French animated film Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman announced for Sydney Film Festival 2023

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The first 12 films for the Sydney Film Festival 2023 program have been announced, and French animated feature Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is among them. The rest of the program will be announced on 10 May 2023.

Blind Wllow, Sleeping Woman, SFF 2023, Sydney Film Festival 2023,

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (French title: Saules Aveugles, Femme Endormie), which premiered at the 2022 Annecy International Animation Film Festival, is director Pierre Földes’ debut feature film. He has previously directed two shorts: The Germans of Pont Neuf (in 1993) and Mikrodramas in 2009.


Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is based on a short story by Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, who is said to be one of the most read and most translated Japanese authors. Adaptations of his works Burning (SFF 2018) and Drive My Car (SFF 2021) have won awards.


This animated film is based in a dreamlike world that blurs the lines of reality and imagination. Set in the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman follows the parallel storylines of several fictional characters. Among the characters in the film, there is an anxious banker, Katagiri, who is enlisted by a talkative frog to slay a giant angry worm that is hell-bent on wreaking more havoc. Then there is apathetic Komura, who is on a mission to hand-deliver a mysterious package, while also undergoing a divorce and losing his job.


Through a series of enigmatic vignettes surreal tales are revealed where dreams and reality playfully blur into one.

Saules aveugles, femme endormie

Pierre Földes was also the screenwriter and he produced original music for the film. In fact, of all 9 films he has worked on in any capacity, he has produced music for all of them.


You may recognise some of the voices in the film too with Féodor Atkine (Love and Death) and Bruno Paviot (Rebecca). Noée Abita who was in The Passengers of the Night at Sydney Film Festival last year and Maria into Life at Alliance Française French Film Festival 2023 also lends her voice to this film.


Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is said to be a powerful exploration of the human condition, delving deep into themes of loss, resilience, and the enduring power of human connection in the face of tragedy.


Tickets to this film and the entirety of the Sydney Film Festival 2023 program go on sale on 10 May 2023. We will let you know about other French and French language films in the program once it’s been released.

You’ll find more info about Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman and ticket link here

For events with links to France and the francophonie happening this month, check out our What’s on in April.


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