FRENCH FILM FESTIVAL 2021
*Online Booking fees apply*
Alternatively, you can book at Event Cinemas Cairns Central
De Gaulle: Special Screening Friday 12pm $12 (no concessions)
NightShift: Opening Night $30 / $25 Concession (includes glass of sparkling wine)
All other sessions:$24 / $18 Concession
Festival Pass: $108 / $75 Concession: 7 movies excluding the opening night. Please note the pass can only be
booked from Event Cinemas Cairns Central - no online booking available for the pass.
Concessions apply to Members of Alliance Francaise de Cairns & End Credits. Membership Card required
FOR ANY MOVIE HERE
(or find a specific link below each movie)
Friday 21st May at 12pm
DRAMA, BIOPIC / FRANCE / 2020 / 108 MIN / 15+
Directed by Gabriel Le Bomin, Starring: Lambert Wilson, Isabelle Carré
Biographical drama is one of French cinema’s most established and beloved genres, and Gabriel Le Bomin’s spectacularly-mounted De Gaulle stirringly depicts a crucial period in the life of one of the most famous figures in the nation’s modern history, doing it enormous justice in the process.
It is May 1940, where the war between Germany and its neighbours has intensified. Shockingly, the French army collapses, and Hitler seizes Paris. The government is in panic and considers accepting defeat, but recently promoted two-star General Charles de Gaulle (The Translators, AF FFF20 Lambert Wilson), wants to change the course of history...
His wife, Yvonne (Isabelle Carré, Delicious, Moving On, AF FFF21), is his first support, but very quickly events spiral out of control and separate them - she and their children set out on the roads of exodus, as Charles travels to London to meet with Winston Churchill. He wants to make another voice heard: that of resistance. Matching the impact and scale of recent war dramas The Darkest Hour and The King’s Choiceas it depicts crucial incidents in gripping tick-tock fashion, Le Bomin expertly mixes the historic and the Romanesque, charting both a military debacle and the eventual revelation of a destiny
Friday 21st May at 8 pm: Opening night
DRAMA, THRILLER / FRANCE / 2020 / 99 MIN / M
Directed by Anne Fontaine, Starring: Virginie Efira, Omar Sy
The new film by acclaimed Luxembourger auteur film-maker Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel; The Innocents, AF FFF17) is an engrossing insight into the high-pressure world of policing. Set over 24-hours, Night Shift follows three officers who start to doubt their actions.
Premiering at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, Night Shift questions the role of the police and scrutinises the legal and moral culpability of individual officers just following orders.Aristide (the irresistible Omar Sy, Lupin) Virginie (Virginie Efira, Sibyl, AF FFF20) and Erik (Grégory Gadebois, Reinventing Marvin, AF FFF18) are three world-weary cops who have to put aside their personal lives to do their jobs. But this night their professional detachment is put to the test when they are ordered to escort a man to a plane for deportation to a country that will kill him.
France is just one of the many nations engulfed in debate about police powers and the treatment of refugees, making Night Shift a boldly relevant film. A tense and gritty drama, Night Shift is guaranteed to be one of the Festival’s most talked about events.
Saturday 22nd May at 1:30pm
ANTOINETTE IN THE CÉVENNES
COMEDY / FRANCE / 2020 / 95 MIN / M
Directed by Caroline Vignal, Starring: Laure Calamy, Benjamin Lavernhe
An Official Selection of the 2020 Cannes International Film Festival, writer/director Caroline Vignal’s hilarious and life-affirming romantic comedy stars the wonderful Laure Calamy (Call My Agent!;Sibyl, AF FFF20) as a woman who finds herself on a journey of self-discovery in somewhat unexpected circumstances.
40-something primary school teacher Antoinette (Calamy) has been eagerly looking forward to a long-planned weekend escape with married lover Vladimir, the father of one of her pupils. However, their plans are upended by his wife’s booking of a surprise hiking trip in the picturesque Cévennes mountains in the South of France. Completely unversed in the ways of the wilderness, the spurned Antoinette impulsively decides to follow them, and once paired with an unlikely companion – an obstinate but evidently wise grey donkey named Patrick – discovers much, much more than she bargained for...
Carried by the remarkable Calamy and her scene-stealing co-star, Vignal’s wonderfully mischievous film offers both its lead character and audiences an uproarious and poignant reminder of the virtues of independence, and that the journey, not the destination, is often the reward.
Saturday 22nd May at 3:45pm
DRAMA / FRANCE, BELGIUM / 2020 / 108 MIN / M
Directed by Marc Fitoussi, Starring: Benjamin Biola,Karin Viard
The wickedly entertaining new film from writer/director Marc Fitoussi (Folies Bergère) Appearances is a sexy, Chabrol-esque marital thriller, featuring the sensational Karin Viard in one of her most vivacious roles.
The setting is Vienna. Ève (Viard), Henri (Benjamin Biolay, Room 212, AF FFF20) and their young son are among the entitled bourgeois community of wealthy French expatriates. They move amongst “la crème de la crème”; she as the CEO of the city’s Institut Français, he as a prestigious conductor who flitters across Europe, always in first class. It’s a seemingly flawless life, until the day Ève begins to suspect Henri of infidelity with her son’s primary school teacher (Laetitia Dosch). Absolutely desperate not to lose face, Ève engineers a dangerous double game, all the while preserving the façade of a happy marriage...
