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Francophonie Celebrations in Aotearoa

Each year in March, lovers of the French language celebrate, across the five continents, the cultural and linguistic richness and diversity of 'la Francophonie'. In New Zealand, Alliances Françaises and diplomatic missions have put together a programme of celebrations (online and in person).

20 March: International Francophonie Day

La francophonie (lower case) refers to all those who share a common language: French. It is estimated there are 300 million French-speakers worldwide. La Francophonie (capital letter) is an institution, with 88 francophone member countries, dedicated to promoting cultural and linguistic diversity: the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) [International Organisation of La Francophonie].

La F/francophonie is very diverse. Francophones, who share French as either their mother tongue or as a second language, live across the five continents. Each year on 20 March, they all get together and share their passion for la F/francophonie. This date refers to the launch of the Agence de coopération culturelle et technique [Agency of Cultural and Technical Cooperation], created on that day in 1970 in Niamey (Niger), which is now the OIF.

12 to 20 March: French Language and Francophonie Week

Initiated by the French Ministry of Culture, La Semaine de la langue française et de la Francophonie [French Language and Francophonie Week] is a worldwide celebration in the French cultural network in France and overseas, which concludes on 20 March - la Journée internationale de la Francophonie [International Francophonie Day].

2022 Celebrations in New Zealand: Programme

2022 Francophonie celebrations in New Zealand are brought to you by the Alliances Françaises in New Zealand, the Embassy of France in New Zealand, the Government of New Caledonia, the Official representative of New Caledonia to New Zealand, the Embassy of Switzerland in New Zealand, the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in New Zealand.

With the participation of the High Commission of Canada in New Zealand, the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in New Zealand.


Djeacutêê gôrô djawë (A Story about Water, Jeanne Vassard, New Caledonia, 2014)

Languages: French, Paicî, Cèmuhî & Nengone (kanak native languages). Subtitles: English. Streaming expired on 1 April 2022.

This film tells the story of a young woman living in Noumea, far from her tribe and her family in the North of the country. When running water is cut off in the slum where she lives ("squat"), the community must find a solution to pay the bill. They decide to organise a Bingo. Classification: PG (coarse language). Facilitated by the Government of New Caledonia, Official representative of New Caledonia to New Zealand.

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The Fruitless Tree (Aïcha Macky, Niger/France, 2016)

Languages: Hausa, French. Subtitles: French, English. Streaming expired on 1 April 2022.

As a married but childless woman, Aïcha finds herself in a situation that is totally ‘out of the ordinary’ in her country. But just like everywhere else in the world today, Niger experiences problems with infertility. Based on her personal story, Aïcha Macky explores the private suffering of women in her situation with great sensitivity, speaking openly as a childless woman amongst mothers. Classification: PG (containing material more suited for mature audiences). Facilitated by the Embassy of France in New Zealand.

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Roll the Drum! (François-Christophe Marzal/Nicolas Frey, Switzerland, 2019)

Language: French. Subtitles: English. Streaming expired on 1 April 2022.

In the beginning of Spring 1970, the small village of Monchoux in Valais is experiencing unusual agitation. Is it because of the vote on the women’s right to vote? Or because of the upcoming referendum on the expulsion of foreigners? No, it’s worse: the village brass band has imploded! Half of the village will say it is Aloy’s fault, the other half will respond that it is Pierre’s. The dissent will be political, musical and amorous. Classified 8 (12) in Switzerland. Facilitated by the Embassy of Switzerland in New Zealand.

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Mắt biếc (Dreamy Eyes, Victor Vu, Vietnam, 2019)

Language: Vietnamese. Subtitles: English. Streaming expired on 1 April 2022.

Mắt biếc, or Dreamy Eyes, is a poetic portrayal of childhood, and a love that spans through decades. The film tells the story of Ngan and Ha Lan, childhood friends from a village name Dodo, following them through the different stages of their lives. From children to adolescents to adults, the film is a coming-of-age film that portrays both the romanticised notion of childhood, and the harsh realities of adulthood. With exquisite tenderness, Dreamy Eyes begins with images that are bathed in golden light, each picture-perfect scene viewed through the lens of childlike wonder. Classification: PG. Facilitated by the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in New Zealand

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Francophonia - Make the voice of the Francophonie heard all around the world

During Dubai World Expo, the OIF invites all francophones to record themselves saying an idiom, in French, illustrating one of the following 3 themes: motivation, sharing, wisdom. All the voices will then be mixed by a famous French-speaking DJ to create a sound on the occasion of the International Day of La Francophonie on 20 March 2022.

Take part in this experience:


Organised by Alliance Française Auckland

  • Photo Exhibition: ‘Mémoire d’Europe’ by Pascal Dosset, 15 to 19 March

  • ‘Club des Gastronomes’ dinner: 16 March at 7pm, Le Garde-Manger restaurant

  • Children Workshop: ‘Discover Europe’, 17 March at 4.30pm

  • Outdoor Movie Night: He Even Has Your Eyes (Lucien Jean-Baptiste, Belgique/France, 2016), 18 March at 7.30pm


Organised by Alliance Française Wellington

  • DELF-DALF 2021 Diploma Ceremony, 16 March at 7pm


Organised by Alliance Française Palmerston North

Francophonie movie screenings, Globe Theatre, 11 to 20 March Info and bookings:

  • Goodbye Happiness (Ken Scott, Québec, 2011), Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, Mali/France, 2013), French Tech (Bruno Podalydès, France, 2020), OSS 117: From Africa With Love (Nicolas Bedos, France, 2021), Haute Couture (Sylvie Ohayon, France, 2021),, Red Soil (Farid Bentoumi, Belgique/France, 2020), That Man From Rio (Philippe De Broca, Brésil/France, 1963), All Hands On Deck (Guillaume Brac, France, 2020), Sophie’s Misfortunes (Christophe Honoré, France, 2015), Zaï Zaï Zaï Zaï (François Desagnat, France, 2020).

‘La Plume d’Or’ Creative Writing Contest - 24 March, 6.30 to 8.30pm. Open to students of the AF. Level A2 minimum. Sign up here:


Organised by Alliance Française Hamilton

Information and bookings:

Francophone movie screenings:

  • All Hands On Deck (Guillaume Brac, France, 2020), 19 March at 7pm, University of Waikato

  • Vanille (Guillaume Lorin, France, 2020), 26 March at 3pm, Chartwell Cooperating Church


Organised by Alliance Française Nelson-Tasman

  • French Classic Film Evening: 18 March at 7.30pm, Monaco Boat Club

  • Yoga en Français with Sue Hallas, 24 March, 6.45 to 7.45pm, Yoga Jai

  • Dîner au parc en blanc, 26 March, 5.30pm (location to be confirmed)


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