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French Film Festival Aotearoa

French Film Festival Aotearoa is an incredible journey through le cinéma français, showcasing the crème de la crème of French cinema and its array of exceptional talents.

From comedies and thrillers, to dramas and documentaries, the French Film Festival Aotearoa is a proud celebration of French storytelling. With a carefully curated selection of some of the best releases the festival is touring the country, the festival is touring cities across both the North and South Islands in June and July 2022.

Full schedule and bookings:

2022 Film Selection

A mermaid in Paris Romance. 2020. Dir: Mathias Malzieu. Cast: Nicolas Duvauchelle, Marilyn Lima, Rossy de Palma A crooner with a broken heart, Gaspard had sworn never to fall in love again. As for Lula, a pretty mermaid, she has only her singing to defend herself from men, making their hearts race until they explode. When the Seine floods and deposits Lula at the foot of the Flowerburger, the barge-cabaret where Gaspard sings, it is a mini-tsunami that will upset and change their lives.

Another world Drama. 2021. Dir: Stéphane Brizé. Cast: Vincent Lindon, Sandrine Kiberlain, Anthony Bajon Lindon plays Philippe Lemesle, an executive who oversees the regional factory of an industrial multi-national. He has dedicated his life to the company. But it’s come at a high personal cost - he and partner Anne are separating, and his relationship with troubled son Lucas is also collapsing. So when the already-frayed Philippe is tasked by management with a downsizing operation, he faces a major crisis of conscience…

Between two worlds Drama. 2021. Dir: Emmanuel Carrère. Cast: Juliette Binoche, Hélène Lambert, Léa Carne Marianne Winckler, a well-known author, goes to live in northern France to research for her new book on the subject of job insecurity. Without revealing her true identity, she gets hired as a cleaner, working with a group of other women. In this new role, she experiences financial instability and social invisibility first-hand. But she also discovers mutual assistance and solidarity, strong bonds shared by these behind-the-scenes working women.

Employee of the month Comedy. 2022. Dir: Jérôme Commandeur. Cast: Jérôme Commandeur, Laetitia Dosch, Pascale Arbillot The hilarious smash-hit French comedy written and directed by, and starring Jérôme Commandeur. Vincent, a long-time civil servant, refuses to move on from his cushy job for life. When the new local mayor demands cuts to the budget, disgruntled inspector Isabelle orchestrates a series of undesirable transfers for Vincent, from the worst corners of France to the North Pole… but will it be enough to finally force him to quit the bureaucratic system that he’s become so accustomed to?

Everything went fine Drama. 2021. Dir: François Ozon. Cast: Sophie Marceau, André Dussollier, Géraldine Pailhas When André, 85, has a stroke, Emmanuèle hurries to her father’s bedside. Sick and half-paralysed in his hospital bed, he asks Emmanuèle to help him end his life. But how can you honour such a request when it’s your own father?

Farewell, Mr. Haffmann Drama. 2020. Dir: Fred Cavayé . Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Gilles Lellouche, Sara Giraudeau Occupied Paris, 1941: the Jewish community is instructed to identify themselves by wearing a yellow star. Dedicated jeweller Joseph Haffmann (Auteuil), fearing the worst, arranges for his family to flee the city and offers his employee François Mercier (Gilles Lellouche) the chance to take over his store until the conflict subsides. But his own attempts to escape are thwarted, and Haffmann is forced to seek his assistant’s protection.

Happy 50 Comedy. 2022. Dir: Eric Lavaine. Cast: Franck Dubosc, Lambert Wilson, Jérôme Commandeur To celebrate Yves’ 50th birthday, his friends plan to take him to the sunny paradise of Paros in Greece. But due to a cancelled flight, the holiday will take place in a far less glamorous and much rainier destination: Yves’ family home in Brittany. During the vacation, their bonds are challenged by Antoine’s constant complaining, Yves’ pride, Baptiste’s superstition and Laurent’s jealousy of Jean-Mich’s perfect life and family. On top of that, Antoine’s supposedly harmless joke – offering Yves a DNA ancestry test – has unforeseen consequences…

Hear me out Comedy. 2020. Dir: Pascal Elbé. Cast: Sandrine Kiberlain, Pascal Elbé, Valérie Donzelli Antoine, a history teacher in his early 50s, learns that he has become very hard of hearing. Unable to own up to his handicap, he resigns himself to living in his bubble, even though his entourage finds his behavior increasingly odd. His encounter with Claire, widow and mother of a young girl who has stopped speaking, will lead him to open up to the world.

Kompromat Drama. 2022. Dir: Jérôme Salle. Cast: Gilles Lellouche, Joanna Kulig Based on incredible true events, Jérôme Salle’s gripping new political thriller depicts the remarkable story of a French public servant who unwittingly found himself in conflict with one of the modern era’s most powerful and dangerous forces: Russia’s FSB.

La Traviata, my brothers and I Drama. 2021. Dir: Yohan Manca. Cast: Maël Rouin Berrandou, Judith Chemla, Dali Benssalah Nour, a 14-year-old boy, is enjoying the beginning of the summer holidays in the South of France. He is the youngest of four brothers. They live together in a council estate, taking turns caring for their mother who is in a coma. She used to love Italian Opera, so Nour plays it for her, and develops a passion for that music. When he crosses paths with Sarah, an Opera singer teaching summer classes, he finally finds the opportunity to come out of his shell and explore new horizons.

Little Nicholas’ Treasure Comedy. 2021. Dir: Julien Rappeneau. Cast: Ilan Debrabant, Audrey Lamy, Jean-Paul Rouve France, early 1960s. In the idyllic world of 9-year-old Nicholas, there is Papa, Mom, his school and - most importantly - his ragtag group of friends. Cheeky, inseparable and mischievous, they call themselves ‘The Invincibles’ and life couldn’t be better. But when his father receives a sought-after promotion and announces that the family must move to the south of France, it’s the worst news imaginable...