Tailor-made for its indomitable star, thirteen-time César nominee and three-time winner Viard completely inhabits the skin of a woman unafraid of callousness in her quest for affection, financial security and, most of all, status. Expertly stripping away the varnish of privileged social circles, Fitoussi’s darkly comic and playful thriller winks at its genre forbears whilst tightening the screws. It’s an unashamed and cinematically luxe slice of entertainment for adult audiences
Saturday 22nd May at 8pm
THE WEDDING SPEECH
COMEDY / FRANCE / 2020 / 87 MIN / M
Directed by Laurent Tirard, Starring: Benjamin Lavernhe, Sara Giraudeau
Imagine being stuck at an excruciating never-ending family dinner. You and your girlfriend are on a break and now she’s not answering your messages. And to top it off, you’re asked to give a wedding speech even though you are neurotic and hate public speaking. This is the situation Adrien (Benjamin Lavernhe, C’est la vie, AF FFF 18) is facing and the results will have you in stitches.
In this smart and sophisticated arthouse comedy, we are taken deep into Adrien’s mind, to experience his paranoid thoughts and anxiety-fuelled memories about his family. Based on the book by acclaimed comic artist Fabrice Caro, The Wedding Speech skilfully adapts the novel’s stream of consciousness style of writing through inventive cinematic techniques used to break the fourth wall.
This film from director Laurent Tirard, whose previous crowd-pleasing films include Astérix and Obélix: God Save Britannia(2012) and Little Nicholas (2009), hits all the funny bones as it charts Adrien’s unravelling. Officially selected for Cannes and co-starring Sara Giraudeau (The Bureau, The Translators, AF FFF20) and Kyan Khojandi (Rosalie Blum, AF FFF16), it is not to be missed.
Sunday 23rd May at 1:30pm
DRAMA / FRANCE / 2021 / 95 MIN / M
Directed by Fanny Liatard & Jérémy Trouilh, Starring: Lyna Khoudri, Alséni Bathily
When reality tries to ground a teenage boy’s dreams of becoming an astronaut, it’s his imagination that elevates him to the stars, in this poetic blending of realism and fantasy.
Named in the 1960s after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, Cité Gagarine is a condemned housing project in the suburbs of Paris where aspiring astronaut, 16-year-old Youri (newcomer Alséni Bathily), has lived his entire life. While it has been a tough existence, there is no way he will allow his home to be demolished without putting up a fight.
Enlisting the help of friends Houssam, (Jamil McCraven, Nocturama) Diana (Lyna Khoudri, The French Dispatch; The Extraordinary AF FFF20), and other members of his close-knit community, Youri attempts to save his building. However, as he transforms his apartment into a space capsule, he becomes increasingly isolated, eventually living like a lone survivor in a spaced-out world of his own creation.
Premiering at Cannes in 2020, Gagarine is a powerful story of class, race, imagination and wonder, that allows audiences to share Youri’s dreams of space and weightlessness. This film will make souls soar and hearts beat faster, as it races towards its nail-biting finale.
Sunday 23rd May at 3:45pm
THE BIG HIT
COMEDY, DRAMA / FRANCE / 2020 / 100 MIN / M
Directed by Emmanuel Courcol, Starring: KadMerad, Marina Hands
Inspired by remarkable true events, multi award-winning writer Emmanuel Courcol’s rousing, Cannes-selected directorial debut follows a dedicated out-of-work actor (indelibly played by the fabulous Kad Merad, Orchestra Class, AF FFF18) whose life takes an unexpected career turn.
Disillusioned and divorced middle-aged actor Étienne (Merad) accepts an arts rehabilitation role, leading a theatre workshop group at a correctional facility, under the watchful eye of open-minded but cautious warden Ariane (Marina Hands, Chic!, AF FFF16). His program attracts a motley group, and Étienne, surprised by the raw talent he unearths, comes up with the idea of workshopping Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. To the surprise of many, the play’s existential themes prove to be a natural fit for the inmates, and the connection between the cast and their kind-hearted director grows stronger with every rehearsal... though not without exception, and some very unexpected ramifications.
Inscribed with intelligence and humour, The Big Hit was named Best Comedy of 2020 at this year’s European Film Awards. It’s a deeply empathetic celebration of camaraderie, faith in others (and oneself), and the liberating power of art.
Sunday 23rd May at 8pm
A FRIENDLY TALE
COMEDY/ FRANCE / 2020 / 104 MIN / PG
Directed by Daniel Cohen, Starring: Bérénice Bejo, Vincent Cassel
A superb all-star quartet in stellar form leads the terrific new comedy of manners from Daniel Cohen, the story of life-long friends whose loyalties to each other are unexpectedly tested.
Life loving 40-something Lea (Oscar nominee Bérénice Bejo, The Artist) works in retail, and is happily married to Marc (Vincent Cassel), a conservative and somewhat insecure salesman. Lea has long been considered a dreamer by her know-it-all best friend Karine (the inimitable Florence Foresti), who seems content enough with her advertising executive job and life with gentle giant Francis (François Damiens) and their two kids. But something is about to upset the intricate balance of this quartet.
Over dinner one evening, Lea unexpectedly announces she is trying her hand at writing a novel, a declaration met with some bemusement; Marc is certainly unconvinced. Lea’s burst of creativity triggers an apparently threatened Karine to pick up her own pen, and even Francis dusts off a long-abandoned artistic side. When Lea’s book is picked up by a major publisher great things seem assured, if only her friends and husband can handle it…
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