George Miller and David Stratton announced as Patrons of 2016 Alliance Française French Film Festival

It has been confirmed that Academy Award winning filmmaker, George Miller and respected film critic, David Stratton will be Patrons of this year’s Alliance Française French Film Festival 27th edition.

With his groundbreaking Mad Max franchise, Miller has been well-respected by French cinema and was honoured with France’s prestigious ‘Order of Arts and Letters’ (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) in 2010 for his outstanding body of work.

In addition, David Stratton has been thought of as an insightful and admired movie critic by Australian film audiences. Stratton also received ‘Order of Arts and Letters’ (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) in recognition for his work, particularly in French Cinema.

The two gentlemen will also be joined by husband and wife acting dynamos, Marta Dusseldorp and Benjamin Winspear.

Dusseldorp has been renowned for her performances in television dramas such as  A Place To Call Home and Janet King. Furthermore, Winspear has been notably known for his work in stage acting and directing. Both will be Patrons of the Festival’s new category,  Small Screens on the Big Screen , which celebrates the diversity of French television. The festival will be showcasing the first two episodes of five outstanding French television shows, as one session per title.

This selection of titles will include Baron Noir, Un Village Français, The Bureau, The Last Panthers and Call My Agent!

Presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy of France in Australia, the festival will be funded by the generosity of both uniFrance films and Peugeot.  Alliance Française French Film Festival will have a spectacular lineup planned for 2016 with proud screening partner, Palace Cinemas showing support for the festival in the last twenty years.

Exclusively selected by David Stratton, he has picked out some of the best from the programme and has provided descriptions of each, with the full lineup of the festival being announced on February 2.  This includes:

COURTED (L’Hermine)

Director: Christian Vincent                                

Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Sidse Babett Knudsen & Éva Lallier

A smart, amusing comedy from writer/director Christian Vincent, in which Fabrice Luchini – in excellent form – portrays a cranky, Criminal Court Judge, who finds himself attracted to a female jury-member during a murder trial.

MICROBE & GASOLINE (Microbe et Gasoil)

Director: Michel Gondry              

Cast: Ange Dargent, Théopile Baquet, Audrey Tautou & Diane Besnier

From director Michel Gondry comes this unpretentiously charming film about the friendship between two 12 year-old boys – shy Daniel and extroverted Théo – who embark upon an exciting adventure in an automobile that they construct from scrap metal.

TAJ MAHAL

Director: Nicolas Saada                            

Cast: Stacy Martin, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing & Gina McKee

At a time when terrorism has affected the lives of so many, Nicolas Saada’s thought-provoking film follows the plight of an Anglo-French family caught-up in the November 2008 invasion of Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Hotel by fundamentalist extremists.  Stacy Martin is excellent as the 18 year-old daughter trapped in one of the hotel rooms during the terrifying attack.

THE MEASURE OF A MAN (La Loi du marché)

Director:  Stéphane Brizé                    

Cast: Vincent Lindon, Karine Petit de Mirbeck & Matthieu Schaller

The French title, Market Forces, ironically describes the reasons behind the plight of a factory worker, Thierry (portrayed by Vincent Lindon who was named Best Actor at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for his performance), who, following the loss of his job, struggles against great odds to provide for his family. This may sound grim, but as handled by director Stéphane Brizé, this film is an absorbing testament to human resilience and decency.

THE WHITE KNIGHTS (Les Chevaliers blancs)

Director:  Joachim Lafosse                                 

Cast: Vincent Lindon, Louise Bourgoin & Valérie Donzelli

In an unnamed North African country, a dedicated group of aid workers, led by Jacques (Vincent Lindon) are trying to alleviate the plight of hundreds of orphans, aged less than five-years, by offering them for adoption in France.  But their efforts, compromised by misunderstandings and deceptions, don’t go according to plan, in this tough-minded and very up-to-the-minute drama by Joachim Lafosse.

National dates and venues for the 2016 Alliance Française French Film Festival are:

SYDNEY: 1-24 March Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema & Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

MELBOURNE:] 2-24 March Palace Balwyn, Palace Brighton Bay, Palace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, The Kino Cinemas & The Astor Theatre

CANBERRA: 3-29 March                 Palace Electric Cinema

BRISBANE: 11 March – 3 April       Palace Barracks & Palace Centro

PERTH: 16 March – 7 April       Cinema Paradiso, Luna on SX & Windsor Cinema

ADELAIDE: 31 March – 24 April   Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas

CASULA: 7-10 April  Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

PARRAMATTA: 7-10 April  Riverside Theatre

HOBART: 28 April – 4 May State Cinema

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For more information for the 2016 Alliance Française French Film Festival, visit their website here: http://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org