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French Film Festival reveals first titles

Press Release – Alliance Francaise
Bringing the best of French cinema to Wellington from 1 March to 18 April, the Alliance Française French Film Festival is delighted to welcome Kate Rodger as the 2018 Festival Patron.

Kate Rodger is the Newshub Entertainment Editor and Film Reviewer, and a self-confessed addict of all things cinema. Over her past 15 years with 3News (now Newshub) her job has taken her all over New Zealand and all over the world, covering film premieres and festivals, visiting movie sets, shooting interviews and filing stories from far afield.

“I am honoured to be asked to be a patron for this year’s Alliance Française French Film Festival, and can’t wait to dive into the vast and delectable array of French cinema!” — Kate Rodger

Kicking off their advance programme announcements, the Festival has revealed the first three titles from the 2018 line-up. Celebrating fresh talent, the three films are all first features from a new generation of French filmmakers.

Each film was selected for the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, with Léonor Serraille’s Montparnasse Bienvenüe (Jeune Femme) taking home the acclaimed Caméra d’Or.

Ava

France 2017

Director: Léa Mysius

Cast: Noée Abita, Laure Calamy, Juan Cano

Thirteen-year-old Ava is on vacation when she learns that she will lose her sight earlier than predicted. Her mother decides to behave as though nothing has changed so that they can spend the loveliest summer of their lives by the seaside. Ava however deals with the problem in her own way. Exploring her identity, she questions her surroundings and steals a large black dog that belongs to a young man on the run…

Energetic, sensual and sensitive, this coming of age story moves by its creative form and overflowing imagination.

Bloody Milk (Petit Paysan)

France 2017

Director: Hubert Charuel

Cast: Swann Arlaud, Sara Giraudeau

Pierre, thirty-something, is a dairy farmer. His life revolves around his farm, his veterinarian sister, and his parents, whose farm he has taken over. Just as the first indications of an epidemic are announced in France, Pierre discovers that one of his cows is infected. He refuses to accept the idea of losing his cows. They are all he has, and he will fight to the bitter end to save them.

An unusual subject choice for a thriller, Bloody Milk demonstrates a narrative simplicity which creates a chilling tension that is skilfully maintained until the film’s final moments.

Montparnasse Bienvenüe (Jeune Femme)

France/Belgium 2017

Director: Léonor Serraille

Cast: Laetitia Dosch, Grégoire Monsaingeon, Souleymane Seye Ndiaye, Nathalie Richard

With a cat under her arm, no money and no work, facing closed doors and broken relationships, Paula returns to Paris after a long time overseas. Landing in Montparnasse, Paula is set on starting over. Even if she has no idea which direction she is heading or how to get there, she’ll do it with panache.

A delightful debut feature that was awarded the Caméra d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

The Alliance Française French Film Festival will run from 1 March – 18 April in Wellington and 11 other cities across New Zealand. For dates and venues information, visit

www.frenchfilmfestival.co.nz.

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