernadette.

About Bernadette

Bernadette Chirac is played by the legendary French actress Catherine Deneuve in this uproarious comedy loosely based on real events. It’s 1995 and Jacques Chirac is elected President of the French Republic. His wife Bernadette is ready for all the recognition and accolades she surely deserves but she finds herself brushed aside as sour tempered, old fashioned and cold.

With the help of her chief of staff, Bernard Niquet (Denis Popalydes, Rise) she embarks on a brave campaign to restore her reputation and assert her role as a First Lady who commands respect. Along the way Bernadette becomes an unlikely feminist icon.

This film is delightful, weaving politics of the day with satire, wit and a heart-warming celebration of one woman’s resilience. It blurs the line between fact and fiction and will have the audience smiling, laughing and empathising with this wonderful character, played flawlessly by Deneuve. It’s a special feature on Ladies Night so grab your friends for an evening filled with fun and female empowerment.

Film Festival Highlights

Opening Night sees a swashbuckling adventure with the Australian premiere of The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan. France’s biggest box office success of 2023 this lavish production features an all star cast which will entertain all ages. Closing Night will feature Second Round, a romance drama – an audacious and sometimes hilarious savaging of modern politics and media from the multitalented Albert Dupontel (Bye Bye Morons).

I like the look of The Taste of Things, a romance filled with cooking and food starring my favourite French actress, Juliette Binoche. There are tasting events to pair with this delicious movie. For a sexy comedy, Iris and The Men is a provocative comedy about reignited desire in the modern age. Starring Laure Calamy who starred in the international success Antoinette in the Cevennes it is sure to be a hit with festival goers.

The audience have voted and the heartwarming film The Intouchables will be screening for one night only for lovers of this film. The classic black and white film Children of Paradise which Marlon Brando described as “maybe the best movie ever made” will also be a special screening to see. This film was made in 1945 during the Nazi occupation so don’t miss this rare opportunity to see it on the big screen.

Family friendly films include Princes of The Desert, Kina; Yuk and animated feature Nina and the Secret of the Hedgehog. Romance drama The Snow Must Go On is a joyful coming -of – age film about finding meaning at any stage of life. It’s a sympathetic eco – fable which will inspire the next generation to stand up and preserve the natural world no matter how impossible it seems. It’s a blend of humour and heart.

So, dust off your berets and enjoy the delightful selection box of French films on offer at the 35th Alliance Australian Film Festival. Screening around Australia, the festival will share all that is best in french cinema. In Brisbane you can visit the festival from 5 March to 2 April at both Palace Cinemas. Ignite your own joie de vivre with this rich cultural exchange between France and Australia. Your next French adventure might just be found right here in beautiful Brisbane.

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