French Films at the 31st Mardi Gras Film Festival

Established in 1993, Queer Screen is now one of Australia’s largest film festivals of any kind, and one of the top five queer film festivals in the world.
It is highly regarded by filmmakers all over the world, and is the most important platform for promoting LGBTIQ titles to distributors and exhibitors in this territory.

Offering a diverse international selection, here are this year’s French films:

 

Queendom

Filmed over four years, queer director Agniia Galdanova captures the vulnerability and incredible bravery of Gena as she stages breathtaking performances in otherworldly costumes on the streets of Moscow. These performances become a new form of art and activism aiming to change people’s perception of queerness in Russia. Filmed amidst the invasion of Ukraine, life becomes all the more urgent and precious as Gena battles acceptance from her grandparents in small town Magadan and the increasing risk of conscription.

2023 L.A Outfest – Special Mention Documentary
2023 Zurich Film Festival – Winner Audience Award

A remarkable film that weaves empowerment with unsettling tension and artistry with pure barbarism. It is by far the most affecting documentary of the year. – The Pink Lens

Book here

 

Along Came Love

Madeleine is a single mother working as a waitress when she meets writer Francois, and in desperate pursuit of a nuclear family, they wed quickly. Soon the cracks start to show, as Madeleine comes to grips with her husband’s hidden desires. This sumptuously shot film showcases how love can exist beyond social norms, and how deeply the ties can bind between two lost souls.

Quillévéré weaves a Sirkian tale of guilt and unsuccessfully repressed desires that takes in homosexuality, race and polyamory. – Screen Daily

Sydney Premiere

2023 Festival du Film Francophone – Winner Best Film and Best Actor

Book here

Power Alley

17-year-old volleyball player Sofia is on the cusp of being scouted for a Chilean scholarship, and is in a new relationship with teammate Bel. When she finds out she’s pregnant, she’s determined to terminate the pregnancy, but abortion is a crime in Brazil. Once the local community finds out, she becomes the target of fundamentalist groups out to stop her at any cost. A gripping film about women’s bodily autonomy and fighting back against inequality, it showcases the power of queer community in the face of adversity.

A punchy, confrontational energy infuses this celebration of queer sisterhood in the face of Brazilian conservatism. – Screen International

Australian Premiere

2023 Cannes Film Festival – Winner FIPRESCI Prize, Nominee Queer Palm
2023 Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival – Winner Best Director and Best Editing

Book here

 

Split


When stuntwoman Anna meets the magnetic famous actress Eve, she unlocks a part of her she’d always kept hidden. What starts as an innocent exchange of glances soon ignites into a turbulent, sensual love affair. Directed by a French feminist author and filmed with an 80% female crew, Split explores the queer female gaze and its transformative impact. Shown in its entirety, the five episode series is a daring, innovative and genre-bending unpacking of power and trauma through the feminist lens.

Australian Premiere

Book here

 

The Lost Boys

17-year-old Joe is preparing to return to society after being in juvenile detention. Just before his release William enters the facility, and the boys find the passion and affection they had been yearning for, leading Joe to question what kind of freedom he truly desires. Khalil Gharbia and Julien de Saint Jean (Lie with Me, QSFF23) are electric as two boys finding each other in an environment designed to keep them apart.

Sydney Premiere

Graton’s film rests on Gharbia and Jean’s wondrous performances. A movingly intertwined tale of longing, loss, and liberation. – Attitude UK

Book here

 

Sacreblue! x SBS
The January Selection

Every month, Sacreblue! highlights francophone films from the SBS catalogue.
These movies will be available for the whole month for free on SBS On Demand.

Here is our January selection of SBS French films for a special francophone summer !

 

The Big Hit / Un Triomphe (2020)

Director: Emmanuel Courcol

Cast: Kad Merad, David Ayala, Lamine Cissokho, Sofian Khammes, Pierre Lottin, Wabinlé Nabié, Alexandre Medvedev, Saïd Benchnafa, Marina Hands, Laurent Stocker, Mathilde Courcol-Rozès, Yvon Martin

Part of the 2020 Cannes film festival official selection, The Big Hit is about an actor who is in a slump and agrees to run a theatre workshop in a prison in order to make ends meet. Surprised by the prisoners’ acting skills, he decides to put on a play with them, on the stage of a real theatre. Based on a true story, The Big Hit It is a free adaptation of the experiences of Jan Jönson when he staged a theatre performance with prison inmates.

