New dates: 14 July – 4 August 2020
Palace Electric Cinema Canberra
The 31st French Film Festival had barely begun before it was disrupted by COVID-19 restrictions. But the Festival will resume nationally on 14 July, with 28 films confirmed.
Participating cinemas will be adhering to strict social distancing and hygiene standards throughout the Festival in line with COVID-19 safety protocols.
Two outstanding films, which embody the spirit of optimism and reinvention, have been selected to bookend the re-launch.
First night audiences will see the much fêted La Belle Époque, starring Daniel Auteuil as Victor, a disillusioned man who is given the opportunity to recreate the great love-affair of his youth in the hope that it can restore his future.
The Festival will finish with The Bare Necessity (Perdrix), a whimsical tale of a family forced to re-evaluate their stagnant ways and finally live life to the fullest.
The film was the directorial debut of Erwan Le Duc, and stars Swann Arlaud, Maud Wyler, Fanny Ardant and Nicolas Maury. Set within a tiny town nestled in the woody mountains of Vosges, the film looks at the romantic mayhem that ensues when an enigmatic young woman forces membes of a stagnant family to re-define their boundaries and begin to truly live.
The resumed Festival will also re-screen The Extraordinary (Hors normes), which opened this year’s festival before its suspension. It is one of the most gloriously uplifting films to emerge from France in recent years, and was inspired by a true story.
For 20 years, Bruno (Vincent Cassel) and Malik (Reda Kateb) have run two separate non-profit organisations where they train young people from underprivileged areas to be caregivers for autistic youth abandoned by the state system. But the authorities, concerned that they’ve never sought certification and that many of their carers aren’t ‘officially’ qualified, decide to mount an investigation.
The Extraordinary is a testimony to the great things that can be achieved when people support one another in the face of adversity.