France the French way


France is closer than you think….

Posted: 2012-02-18

Proudly sponsored by L’Oréal Paris, the Alliance Française French Film Festival offers a comprehensive national programme over five weeks and nine cities, making it the biggest French cultural event in New Zealand.

This year the Festival’s selection includes some of the finest recent French film releases including the Valérie Donzelli’s ‘chef d’oeuvre’ Declaration of War (opening night film)Yann Samuell’s remake of the classic The War of the Buttons, and Christophe Honoré’s new musical Beloved starring the iconic Catherine Deneuve.

Another film that will be making its New Zealand début is Philippe Guillard’s first feature film Jo’s Boyabout a small township in the south of France and their love for rugby. Guillard, a former rugby player himself, promised people that he’d run around the Arc de Triomphe naked if 500,000 people went to see his ‘little film’ about life amongst the rugby people of France’s south-west who recruit a kiwi named Jonah to help save their village team. Little did he know, his guess turned out to be too modest – by half! It is stories like these that make French cinema such a loveable art form.

After attending the Christchurch media launch of the Festival last week, I was not only impressed by this year’s line-up but also at the Festival’s dedication to promoting French language and culture within our New Zealand society.

Declaration of War will be premiered at the Christchurch opening night on Wednesday 29 February.

Film-making is seen as a way of not only protecting and documenting French culture, but advancing it as well. It is truly a treasured form of culture, which the French hold dear. The French inject their values, history and sense of humour into their films, creating a memorable cinematic experience for all involved. The Alliance Francaise French Film Festival is New Zealand’s way of showcasing this French talent, and celebrating their respect for and achievements in the international film industry.

I urge all of you in New Zealand to go out and buy tickets to this fabulous event with all your friends and family. What a perfect (and cheap) way to be transported to France for an hour and a half!

The Alliance Française French Film Festival will open in Christchurch at Hoyts Northlands on February 29, 5:45pm for the 6:30pm New Zealand premiere of Donzelli’s Declaration of War. $25 ticket price includes drinks, nibbles, L’Oréal Paris goodie bags and the screening. Tickets available at the cinema or on

For all other information about the opening nights in other cities and the film selection, please visit the official website



Beloved - the new musical by Christophe Honore starring Catherine Deneuve and her real-life daughter Chiara Mastroianni

South of France + rugby + French cinema = perfection!

Yann Samuell's smash-hit adaptation of Louis Pergaud's 1912 novel, The War of the Buttons