Watch it on SBS on Demand here.

 

Keep Going / Continuer (2019)

Director: Joachim Lafosse
Cast: Virginie Efira, Kacey Mottet Klein, Diego Martín, Mairambek Kozhoev, Damira Ripert, Belek Mamatkoulov, Mukhit Raikulov, Assel Kuanbayeva

Based on Laurent Mauvignier’s 2016 novel ‘Continuer’, director Joachim Lafosse explores a complicated mother-son relationship with teh cinematic backdrop of the Kyrgyzstan countryside.

Selected as part of the 75th Venice International Film Festival, Keep Going divided viewers. For an in-depth review by Variety Magazine, click here.

Watch it on SBS on Demand here.

 

Simone Veil, a Woman of the Century / Simone – Le Voyage du Siècle (2021)

Director: Olivier Dahan
Cast: Elsa Zylberstein, Rebecca Marder, Élodie Bouchez, Judith Chemla, Olivier Gourmet, Mathieu Spinosi, Sylvie Testud, Philippe Torreton, Philippe Lellouche, Esther Valding, Antoine Gouy, Laurence Côte

Simone Veil was a French magistrate, Holocaust survivor, and politician who served as Health Minister in several governments and was President of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1982, the first woman to hold that office. Olivier Dahan explores her life in this intimate bipgraphical portayal through a series of non-chronological memories.

Part of the 2022 Angoulême Francophone Film Festival selection, Simone Veil, a Woman of the Century went on to win the 2023 César Awards for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.

Watch it on SBS on Demand here.

The 2024 Alliance Française French Film Festival

Teaser Trailer

Festival dates by city:

Regional dates:

 

Stay up to date on screenings and special events in your area through the official French Film Festival website.

Full line-up revealed & tickets on sale 7th of February!

Sacreblue! x SBS
The December Selection

Every month, Sacreblue! highlights some francophone films from the SBS catalogue.
These movies will be available for the whole month for free on SBS On Demand.

Here is our December selection of SBS French films for a special francophone christmas season!

 

Driving Madeleine / Une belle course (2022)

Director: Christian Carion

Cast: Line Renaud, Dany Boon, Alice Isaaz, Jérémie Laheurte, Gwendoline Hamon, Julie Delarme, Thomas Alden, Christophe Rossignon, Elie Kaempfen

 

Driving Madeleine is the fourth collaboration between comedian Dany Boon and music-hall sensation Line Renaud. The film takes place all in one parisian evening, 92 year old Madeleine is on her way to a nursing home and takes the opportunity to, one last time, stop by places throughout the city which have held meaning to her. Through the course of the evening she recounts her life story to Charles who in turn, moved by her wisdom and perseverance opens up about his personal struggles.

Driving Madeleine is a tale about chance encounters and embraces the common realisation that inconspicuous little old ladies are storehouses of crazy and wonderful life stories.

Watch it on SBS on Demand here.

 

Ricky (2009)

Director: François Ozon
Cast: Alexandra Lamy, Sergi López, Mélusine Mayance, Arthur Peyret, Marilyne Even, André Wilms, Jean-Claude Bolle-Reddat, Véronique Joly

 

Ricky is a French fantasy film about a human baby who develops a set of functional wings, and how the parents cope with the child’s abnormality.

 

Watch it on SBS on Demand here.

 

Aline (2021)

Director: Valérie Lemercier
Cast: Valérie Lemercier, Sylvain Marcel, Danielle Fichaud, Roc Lafortune, Antoine Vézina, Pascale Desrochers, Jean-Noël Brouté, Sonia Vachon

 

Aline is a fictionalised portrayal of the life of Céline Dion. Exploring all stages of her life, from childhood through to middle age.

The film had its world premiere at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and earned four nominations at the 47th Annual César Awards, including Best Film, and Best Actress for Valérie Lemercier’s portrayal of Céline Dion.

 

Watch it on SBS on Demand here.

 

End of Year French Markets and Festivals

This end of year, there will be plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in French culture all whilst remaining in the country!
Read on to discover the end of year French markets and festivals happening around the country in November and December.

