Our Top 5 Picks for What to See at the 2022 French Film Festival

Australia’s film festival calendar is quickly filling up for 2022 with events dedicated to documentaries, European cinema and Japanese movies. Now, joining them is the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival, which has announced its return.

For its 33rd year, the AFFF will be taking place in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart from March 1 to April 26. While movie buffs will need to wait till February 3rd for the full lineup, organisers have revealed 10 films that will be shown this year.

Opening the festival will be 19th-century Paris-set Lost Illusions. Directed by Xavier Giannoli, the film features Benjamin Voisin, Cécile de France, Vincent Lacoste and Xavier Dolan.

Set to feature Cannes highlights, premieres and all the amour that French Cinema has been known for over the years, artistic director Karine Mauris announced 10 films that will be showing, and also, what moviegoers can expect from the festival.

“Storytelling is in the DNA of human nature, and cinema is one of the most profound ways to share our stories of romance, humour, culture, action, tragedy and every emotion in between,” he said.

“The festival’s 2022 edition is a French cinematic adventure, which not only captures our current society but also shines a light on the future society we strive to build. We invite you to escape and head on enchanting journeys with our beautiful characters, whilst also finding comic relief during these often daunting times.”

The 10 movies include: The Young Lovers, Waiting for Bojangles, Love Songs for Tough Guys, La Traviata, My Brothers and I, Purple Noon, The Kitchen Brigade, Hear Me Out, Happening and The Velvet Queen.

But to keep things simple, we wanted to further narrow it down. While it was no easy feat, these are our top five picks from the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival 2022.

Love Songs for Tough Guys

In the port city of Dunkirk, weary crime boss Jeff has a big problem: young punks are muscling in on his turf. But Jeff is distracted: he’s fallen for Roxane, a supermarket cashier he adores from afar. Taking a leaf from the Cyrano playbook, he tries to win her heart by writing love poems, but doesn’t have the courage to deliver them.

Hear Me Out

This romantic comedy is centred around Antoine (Pascal Elbé), a history teacher in his early 50s, who learns that he has become very hard of hearing. Unable to own up to his handicap, he resigns himself to living in his bubble, as his entourage finds his behaviour increasingly odd. His encounter with Claire, widow and mother of a young girl who has stopped speaking, will help him to open up to the world again.

Alliance Francaise French Film Festival

The Velvet Queen

In the heart of the Tibetan highlands, photographer Vincent Munier brings writer Sylvain Tesson on his quest to find the snow leopard. He introduces him to the subtle art of waiting from a blind spot, tracking animals and finding the patience to catch sight of the beasts. Through their journey in the Tibetan peaks, inhabited by invisible presences, the two men engage in a conversation on our place among the living beings and celebrate the beauty of the world.


Lost Illusions

Lucien de Rubempré, a young, lower-class poet, is madly in love with the baroness Louise de Bargeton. The risk of scandal forces them to flee to Paris where they hope to live and love freely. Lucien soon finds rejection and loses the baroness’s support. He finds himself alone, penniless, hungry, and humiliated until the day he seeks revenge by writing controversial — yet banal — articles. Inside the Paris he so coveted, he finds a cynical world where everything — and everyone – can be bought and sold. Can he find his way and remain faithful to his hopes and dreams?

Waiting for Bojangles

Spirited and eccentric, Waiting for Bojangles is a passionate love story adapted from Olivier Bourdeaut’s international bestselling novel of the same title.

Seen through the eyes of their son, Gary, Camille (Virginie Efira) and Georges (Romain Duris) dance to their favourite song Mr Bojangles in their magnificent Parisian flat. Their love is magical, dazzling, a perpetual party. Camille sets the tone, an unpredictable and extravagant will-o’-the-wisp. One day however, she goes too far, obliging Georges and Gary to go to extreme lengths to avoid the inevitable, at all costs.

For more information about the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival, visit affrenchfilmfestival.org.

Alliance Francaise French Film Festival Dates:

  • March 1–April 6, with encore screenings from April 7–10: Palace Central, Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema and Hayden Orpheum Cremorne, Sydney
  • March 2–April 6, with encore screenings from April 7–10: Palace Electric, Canberra
  • March 3–April 6, with encore screenings from April 7–10: Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Como. Palace Westgarth, Pentridge Cinema, The Kino and The Astor Theatre , Melbourne
  • March 9–20: State Cinema, Hobart
  • March 9–April 6, with encore screenings from April 7–10: Camelot Outdoor Cinema, Luna Leederville, Luna on SX, Palace Raine Square and Windsor Cinema, Perth
  • March 16–April 13, with encore screenings from April 14–18: Palace Barracks and Palace James Street, Brisbane
  • March 24–April 24, with encore screenings from April 25–26: Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas and Palace Nova Prospect Cinemas, Adelaide, plus Victa Cinemas, Victor Harbor
  • March 30–April 14, with encore screenings from April 15–16: Palace Byron Bay, Byron Bay
  • April 7–10: Parramatta Riverside Theatres, Parramatta

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