French Film festival 2019

Immerse yourself in all that the Alliance Française French Film Festival has to offer! This year's vibrant and dynamic program has something for everyone - from serious movies to ones that will make you cry or laugh! The event will be held at CPAC - Cairns Performing Art Centre. 


If you claim a concession as AF Member or End Credit Member tickets will have to be collected in person from the box office (valid membership will be asked) at CPAC on corner of Sheridan Street and Florence Street.

Movies available:

Friday 10 May - 12pm





Directed by: Nils Tavernier
Starring: Jacques Gamblin, Laetitia Casta
Movie in French with English subtitles

Based on the remarkable true story of Joseph Ferdinand Cheval, filmmaker Nils Tavernier delivers this stunning and engrossing account of love and dedication, The Ideal Palace.

Set in the south of France in 1879, Cheval (Jacques Gamblin) is a humble postman. He leads an unassuming life, seemingly revelling in the solitude of his 20-mile delivery routes and daydreaming about the world of wonders that he only sees through the postcards and magazines he delivers.

He meets and falls in love with the breathtaking Philomène (Laetitia Casta ) and the arrival of their baby daughter, Alice, causes him to look at things in a different way. He sets about building a castle for Alice – one fit for a princess – that consumes the next 30-plus years of his life. This castle eventually becomes recognised as an enduring and important French historical monument.

Spectacular photography and equally noteworthy performances give credence to this absorbing parable of persistence and vision, the larger-than-life undertaking of one very reserved man and the huge legacy he bestowed on France.

Friday 10 May - 8pm





COMEDY / FRANCE / 2018 / 107 MINS / M

Directed by: Pierre Salvadori
Starring: Adèle Haenel, Pio Marmaï, Audrey Tautou, Vincent Elbaz, Damien Bonnard
Movie in French with English subtitles

One of the biggest audience hits of Cannes 2018 (where it premiered as the centerpiece of the Directors’ Fortnight section), this sparkling new screwball comedy from French cinema’s master of the genre Pierre Salvadori (Wild TargetAprès VousPriceless) is an irresistible mix of laughs, action and romance.

Set on the French Riviera, the wonderful Adèle Haenel (The Unknown Girl, BPM) plays detective Yvonne, the principled young widow of the local police chief who was killed in the line of duty. Each night she puts their young son to sleep with tales of his daring and bravery, so naturally Yvonne is horrified to learn that her husband was not the embodiment of virtue as she had been led to believe, but rather that an innocent man, Antoine (Pio Marmaï), has spent eight years falsely imprisoned as a result of his corruption.

Yvonne decides to do everything she can to help return the hapless parolee to his regular life and devoted fiancé (a delightful, scene-stealing Audrey Tautou). Unfortunately, Antoine has trouble adjusting back to society, and soon blows a fuse that leads to an hilarious trail of destruction, where moral, social and romantic obligations are put to the test in a spectacular way.

A resounding critical and box office success in France, The Trouble With You is a rollicking, outrageously funny ride with a bit of a wild side. Strap yourself in before boarding!

Saturday 11 May - 2 pm




Directed by: Cécilia Rouaud
Starring: Vanessa Paradis, Camille Cottin, Pierre Deladonchamps, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Chantal Lauby
Movie in French with English subtitles

Award-winning director Cécilia Rouaud has assembled some of France’s most talented and beloved stars for Family Photo, her superbly witty and entertaining new dramedy, which achieved major success with French critics and audiences in late 2018.

Gabrielle, Elsa and Mao are three adult siblings, leading very different lives. Single mother and artist Gabrielle (Vanessa Paradis) has struggled to make ends meet, and finds herself working as a human statue along the Seine; Elsa (Camille Cottin) has married well but is increasingly distraught at her inability to conceive; videogame designer Mao (Pierre Deladonchamps) drowns his melancholy and frustration at the world in psychoanalysis and booze.

Their long-separated parents aren’t exactly helping matters. Pierre (Jean-Pierre Bacri) has taken up with a woman younger than them all, and Claudine (Chantal Lauby) drives everyone crazy. The passing of their grandfather forces a family reunion, and the raising of a question that none of them wants to face: what to do about beloved matriarch, Mamie?
Cleverly mixing hilarious sibling battles with moments of burgeoning romance and touching, if fragile, reconciliation, Family Photo delivers laughs and tears in way that many films try, but few achieve so expertly.

Saturday 11 May - 4 pm




PERIOD, DRAMA / FRANCE / 2018 / 122 MINS / MA15+
Directed by: Pierre Schoeller
Starring: Adèle Haenel, Gaspard Ulliel, Laurent Lafitte, Louis Garrel, Denis Lavant
Movie in French with English subtitles

Pierre Schoeller’s epic retelling of the French revolutionary events of 1789 is a magnificent historical fresco. It is also the most expensive film produced in France for that year, and the much-anticipated follow-up to his 2011 Cannes Un Certain Regard and multiple César award-winning feature, L’Exercice de l’État.

The Bastille has been stormed. The winds of liberty are billowing through the streets of Paris. A young woman, Françoise (Adèle Haenel), and the handsome Basile (Gaspard Ulliel) begin to realise their dreams of emancipation in the newly created political system.

Opposition grows against King Louis XVI (Laurent Lafitte) and rioters take to the streets. Despite their lowly station, Françoise and Basile ride the tides of change as the seeds of the new republic are planted.

Wrapped in breathtaking imagery from the many on-site locations – and featuring sumptuous costuming by acclaimed designer Anaïs Romand – One Nation, One Kingis resplendent with its all-star cast– a must-see for those who love lavish period dramas.

