Robert Mazouin, of Goonellabah, a member of the Alliance Francaise Far North Coast is ready for the French film festival.
Robert Mazouin, of Goonellabah, a member of the Alliance Francaise Far North Coast is ready for the French film festival. David Nielsen

French films big turnout

ORGANISERS of Ballina’s first French film festival are beginning to think they’ll have to break out the ‘sold out’ sign after a strong response to the festival, which opens tonight.

Local French cultural group Alliance Francaise Cote du Nord secretary Marie Phillips said, as of Wednesday, 100 of the 150 seats had sold in the festival’s opening film The Girl from Monaco, which screens tonight at Ballina Fair Cinemas from 7pm.

Ms Phillips said the figures for the four other French films, running at the cinema over tomorrow and Sunday, were less up to date but still promising. As of last Friday, the films, which range from the family-friendly G-rated vaguely Harry Potter-esque romp Trouble at Tempetill to the thoughtful and morally challenging MA15+ drama Baby Love, had sold about 40 tickets each.

The strong local reaction follows an overwhelming response to the festival in other parts of regional Australia. Ms Phillips said The Girl from Monaco sold out when it screened as the opening film of the Rockhampton festival last weekend.

Ms Phillips said the Alliance Francaise had been around for a few years, but had kept a relatively low profile, operating as a meeting point for people who wanted to speak French with each other. The group hoped to put on more events like this weekend’s film festival and had begun running French classes through the Lismore Neighbourhood Centre to help fund them.

Tickets for the festival $12/$10/$8 for a single film to $50 or $45 concession for a full ticket that will let you see all five movies. For details about the films, session times and booking information, go to www.afcdn.org.au.



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