A still from the film Proxima, coming to the French Film Festival 2020.
A still from the film Proxima, coming to the French Film Festival 2020.

Excellent French films not to miss at festival

THE  2020 French Film Festival will relaunch on the Northern Rivers on Bastille Day, July 14 and run to August 4.

Following its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alliance Française French Film Festival will resume its 31st season on Bastille Day, from 14 July to 4 August, at Palace Cinemas Byron Bay.

Returning to seven cities throughout Australia, the cultural event has confirmed a selection of 28 features from the original March line-up, and is proudly presented by the Alliance Française in association with the Embassy
of France in Australia, Unifrance Films and screening partner, Palace Cinemas.
All participating cinemas will be adhering to strict social distancing and hygiene standards throughout the Festival in line with COVID-19 safety protocols.

For details and bookings visit Alliance Française French Film Festival's website

Here are some of the films coming to Byron Bay later this month:

The Extraordinary (Hors Norme): Director: Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano. Cast: Vincent Cassel, Reda Kateb, Helene Vincent. The Extraordinary is based on the real-life figure of Stéphane Benhamou who runs an informal shelter in Paris for autistic youth who have fallen through the cracks of a system unable to care for them. As their dedicated carer, Bruno, Vincent Cassel again demonstrates his talent in an extraordinary, no-limits performance. Struggling for both staff and money, Bruno is the heart and soul of his shelter, which comes under threat when authorities start investigating it.


A still from the film The Extraordinary, coming to the French Film Festival 2020.
A still from the film The Extraordinary, coming to the French Film Festival 2020.


Les Miserables: Director: Ladj Ly. Cast: Damien Bonnard, Alexis Manenti, Djebril Didier Zonga, Issa Perica, Al-Hassan. Ladj Ly's fearless film tells of social inequality. Ly's film recalls the 2005 riots, which began in Clichy-sous-Bois and spread throughout Paris before reaching Marseille, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Lyon and Lille. Set in the director's stomping ground of Montfermeil in east Paris, Les Miserables follows cop Stephane through his first week on the job as part of a special unit who navigate society's fringes as he and his corrupt, often violent, colleagues face off against the region's clashing factions of angry teens as tensions boil over.

We'll End Up Together (Nous Finirons Ensemble): Director: Guillaume Canet. Cast: Francois Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Gilles Lellouche, Laurent Lafitte. About to turn 60, nearly broke and estranged from his former friends, restaurateur Max embraces solitude at his soon-to-be-sold beach house.

So when his ex-buddies arrive for a surprise celebration, he turns them away.

But this cannot be - something has to be done! The sequel to 2010s star-studded comedy Little White Lies.



Aznavour by Charles (Le Regard de Charles): A film by Charles Aznavour, directed by Marc di Domenico. Narrator: Romain Duris. Iconic French crooner Charles Aznavour (1924-2018), beguiled his legions of fans with a dream of romance, but his life beyond music was even more extraordinary. An actor, political activist, diplomat and filmmaker, this enthralling documentary, with rare footage, reveals a complicated, multi-talented man who entertained for the greater part of a century.


A still from the film Aznavour by Charles, coming to the French Film Festival 2020.
A still from the film Aznavour by Charles, coming to the French Film Festival 2020.


A Friendly Tale (Le Bonheur des Uns): Director: Daniel Cohen. Cast: Francois Damiens, Vincent Cassel, Berenice Bejo. In this tale of tested loyalties, the close friendship of two long-time couples is put at risk when one of the two wives unexpectedly becomes a best-selling author, upsetting the intricate balance of this formerly close-knit quartet.

La Belle Epoque: Director: Nicolas Bedos. Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Guillaume Canet, Doria Tiller. Disillusioned, his long-term marriage on the rocks, a man is given a second chance when he encounters a company offering a unique theatrical service that enables customers to revisit memories through carefully orchestrated re-enactments, thus allowing him to return to 1974 and the peak of his happiness.



Edmond: Director: Alexis Michalik. Cast: Thomas Soliveres, Olivier Gourmet, Mathilde Seigner, Dominique Pinon. Paris, 1897. Although not yet thirty and clearly gifted as a writer, Edmond Rostand already has two children, many anxieties, but scant literary success. When given three weeks to write a play for a mercurial star of the stage, all he has is the title, Cyrano de Bergerac. Can he accomplish the impossible?

Room 212 (Chambre 212): Director: Christophe Honore. Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Benjamin Biolay, Vincent Lacoste. After Maria reveals a long history of affairs to her husband, she opts to spend the night at a hotel opposite their home. But this is a "magical night", and it's not long before time collapses upon itself opening a window into the past where young passions are revisited and the very concept of love, questioned.



Proxima: Director: Alice Winocour. Cast: Eva Green, Zelie Boulant-Lemesle, Matt Dillon. As the only woman in the European Space Agency astronaut-training program, single mother Sarah struggles with guilt over the limited time spent with her young daughter, which escalates when she's invited upon a year-long space mission - Proxima - forcing her to choose between her work and her child.

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