Love songs for though guys Drama. 2021. Dir: Samuel Benchetrit. Cast: François Damiens, Ramzy Bedia, Vanessa Paradis Featuring a delicious ensemble cast led by François Damiens and Vanessa Paradis, the hilarious new romantic comedy from Samuel Benchetrit is a charmingly-affectionate fable of a disparate group of ordinary people finding love and fulfillment through an unexpected source: the arts.

Madeleine Collins Drama. 2021. Dir: Antoine Barraud. Cast: Virginie Efira, Bruno Salomone, Quim Gutiérrez The film tells the parallel stories of a woman who seems to be the perfect wife and a loving mother living between France and Switzerland. Sophisticated and elegant with a touch of suspense, Madeleine Collins sits somewhere between Vertigo and Kramer vs. Kramer, the story of a woman at the centre of two worlds that are starting to collide.

Maigret Drama. 2022. Dir: Patrice Leconte. Cast: Gérard Depardieu, J. Labeste, M.Bernier Paris, 1953. The body of a beautiful young woman is discovered at Place Ventimille, dressed in an elegant evening gown. There is nothing to identify her, and no witnesses. Pensive and world-weary inspector Jules Maigret endeavours to piece together her story, and in doing so uncovers details about her past and character. In his enquiries, he encounters Betty, a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to the victim, but who also reminds him of one even closer to his own life…

Men on the verge of a nervous breakdown Comedy. 2022. Dir: Audrey Dana. Cast: Thierry Lhermitte, Ramzy Bedia, François-Xavier Demaison Seven men, all city-dwellers aged between 17 and 70, with nothing in common apart from the fact that they are all on the verge of a nervous breakdown, meet up at a lonely station for an unusual course in the wild that is supposed to get them back on their feet. Each step in this boot camp, designed by an eccentric and feisty female coach, aims to reveal them to themselves. The task seems to be a tough one, especially as nothing goes as planned between these men.

Murder party Comedy. 2021. Dir: Nicolas Pleskof. Cast: Alice Pol, Miou-Miou, Eddy Mitchell Was it Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with the candlestick? Or was it Mrs Peacock in the conservatory with the lead pipe? Murder Party follows Jeanne, a brilliant architect on a new job, renovating a beautiful mansion owned by an eccentric family who head a board game empire. Jeanne turns from architect to investigator when the landlord and patriarch is found dead and suddenly everybody is a suspect.

OSS 117: from Africa with love Comedy. 2021. Dir: Nicolas Bedos. Cast: Jean Dujardin, Pierre Niney, Fatou N’Diaye It’s 1981, the world has changed since the last adventure of OSS 117, France’s finest secret agent. Feminism is gaining ground; computer technology is developing and Communists lurk everywhere. In the midst of all this, France sends its top spy to Africa to help out President Bamba, whose re-election is threatened by rebels, led covertly by his young wife, played by the gorgeous Fatou N’Diaye.

Rumba therapy Comedy. 2021. Dir: Franck Dubosc. Cast: Franck Dubosc, Louna Espinosa, Jean-Pierre Darroussin Rumba Therapy is a feel-good comedy made by actor-turned-Director Franck Dubosc who plays Tony, a bus driver in his 50s, going through a midlife crisis. He lives alone, having abandoned his wife and baby decades earlier. Deciding to reconnect with his daughter who has become a dance teacher, Tony signs up for her classes, even though he hates dancing and has two left feet.

The kitchen brigade Comedy. 2021. Dir: Louis-Julien Petit. Cast: Audrey Lamy, François Cluzet, Chantal Neuwirth Cathy is a stubborn 40-year-old sous-chef. This year, she is finally about to fulfill her lifelong dream by opening her own gastronomic restaurant. But nothing goes as planned. Facing serious financial difficulties, she reluctantly accepts a job in the cafeteria of a shelter for young migrants. While she hates her new position, Cathy’s skills and passion for cuisine start to change the kids’ lives. And they also have a lot to teach her...

The Villa Comedy. 2022. Dir: Thomas Gilou. Cast: Kev Adams, Gérard Depardieu, Daniel Prévost An unlikely story of friendship between Milan, a young man on parole, who is forced to work in a retirement home rather than going to jail, and a larger-than-life group of retired people who are not really prepared to accept this new recruit.

The young lovers Drama. 2021. Dir: Carine Tardieu. Cast: Fanny Ardant, Melvil Poupaud, Cécile de France Elegant, retired architect Shauna crosses paths with Pierre, a married oncologist in his 40s, who first made an impression on her in a brief meeting over a decade earlier. Both are drawn to each other and begin a passionate affair. While Pierre’s family life is soon turned upside down - his wife incredulous at the age difference - Shauna struggles with feelings she thought well-belonged to the past, and the promise of what may remain…

These films are in French with English subtitles.


Participating cities and cinemas: Auckland (Rialto Newmarket, Lido Cinema, Bridgeway), Arrowtown (Dorothy Browns Cinema), Christchurch (Lumiere, Academy Gold, Christchurch Art Gallery, Deluxe Cinemas), Dunedin (Rialto), Hamilton (Lido Hamilton), Havelock North (Event cinemas Havelock North), Masterton (Screening Room), Matakana (Matakana Cinemas), Napier (MTG Hawke’s Bay), Nelson (Suter Gallery), New Plymouth (Len Lye Cinema), Palmerston North (Event cinemas Palmerston North), Tauranga (Rialto), Wanaka (Rubys Cinema), Wellington (Embassy Theatre, Penthouse, Light House Cuba, Pauatahanui, Petone).


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