Saturday 11 May - 8 pm




COMEDY / FRANCE / 2018 / 122 MINS / M

Directed by: Gilles Lellouche
Starring: Mathieu Amalric, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Guillaume Canet, Benoît Poelvoorde, Virginie Efira, Leïla Bekhti
Movie in French with English subtitles

Actor-turned-director Gilles Lellouche (In Safe Hands (Pupille) at this year’s Festival) has pulled off a box office coup with his directorial debut, Sink or Swim– almost four million ticket sales, an even bigger hit than C’est la vie!(AF FFF2018) in which he starred – and a standing ovation at the film’s premiere at Cannes.

For this film, Lellouche also shows off his pulling power by gathering an impressive cast of French A-list acting talent – AF FFF stalwart and audience favourite Mathieu Amalric, Jean-Hugues Anglade (Betty Blue, Nikita), Guillaume Canet and Benoît Poelvoorde , just to name a few.

A disparate group of 40-somethings – all in the throes of mid-life crises – form a local swimming pool’s inaugural, males-only synchronised swimming team. Staring down ongoing ridicule and contempt from all angles, they engage a fallen champion, Delphine (Virginie Efira) as their coach, supported by her tough-as-nails former swim partner, Amanda (Leïla Bekhti). Unwittingly, the team members embark on an unlikely journey of redemption that sees each one of them rebuild some sense of their self-worth.

Despite thematic comparisons to 1997’s hugely successful British comedy, The Full Monty, Sink or Swimis an unashamedly French take on the challenges of 21st century masculinity. Stripped bare, this film embodies a good old-fashioned underdog-overcoming-the-odds tale told to perfection.

Sunday 12 May - 2 pm



COMEDY / FRANCE / 2018 / 92 MINS / M

Directed by: Eloise Lang
Starring : Miou-Miou, Camille Cottin, Camille Chamoux, Johan Heldenberg
Movie in French with English subtitles

The latest cinematic treat from director Eloïse Lang and the superlative Camille Cottin follows the surprise 2015 box office smash, Harry Me, and brings on the laughs in seismic waves – a farce-laden, mother-daughter comedy romp for everyone called Dumped.

Siblings Rose (Camille Cottin) and Alice (Camille Chamoux) are two sides of the same coin – Rose is a musician, living out a wild, alcohol-fuelled existence, while Alice is the archetypal straight-laced, responsible homemaker who prides herself on having her life together. While the sisters don’t often see eye-to-eye, they do agree that their mother, Françoise (César and Lumiere award winner Miou-Miou), needs some urgent cheering up after being dumped by the girls’ father for a younger woman.

To celebrate Françoise 60th birthday, the sisters take her to the beautiful tropical island of La Réunion. It’s there that Rose has the idea of asking Thierry (Johan Heldenberg, The Zookeeper’s Wife) to flatter Françoise with his charm and attention. 

But what was intended as a small confidence boost causes their holiday plans to unravel as things really spiral out of control.

Sunday 12 May - 4 pm




DRAMA / FRANCE / 2018 / 112 MINS / M

Directed by: Jeanne Herry 
Starring: Sandrine Kiberlain, Gilles Lellouche, Élodie Bouchez, Miou-Miou
Movie in French with English subtitles

The second feature film from actress-turned-filmmaker Jeanne Herry, In Safe Hands throws us deep into the milieu of the French social assistance services where the fate of one baby boy exposes the conflicting conundrums faced by many women – those giving up their babies and those desperate to have their own.

When baby Theo’s birth mother surrenders him to adoption, child protection services, and officers such as Karine 
(Sandrine Kiberlain), are called to action, and the harsh realities of the adoption process are pulled into sharp focus.

Karine entrusts Theo to Jean (Gilles Lellouche, C'est la vie!, AF FFF2018) – no stranger to the foster system himself – who takes on the responsibility of the newborn until a suitable home can be found. Meanwhile, Alice (Élodie Bouchez) has never given up the fight to be a mother and faces the prospect of this dream finally coming true, although nothing is certain.

“A particularly accurate puzzle that comes together very harmoniously” (Cineuropa), In Safe Handsrelies on the impeccable performances of its cast, subtle cinematography and score, and finely tuned writing from Jeanne Herry to create a story that is at once informative and affecting.

Sunday 12 May - 8 pm




Directed by: Julie Bertuccelli
Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Samir Guesmi, Laure Calamy, Alice Taglioni
Movie in French with English subtitles

What are we without our memories and most-treasured possessions? That’s the question that we’re invited to contemplate in Claire Darling, the thoughtful and affecting new film from Julie Bertuccelli, based on the best-selling novel by Lynda Rutledge.

On the first day of summer, reclusive millionaire Claire (Catherine Deneuve) lays all of her worldly objects out on the front lawn of her mansion, impulsively determined to sell everything. As a horde of curious bystanders and opportunistic neighbours fight over the ridiculously underpriced antiques, each object stirs vivid memories for Claire of her flamboyant life. But soon, her long-estranged daughter Marie (Chiara Mastroianni) arrives, determined to stop these proceedings by any means...

Emotional, subtle and elegantly directed, Claire Darlingis a deeply personal film for Bertuccelli, filmed in the estate of her own grandmother, and Deneuve is remarkable as always as the larger-than-life heiress, playing opposite her real-life daughter. This is a poignant story of emotional attachment, mis-remembered pasts, and the complexity of mother/daughter relationships. The ending may surprise you, and packs an emotional punch.

This French Film Festival would not be possible without the great help of our volunteers and without the kind generosity of our sponsors !



Find Us
Alliance Française de Cairns
PO Box 80 - North Cairns QLD 4870
Call Us
Tel: 0488 765 550
Design by Monsieur Graphic