The 30th anniversary of Australia’s tantalising multi-cultural Alliance Française French Film Festival will take place at Palace Cinemas from 14 March to 14 April.

Artistic Director Philippe Platel has lovingly selected a superlative line-up of 54 features and documentaries – the biggest in the Festival’s proud history. This very special Festival edition, which will showcase its innumerable delights across 12 distinct categories with self-explanatory titles ranging from Paris Snapshots, Summertime, Lighten Up, and Critically Acclaimed, will also present a selection of outstanding movies from Belgium, Canada and Switzerland via its Across Borders category including The Fall of the American Empire (La chute de l’empire Américain), a richly amusing comedy drama from renowned Canadian director Denys Arcand, which is essential viewing.

Breathing life into the creative vision of the filmmakers represented this year are some of French cinema’s most defining actors. As in previous years, this internationally renowned event – acknowledged as the largest assemblage of French cinema outside of France – will celebrate the artistry of several emerging young filmmakers, such as Dominique Rocher (The Night Eats the World / La nuit a dévoré le monde), Coralie Fargeat (Revenge), Elsa Amiel (Pearl), Yann Gonzales (Knife+Heart / Un couteau dans le coeur), Cécila Rouaud (Family Photo / Photo de famille) and Lukas Dhont (Girl).  Many of these films will feature in the Festival’s thrilling new “Dangerous Sphere” strand.

The latest output from France’s reigning directorial superstars, including Jacques Audiard, Claire Denis, Olivier Assayas, François Ozon, Christophe Honoré, Agnès Jaoui and the legendary Jean-Luc Godard, will also form part of the spectacular 2019 line-up.

Select highlights from the 30th anniversary programme include The Sisters Brothers (Les frères Sisters) starring John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal, which garnered director Jacques Audiard the Silver Lion (Best Director) at the 2018 Venice International Film Festival.  This gritty, yet dryly humorous western ‘bromance’ ranks alongside the work of Sam Peckinpah at his best.

There is also Claire Denis’ mesmerising sci-fi drama, High Life, awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2018 San Sebastián International Film Festival, with a cast led by Juliette Binoche and Robert Pattinson; Sink or Swim (Le grand bain) from Gilles Lellouche, the number one 2018 French box office hit about an all-male synchronised swimming team formed by a group of despondent 40 somethings; director Christophe Honoré’s Sorry Angel (Plaire, aimer, courir vite), an emotionally rich romance set in early 1990s France which won the prestigious 2018 Prix Louis Delluc, and from the legendary Jean-Luc Godard, The Image Book (Le livre d’image) – a work of audio-visual poetry awarded the inaugural Special Palme d’Or at Cannes 2018. And for lovers of classic cinema, the Festival will be screening a restored version of Alain Resnais’ 1961 para-surrealist masterpiece, Last Year at Marienbad (L’année dernière à Marienbad).

Readers also enjoyed seeing the Socials from the launch of the Festival on Indulge Magazine.