 

La Grande Fête de Telopea | Saturday 4 November

Location: Telopea Park School, 25 New South Wales Cres, Barton ACT 2600
Organised by Telopea Park School

Go on a trip to France… without leaving Canberra! Telopea Park School’s La Grande Fête is one of the largest public school fêtes in the ACT, there’s something for everyone including delicious food, carnival rides, the annual Canberra French Car Clubs display, live entertainment, clothing, books and market stalls.

Pre-purchase your Durkins Carnival Rides tickets, $30 for ride-all-day tickets on the Super Cha, Dodgem Cars, Giant Slide, Cup and Saucer, and Disco Show!

The French Market de Killarney Heights | Sunday 5 November

Location: Killarney Heights Public School, 10 Tralee Ave, Killarney Heights NSW 2087
Organised by FANS –  the French speaking Association of the North Shore & Killarney Heights Public School

From a small local school party attended by the nearby community, to an iconic event welcoming 70 vendors, the French Market is recognised as the French cultural celebration bringing people together from all over Sydney and beyond; this is one of the biggest French cultural highlights in New South Wales. This year will be the 17th edition of the French Market. Head on over to enjoy a piece of France!

More info / tickets

 

 

Xmas Market by the AF Melbourne | Friday 1 – Sunday 3 December

Location: Madame Brussels Lane / Spring place, 2 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Organised by AF Melbourne

Gift hunter, francophiles and market-lovers alike, save the date.
More info to come soon including a program of stalls selling items crafted by French artisans, food and wine & many surprises!
FREE ENTRY

More info here

 

 

Marché de Noël by the Lycée Condorcet | Sunday 3 December

Location: Lycée Condorcet the International French School of Sydney, 758 Anzac Parade, Maroubra NSW 2035
Organised by le Lycée Condorcet

Craftsmanship, beauty and art de vivre are the epitome of French culture. We’re excited to contribute to supporting authentic craftsmanship, gastronomy, traditional food and beverages, and to put local and international unsung heroes of creativity into the spotlight.

Like our school, we aim to make our marché de Noël something above and beyond a regular Christmas market. For us, it is a joyous and convivial event welcoming Sydney market-goers to experience the very best of French culture, style and cuisine, as well as local and international talent, right here in the sunny eastern suburbs.

More info / tickets

 

 

La Guinguette: the Alliance Française Summer Garden Fest Opening | Saturday 2 December

Location: Village Green, Unley Oxford Terrace & Rugby Street
Organised by l’Alliance Française d’Adélaïde

Fun for the whole family, we are bringing the open air sensation taking over French summers, right here to Adelaide. Celebrate summer with us on a special day filled with food, drinks, live entertainment and activities for children and adults, specially crafted by our team at the Alliance Française. Come along for a community celebration in the sun à la française!

More info / tickets

Sacreblue! x SBS
The October Selection

Every month, Sacreblue! highlights some francophone films from the SBS catalogue.
These movies will be available for the whole month for free on SBS On Demand.

Here is our October selection, enjoy a selection of French thriller and horror films for a special francophone spooky season!

 

Titane (2021)

Director: Julia Ducournau
Cast: Vincent Lindon, Agathe Rousselle, Garance Marillier, Laïs Salameh, Bertrand Bonello, Dominique Frot, Mara Cisse, Marin Judas, Diong-Kéba Tacu, Myriem Akeddiou, Céline Carrère

A woman with a titanium plate fitted in her head and murderous intent on her mind embarks on a bizarre journey of identity and unconditional love when she’s forced to go on the run.

Called “the most shocking film of 2021”  by  BBC’s Nicholas Barber in his review for Variety magazine, Titane had its world premiere at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and received the Palme d’Or, the festival’s top award. Ducournau is the second female director to win the award after Jane Campion in 1993 for The Piano. The film also screened in New York, London and Toronto and won the People’s Choice Award for Midnight Madness at the Toronto Film Festival.

Watch it on SBS on Demand here.

