I’ve spoken with Philippe Ostermann, General Manager of the Alliance Française in Sydney about the Alliance Française French Film Festival.
How do you choose the films for the Alliance Française French Film Festival?Philippe Platel, Cultural Attaché of the French Embassy and Artistic Director of the festival is in contact with the majority of French producers, and goes to Cannes each year. He makes a drastic selection after having seen the majority of French films released over the year. We also look to the choices made by the big international festivals, Berlin, Venice or Toronto to offer the Australian public the 50 best films of the year.
Have you personally seen all of the films which are on at this year’s Alliance Française French Film Festival?
Each film is seen by a minimum of three people from the festival’s team. I have personally missed a few, but I still have a week to catch up.
What are the films which, according to you, we should all see at the Alliance Française French Film Festival?
Difficult question! C’est la Vie (Le sens de la fête) and See you up there (Au revoir là-haut) are of course unavoidable, BPM Beats per Minute (120 battements par minute) is an extremely important film. Custody (Jusqu’à la garde), which has been released at the same time in France as in Australia, has been a shock for viewers. It’s an exceptional success for a first film. Back to Burgundy (Ce qui nous lie), with the magnificent landscapes and its subject, wine, is a perfect film for Austrslian audiences. Emmanuelle Devos gives an extraordinary performance in Number One (Numéro Une). It’s a difficult choice.
Will any films which are on during the festival that will also have a general cinematic release later in the year?
More than 20 films, among those of the festival, will be on screens outside of the festival. We work closely with Australian distributors so that French cinema lives all year-long in Australia.
How many French films were released in 2017?
The vitality of French cinema is extraordinary. Each year, about 300 films are produced, of all types, genres, addressing a variety of subjects from comedy to intimate drama.
The opening night is in Adelaide tonight. What can people who buy a ticket to the opening night expect?
A wonderful voyage to France. A funny, uplifting and festive film good wine, laughs and an unforgettable evening.
The Alliance Française French Film Festival is on across Australia on the following dates:
Sydney – 27 February – 27 March
Melbourne – 28 February 27 March
Canberra – 1 – 28 March
Brisbane – 8 March – 4 April
Perth – 14 March- 4 April
Adelaide – 22 March – 15 April
Hobart – 15 – 24 March
Parramatta – 5 – 8 April
Casula – 5 -8 April
All of the films, the schedule and ticket links are available on the Alliance Française French Film Festival website.