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This year’s French Film Festival is the biggest yet, and offers Australians a window to one of the world’s most robust film industries, with award winning, challenging and entertaining films, ranging from zinging romantic thrillers like Anthony Zimmer to gripping dramas like The Child.

The Australian Premiere of Jérôme Salle’s romantic thriller Anthony Zimmer, headlines 21 new features – the most in the event’s history – in the 17th Alliance Française French Film Festival, touring Australia in March and April.

Presented by Peugeot and claimed to be the largest cultural screen event of its type in Australia, with 45,000 tickets sold in 2005, the Festival is a showcase for one of the most robust film industries in the Western world.

"I’m proud to say that this is unquestionably the strongest Festival selection yet," said Chantal Girondin, Artistic Director of the Festival. “To be able to present the first Australian screenings of some of the world’s most award-winning, provocative and critically acclaimed cinema is a privilege and a joy, and I’m confident the public will be as enchanted by the selection as I am.”

Sophie Marceau and Yvan Attal star in the wildly entertaining Anthony Zimmer, a sexy thriller that sees both police and the underworld hunting the infamous criminal mastermind of the film’s title – with all the action, double crosses, chases and surprises set amidst the seductive glamour of the South of France.

Other Festival selections include:
THE CHILD (L’Enfant), winner of arguably world cinema’s most prestigious award, the Palme d’Or (for Best Film) at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. The astonishing new drama from Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne observes the serious ramifications for a young father who sells his newly born child on the black market.

REGULAR LOVERS (Les amants réguliers), the achingly beautiful new drama that secured Philippe Garrel the Best Director prize at the 2005 Venice International Film Festival, stars his son Louis Garrel (The Dreamers) as an idealistic poet living through the aftermath of the 1968 Paris revolution, a time of restless ambitions and chaotic excitement.

HELL (L’Enfer), the compelling new drama from Academy Award-winning director Danis Tanovic (No Man’s Land) which premiered to great acclaim at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival. Starring Emmanuelle Beart and Carole Bouquet, the film chronicles the lives of three sisters, bound forever by an act of violence that they witnessed in their childhood. HELL (L’Enfer) was written by Krzysztof Piesiewicz, who developed the film as part of a trilogy with the late Krzysztof Kieslowski.

The festival program includes three Cannes Film Festival standouts: the searing coming-of-age drama LITTLE JERUSALEM (La Petite Jerusalem); the provocative partner-swapping tale TO PAINT OR MAKE LOVE (Peindre ou faire l’amour) which features French superstars Daniel Auteuil & Sabine Azéma; and TIME TO LEAVE (Le temps qui reste) the tremendously humane new film from François Ozon (Swimming Pool) starring veteran actress Jeanne Moreau in a rare screen appearance. Also screening will be the visually inventive documentary DOGORA from Patrice Leconte (Ridicule); and JUST FRIENDS (Je préfère qu’on reste amis), the hilarious odd-couple comedy with Gérard Depardieu and Jean-Paul Rouve.

Previously announced highlights include: Bertrand Blier’s HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE ME? (Combien tu m’aimes?), starring Monica Bellucci and Gérard Depardieu, Dominik Moll’s LEMMING with Laurent Lucas, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Charlotte Rampling; and Anne Fontaine’s absorbing thriller IN HIS HANDS (Entre ses Mains) starring Isabelle Carré, plus the erotically charged dramas COLD SHOWERS (Douches Froides) and THE RING FINGER (L’Annulaire)

More at http://www.frenchfilmfestival.org

National dates for the 2006 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:
Sydney 8-22 March, Canberra 16-22 March, Brisbane 23-29 March,
Melbourne 29 March - 12 April, Adelaide 30 March - 5 April, Perth 6-12 April

Published March 9, 2006

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Anthony Zimmer

More at http://www.frenchfilmfestival.org

L'Enfant (The Child)


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