 

Evolution (2015)

Director: Lucile Hadzihalilovic

Cast: Max Brebant, Roxane Duran, Julie-Marie Parmentier, Mathieu Goldfeld, Nissim Renard, Pablo-Noé Etienne, Nathalie Legosle, Chantal Aimée

Nicholas is a sickly young boy living on an island populated solely by women and other boys. The boys undergo strange medical procedures and Nicholas suspects that he is being lied to and sets out, with help from a young nurse, to discover what the women secretly do at night…

Winner of the Best Cinematography award at both the San Sebastián and Stockholm International Film Festivals, Evolution has been described by the Hollywood Reporter as “A trippy visual feast and a mesmerizing experience.”

Watch it on SBS on Demand here.

 

Climax (2018)

Director: Gaspar Noé
Cast: Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillermic, Souheila Yacoub, Kiddy Smile, Claude Gajan Maull, Giselle Palmer, Taylor Kastle, Thea Carla Schott

In the winter of 1996, a professional French dance troupe, led by manager Emmanuelle and choreographer Selva, gathers in a rural, abandoned school to rehearse an upcoming performance. After succeeding in completing the elaborate closing piece of the dance, the group commence a celebratory after-party. Mysterious seemingly drug-laced alcohol causes their jubilant rehearsal to descend into a dark and explosive nightmare as they try to survive the night before it’s too late.

The film premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, screening in the Directors’ Fortnight section where it won the Art Cinema Award.

Watch it on SBS on Demand here.

New Release:
The Goldman Case / Le Procès Goldman

In 1975 is held the trial of Pierre Goldman, a fiery and controversial figure of revolutionary left-wing activism. Goldman is guilty of numerous charges, yet he proclaims his innocence in a double murder accusation. Twenty years before the OJ Simpson case, the Goldman trial reflects the political, ideological and racial tensions that marked the 1970s in France and Europe.
Then considered to be the trial of the century, it divided an entire country and widened the gap between the conservative right and left-wing intellectuals.

Directed by Cédric Khan, the film stars Arieh Worthalter, Arthur Harari, Nicolas Briançon and Stéphan Guérin-Tillié.

Selected as part of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight, the film has thus far received a rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Access the full press release kit here

 

Watch the trailer:

This film is screening as part of the Jewish Film festival from the 23rd of October to the 6th of December, head to their website for bookings and more information.

Sacreblue! x SBS
The September Selection

Every month, Sacreblue! highlights some francophone films from the SBS catalogue.
These movies will be available for the whole month for free on SBS On Demand!

Here is our September selection, enjoy these adventure-filled tales to put a pep into your step as we head into Spring.

 

Twist à Bamako / Mali Twist (2021)

Director: Robert Guédiguian
Cast: Stéphane Bak, Alice Da Luz, Saabo Balde, Bakary Diombera, Ahmed Dramé, Diouc Koma, Miveck Packa, Issaka Sawadogo, Youssouf Djaoro, Abdoulaye Diakhaté

Mali Twist is a historical drama set in 1962 Mali, shortly after the proclamation of the country’s independence. The film centres around the unlikely love story of Samba, a yound socialist revolutionary, and Lara who has just escaped a forced marriage, as they navigate the political turmoil of a changing society.

The film featured in the Valladolid International Film Week and at the 2022 Alliance Française French Film Festival.

 

Watch it on SBS on Demand here.

 

Police / Night Shift (2020)

Director: Anne Fontaine
Cast: Virginie Efira, Omar Sy, Grégory Gadebois, Peyman Moaadi, Elisa Lasowski, Emmanuel Barrouyer, Anne-Pascale Clairembourg, Anne-Gaëlle Jourdain, Cécile Rebboah, Cédric Vieira, Thierry Levaret, Aurore Broutin, Tadrina Hocking, Gwenaël Clause, Damien Abysique

Adaptated from the 2016 novel Police by Hugo Boris, three Parisian police officers are tasked with escorting an illegal immigrant from Tajikistan who is subject to deportation from France. The officers face an ethical dilemma when they are confronted with the reality that their prisoner will likely be killed upon return to his home country.

The film had its world premiere at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2020.

Watch it on SBS on Demand here.

 

The Big Blue / Le Grand Bleu (1988)

Director: Luc Besson
Cast: Rosanna Arquette, Jean-Marc Barr, Jean Reno, Paul Shenar, Griffin Dunne, Sergio Castellitto, Marc Duret, Jean Bouise

The Big Blue is a fictionalised story exploring the friendship and sporting rivalry between two leading contemporary champion free-divers in the 20th-century; Jacques Mayol and Enzoe Maiorca and Mayol’s straiend relationship with his girlfriend, caught between his yearning for the deep and his love for her.

