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  • Writer's pictureeclectic Stefan

French Film Festival 2024: "Diversity and humanity"

poster for the 2024 Alliançe Francaise French Film Festival showing a couple looking lovingly at each other against a vivid pink background and the name of the festival at the top of the poster

Film enthusiasts and lovers of French cinema will soon have the opportunity to engage with renowned French actress Catherine Deneuve, swash and buckle with D'Artagnen of The Three Musketeers, find love and face adventure. And it will all happen in Australian cities from Brisbane and Melbourne to Canberra and Adelaide.

You won't need a passport, an airline ticket, luggage or specialist equipment. You will require a movie pass and a comfortable cinema seat. You will experience stories and landscapes without leaving home. It requires a short drive to your local cinema and, depending on your tastes, a choc-top ice cream, box of popcorn and/or a glass of sparkling wine.

The magic of film making and cinema converts us into armchair travellers. And film festivals transport us across the globe with a direct infusion of culture. Those of you who live in Australia are about to enter the magical world of the 2024 Alliance Française French Film Festival. Film buffs outside Australia should peruse the festival program and keep watch for the large scale productions and popular films, such as D'Artagnen and The President's Wife, as they will inevitably find their way into general cinema release across many countries.

Karine Mauris, Cultural Attache of the French Embassy and Artistic Director of the French Film Festival, believes movies are meant to be screened on big screens in cinemas.

Karine Mauris: "Movies are made to be shown and viewed in cinemas."

Alliance Française French Film Festival 2024

A selection of movie stills from the 2024 festival line-up

Divertimento|The Taste of Things

Wilderness Therapy | The Intouchables

The Three Musketeers: D'Artagnen

The complete film listing for the festival, including trailers and stills, is available at:

Cinema venues for each city can be found on the festival website under

A fundamental view held by Karine Mauris is that “Festivals must have a vision.” That vision is embodied by the French film industry's superb ability at storytelling and drama that is evident in this year's festival.

LISTEN Karine Mauris: “Festivals must have a vision”.

Press Play button to listen

The 2024 French Film Festival will include a number of world premieres, such as The President's Wife, All Your Faces, Marguerite's Theorem and Along Came Love. The festival will celebrate the hugely successful 2012 comedy and human drama of The Intouchables, an unmissable movie about a wealthy quadriplegic and his immigrant caregiver. See this movie for the first time or see it one more time. It is essential viewing.

Film festivals also provide us with the opportunity to explore film classics. This year, the French film festival screens Marcel Carné's masterly Les Enfants Du Paradis (Children of Paradise).

Those titles alone show you the diverse nature of the movies being exhibited this year. The total number of movies is 41. There's plenty of titles from which to choose from a diverse range of styles and stories. French films have had a resurgence post COVID years and film releases are exceeding production and release quotas from before the secession of production during the COVID years.

This year, over a third of films are by female filmmakers, showcasing a diverse and impressive array of female centred storytelling, including Iris and the Men, Marguerite's Theorem, The Nature of Love, Last Summer, Rosalie and Sidonie in Japan, that paint a powerful picture of the female voices involved in French cinema in 2024. The festival in 2024 coincides with International Women’s Day (8th March 2024).

And what can you expect from this year’s films in the Alliance Française French Film Festival? Karine explains, “It’s national. It's all about France. You can take time over one month and see a lot of movies“.


Catherine Deneauve as Bernadette Chirac standing with arms crossed in front of her and frowning as a group of male politicians and advisers in suits stand behind her

The President's Wife (Bernadette)

Catherine Deneuve walks the halls of power as Bernadette Chirac, the wife of the President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac. It is 1995. Her role as the president's wife changes from being an accoutrement to his role as president and traverses the vicissitudes of her true and formable ability to understand the actual foundations of power despite the president's advisers' derision of any comments from her regarding the power politics at play.

Jacques Chirac is comtempable in his treatment of Bernadette. Bernadette is a political power as an elected official in her own region and knows better than the advisers what it takes to comprehend and translate the temper of the times and the people whose views determine who gains and retains political office. She is far more than her Coco Chanel clothing, although she struggles to be the truly formidable person she can be.


A group of people riding horses and wearing ponchos while riding in a shallow stream in the Pyrenees mountains

Wilderness Therapy

What better way to unwind and discover nature than to embark on a horse trek through the Pyrenees mountains? You will meet new friends, commune with nature, whisper to the horses and return to your normal life refreshed. Think again. As they say, you start with the best intentions but then things go wrong.

The group finds it difficult to create a bond. Mobile phone reception, food, mountain storms, accommodation problems and bears in the woods all destabilise any suggestion of positive group dynamics. A warm poncho doesn't solve the problems. The natural world doesn't soothe the disruption of human nature. Eventually, their humanity surfaces.


Two women sitting in chairs and staring intently at a person shown in silhouette from behind during a restorative justice session.  The silhouette is in the centre and the women appear on the left and right of the shadow person.

All Your Faces

Restorative justice provides an opportunity for perpetrators of crime to face their victims directly and vice versa in an attempt for both parties to confront and understand the reasoning behind why the perpetrators commit crimes and how the victims explain the impact of the crime on their lives. All Your Faces is a dramatic recreation of one group of victims of crimes and their perpetrators face-to-face  meetings.

While the victims of crime face anxiety and dread in their lives following the crimes and find ordinary tasks, such as taking a bus, threatening, the criminals explain how they don't see their victims; they only see the cash or credit cards they steal.

Each group expresses their viewpoint and each develops limited empathy for the others' plight. The crimes and experiences may be different but the outcomes are similar. All Your Faces seeks to facilitate a process of healing through the concept of forgiveness. It's not as easy or straightforward as one might expect. Confrontation is an essential part of the process. The outcomes are revealing for the audience as well as the participants in the restorative justice process.


 I know people who immerse themselves in film festivals to partake of the cultural diversity and variety of films and others who tend to dip their toes by sampling a small selection of films. In Karine’s role as Cultural Attache of the French Embassy, she approaches her role with the notion of bridging cultures.

LISTEN Karine Mauris: “Bridging Cultures: From France to the World ”.

Press Play button to listen

Whichever film person you are--fanatic, cinephile, or occasional viewer--The 2024 Alliance Française French Film Festival has plenty to offer, from drama and comedy to romance and children's movies. Immerse yourself and discover a world of love, food, music and history all from one destination, your local cinema.

a selection of photo stills of movies from the 2024 French Festival website including photo stills from the movies and the movies' titles underneath the photo stills.  A link to the festival's website activates when you click on the image.

A selection of film stills from the program of the

2024 Alliance Française French Film Festival

Alliance Française French Film Festival in cinemas across Australia

Complete film listing for the festival, including trailers and stills, is available at:

Visit the website, pick your city, peruse the films and book your tickets.

The Canberra season runs from 7 March--2 April 2024 at Palace Electric, New Acton.

For dates and venues for other cities across Australia, visit the festival website

Images & videos provided by and © Alliance Française French Film Festival 2024

Interview with Karine Mauris © Stefan Kussy


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