Arts Review

Alliance Française 35th French Film Festival

Forget the French kissing and focus your passion on French film at the Alliance Française 35th French Film Festival!

Palace Cinemas

5th March - 2nd April 2024


Dr Gemma Regan


It’s that wonderful time of the year when passions are aroused and our loved ones are treated to a champagne or two. No, I’m not referring to Valentine’s Day but the romance and passion of French movies, showing soon at the 35th Alliance Française French Film Festival here in Australia.


Running from March 5th to the 2nd of April 2024 the Australian French Film Festival hosted by Alliance Française at Palace Cinemas is the largest French Film Festival in the World outside of France! A testament to how much Aussies enjoy a good yarn, some overt nudity, picturesque cinematography and a good drink! 


The 41 films have each been carefully selected by the Cultural Attaché of the French Embassy and Artistic Director of the FFF, Karine Mauris. She described how she chooses each film from the 280 produced in France in 2023 in a year-long process to ensure she has a good balance of genres to reflect a theme. This year's theme is diversity and humanity, guaranteed to make you cry, laugh and be shocked, as the French are wont to do! 


There are four World Premieres, where we see French films before the French and seven films hot from the Cannes Film Festival.


It is Karine’s fourth and last year with the FFF and she has selected some doozies, starting with the Australian Premiere of The Three Musketeers: D’Artagnan for the Gala Opening Night on the 5th March. You can celebrate in the French chic with drinks, a special box of French food and live entertainment before and after the screening. It was France’s biggest box-office success, with a budget of 70 million Euro and rave reviews.


With diversity and humanity as the theme, a record third of the films are directed by women and many are very different to the usual vanilla of Hollywood, with Divertimento focussing on the struggles of an Algerian young female desperate to become an orchestral conductor.  


The President’s Wife is a fabulous French, partly fictional (they have to say that) comedy about the role of Bernadette Chirac, President Jacque’s wife. It stars the legendary Catherine Deneuve during Chirac’s term of office at the Elysée, for which she was nominated Best Actress at the Lumiere Awards. It gives a witty and fabulous insight into public perception, misogyny and fame during the 1990s and is a must-see with a special Ladies Night presentation.


Two notables showcase the actor Benoît Magimel in The Taste of Things for the Foodies, winner of Best Director at the Cannes Festival and the historical drama Rosalie. The kooky comedy Three Nights A Week is showing as part of the A F Pride and the Closing Night Gala features the satirical Second Round.


 Abbé Pierre: A Century of Devotion is a touching biopic of a humanist priest during WWII and another 2023 box-office success. Iris and the Men is a provocative, sexy comedy and Mr Blake at Your Service starring John Malkovich speaking in French with a convincing accent, as his wife is French. 


The 35th Anniversary Audience Vote of the Alliance Française French Film Festival goes to The Intouchables, one of the most cherished French films of the 21st Century and another must-see! It is an unforgettable film examining the deep yet comedic relationship between a wealthy paraplegic (François Cluzet) and his immigrant caregiver, played by the black beauty Omar Sy, winning him the César Award for Best Actor, the first awarded to a Black person.


All films are in French with subtitles, which you forget you are reading after a minute, immersing you in the unique je ne sai quoi of French filmmaking. 

So browse the films at and you buy them either in advance, recommended for special nights from your closest Palace cinema or in person at the ticket office.


Quick Listens

Les Jobson from Dreamkillers - teaser interview

Sasha Čuha: about 'Svetozar!' & electric gusle

4ZZZ's radio drama 'Connie' by Joel Quick

4ZZZ's radio drama 'Morph' by Kathryn Rothe

Opera at 4ZZZ with Milijana Nikolic, mezzo-soprano & Rosario La Spina, tenor

Eurovision Song Contest 2021 - review by Blair Martin

Gina Vanderpump - Miss Sportsman Hotel

4ZZZ's 45th Birthday special by Alex Oliver

Jack Vidgen - Eurovision: Australia Decides 2020

Jaguar Jonze - Eurovision: Australia Decides 2020

Mitch Tambo - Eurovision: Australia Decides 2020

Didirri - Eurovision: Australia Decides 2020

iOTA - Eurovision: Australia Decides 2020

RICHARD BELL The Venice Biennale EMBASSY 2019 4ZZZ Radio

OZONE Radio Play #001: Dog Park

Bloods Interview

Christopher Port on the New Releases Show

Didirri on Zedgeist


TRAILS takeover 4ZZZ Alphabet Soup PART 2

TRAILS takeover 4ZZZ Alphabet Soup PART 1

Port Royal performing "One of a Kind" live on 4ZZZ Alphabet Soup

Port Royal on Alphabet Soup


Dark Essence interview with Pop Will Eat Itself

Marc of Fingerless interview with Linda Dark on Alphabet Soup Pt 2

Marc of Fingerless interview with Linda Dark on Alphabet Soup Pt 1


Queer Radio interview with Jayde Westaby, "Tanya" in "Mamma Mia"

Queer Radio interview with Ian Stenlake, "Sam" in "Mamma Mia"