French films to see at the Sydney Film Festival

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From 6 to 17 June 2018, the 65th Sydney Film Festival will be held. We have scoured the program to find films which are either filmed in France or are in French, which we have set out below. You can purchase tickets and look at the entire program including special events here.


IN FRENCH at the sydney film festival


A Paris Education

Jean Paul Civeyrac directs a film about a boy from Lyon who moves to the city of lights to study film-making and whose own life becomes a bit like a French New Wave film. Filmed in France and in French.



A season in France

An especially topical film from Chadian-French film-maker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun tells the story of a widowed asylum seeker who finds new love while the threat of deportation hangs over his head. Filmed in France and in French.




A short film in French from Canada set in a surface mine is the story of two boys in a seemingly innocent power game.



John McEnroe: In the realm of perfection

A cine-essay looking at John McEnroe’s performance at the 1984 French Open. Narrated in French by Mathieu Amalric, who you may know from The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.



La vie de Bohème

Also part of the Aki Kaurismäki retrospective, this is a French language film from 1992 and is an adaptation of the book from which the opera La Bohème is based. It follows the adventures of three down and outs in Paris.



Le Havre

Another film which is part of the Aki Kaurismäki retrospective, but this is a French language title starring French favourite Jean-Pierre Darroussin. This 2011 film is about Marcel Marx, a former writer who cares for his wife and a young refugee from Africa in the French port city of Le Havre.



Mektoub, My love: Canto Uno

Despite the title sounding perhaps more Spanish than French, this is a French film both filmed in France and in the French language. It’s about young love and lust in a Mediterranean summer.



Speak Up (A voix haute, la force de la parole)

Filmed in France and entirely in French, this documentary follows college students, most of whom do not have any public speaking experience, as they prepare for the annual public speaking Eloquentia competition in Paris’ Northern suburbs.



The venerable W (Le vénérable W)

In French, this is a documentary about a very disturbing Buddhist monk: one that preaches ethnic hatred and at whose prompting Rohingya Muslims are beaten and killed.



Young solitude (“Premières solitudes”)

Filmed in France in French, this is a documentary about the angst and uncertainty of adolescence. It follows 7 senior students at a French high school and shows us their discussions about their lives and their concerns and thoughts for the future.


IN FRENCH AND OTHER LANGAUGES at the sydney film festival



An American film in English, Arabic and French starring Joh Hamm and Rosamund Pike in a spy thriller written by the person behind the Bourne series of films, Tony Gilroy.



The marriage of Maria Braun

A 1979 film which is said to be one of the greatest German films of all time is a drama about a widow in post-war Berlin. It is in German, English and French.


3 days in Quiberon

Filmed in Germany and France and in both German and French, this film shot in black and white is a recreation of the 1981 final interview given by Romy Schneider, who was the biggest female star in Europe at the time, while at a spa retreat in the small French town of Quiberon.




A film by German director Christian Petzold is set in contemporary Marseille while being the story of World War II refugees from Germany. It is filmed in both Germany and France and is in both German and French.



FILMED IN FRANCE BUT NOT IN FRENCH at the sydney film festival


A Ciambra

An Italian language film about a 14 year old growing up too fast in the Romani community of Calabria. It was filmed in Italy, France, the USA and Germany.




A film by Bulgarian director Milko Lazarov, this is a love story set in the Arctic. Filmed in Bulgaria, Germany and France and in Yakut.




This award-winning film (Venice Grand Jury Prize and 8 Israeli Ophir Awards) is about Israeli military culture. It is in Hebrew, Arabic and German and was filmed in Israel, Germany, France and Switzerland.



Good manners  (As boas maneiras)

A Portuguese language werewolf movie filmed in Brazil and France which won the Special Jury Prize at Locarno and the Critics’ Award at Sitges.



Lek and the dogs

This English language title filmed in the UK, France and Chile is adapted from the play of the same name, which is in turn was inspired by the true story of the four-year old boy who lived with wild dogs in Moscow.



Lights in the Dusk

Screening as a part of the Aki Kaurismäki retrospective, this 2006 title involves a man, two women, a robbery and a dog in what is both a “romance; a story of crime, punishment and devotion”. It is in Finnish and Russian but was filmed in Finland, Russia and France.



Pope Francis – A man of his word

A Spanish and English language title, this is a documentary which is said to be a personal journey, not a traditional biography. The documentary aims to present Pope Francis’ reform work and his answers to the questions of today’s world. It was filmed in Italy, Switzerland, Germany and France.



The Heiresses (Las Herederas)

This is a Spanish language film which is set in Paraguay but was also filmed in Germany, Brazil, Uruguay, Norway and France.



The insult

This Arabic language movie was filmed in France and Lebanon. It was nominated for an Oscar and follows a high-profile legal drama between a Palestinian and his Lebanese neighbour.



The man without a past

Also a part of the Aki Kaurismäki retrospective, this 2002 film is about a man with amnesia who has to start over. Also in Finnish, it was filmed in Finland, Germany and France.



The other side of everything

A Serbian title filmed in Serbia, France and Qatar starts from the memory of a locked door in a Belgrade apartment, in which the film maker’s mother grew up. The documentary explores Serbia’s trouble past and the responsibility of each generation for Serbia’s wellbeing.



The Prince of Nothingwood

Filmed in France, Germany and Qatar, this is about an Afghan filmmaker making “no-budget” films in the battle zone of Afghanistan, which he refers to as “Nothingwood”. The film is in English and in Dari.



Touch me not

An English language film from Romanian director Adina Pintilie which won the Golden Bear at Berlin. It is a drama which looks at “intimacy, attraction and how we perceive beauty.” It was filmed in Romania, Germany, the Czech Republic, France and Bulgaria.




A comic drama about Palestinians living in Israel. This film is in Arabic and was filmed in Palestine, France, Germany, Colombia, Norway, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.



You were never really here

A film which puts you in the mind of a traumatised hitman and one which won Best Screenplay and for which Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor at Cannes. This was filmed in the USA, UK and France and is in English.




A Spanish language comic thriller from Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel which was filmed in Argentina, Brazil, Spain, France, The Netherlands, Mexico, Portugal and the USA.



Which films are you going to see at the Sydney Film Festival?

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