The film became one of France’s most commercially successful films, it has been described by film historian Rémi Lanzoni as “one of the most significant cult movies of the 1980s” and as creating a “Big Blue generation”.

The Big Blue was nominated for several César awards and won the César awards for Best Music Written for a Film (Éric Serra) and Best Sound in 1989. The film also won France’s National Academy of Cinema’s Academy Award in 1989.

Watch it on SBS on Demand here.

 

In February 2022, Culture Plus, in partnership with the Embassy of France in Australia, the Alliance Française de Sydney and the Art Gallery of NSW, organised the first eloquence contest at the Art Gallery of NSW as a way to reinforce cultural exchanges between France and Australia. This year, the contest is back, tackling the theme of art and the environment.

 

Cultureplus is a non-profit company organising talks, events and weekend getaways to immerse yourself in Art, History, and French & Australian Culture.

 

The concept behind the Eloquence art prize is to reward the best 15-minute art talk given by a university student from one of the top five Australian Universities, in front of a jury composed of leading Australian arts professionals. Art students have been selected through a three stage process and each university champions will participate in the Grand Final. The Grand Final will provide some of the most engaging art talks in he country.

The Art Prize seeks to reward excellence in art history and provide unforgettable career opportunities to participants. Prizes vary from one year to another but can include entry into a summer program at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris, including payment of flights and accomodation, mentoring sessions and french lessons with Alliances Francaises Australia.

Prior to the prize ceremony this year, a documentary screening and panel discussion evening will take place on the 27th of September at the Kambri Theatre, ANU.

The event will feature the screening of award-winning  2021 French fim Once You Know, followed by the world première of a  short 10′ film on its Golden Plan wind farm project. The film is an Australian “world premiere”, produced by students from the Academy of Film, Theatre and Television.

 

Following these thought-provoking films, stay for a panel discussion featuring the following speakers:

Tickets available here.

 

From Paris to Brisbane: Micro-Folie
A Window to the French Masterpieces in Australia

 

Launching on Thursday, 27 July 2023, the Micro-Folie initiative will debut at the Cube, nestled within the scenic Gardens Point Campus of the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. This groundbreaking project, supported by the French Embassy in Australia, seeks to bring the enchantment of art and culture to the Australian audience.

 

At its core, Micro-Folie is a testament to the potential of technology and its ability to democratize culture. This Virtual Museum serves as a gateway to the art world, offering communities unparalleled access through digital technology. By combining virtual reality and digital devices, Micro-Folie creates an engaging and interactive environment, providing visitors with a unique and immersive encounter with art.

 

A pivotal aspect of the Micro-Folie project lies in its collaboration with 12 founding national cultural establishments offering access to their collections : Centre Pompidou, Château de Versailles, Cité de la musique – Philharmonie de Paris, Avignon Festival, Institut du monde arabe, Louvre Museum, Picasso Museum, Musée d’Orsay, Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques-Chirac, Opéra de Paris, Réunion des musées nationaux et du Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées, Universcience and Parc de La Villette. These partnerships ensure that Micro-Folie visitors can explore and appreciate masterpieces from renowned cultural institutions, fostering a sense of inclusivity and cultural exchange. With over 40,000 works at its disposal, the Micro-Folie offers visitors a remarkable journey through art and history, spanning from the ancient world to the conquest of space. It serves as a captivating gateway to explore the diverse realms of human creativity and imagination.

 

The first Micro-Folie opened its doors in France in January 2017, marking the beginning of a remarkable journey that would soon revolutionize how communities engage with art and culture. Spearheaded by Didier Fusilier, President of the Parc et de la Grande Halle de La Villette, in collaboration with the French Ministry of Culture, the Micro-Folie concept rapidly gained global recognition. It was born out of the French Ministry of Culture’s commitment to making culture accessible to all. Recognizing the challenges faced by individuals who are unable to physically visit museums, whether due to distance, disability, or financial constraints, the Micro-Folie offers a unique solution: a digital museum that brings together premium content from leading museums worldwide, offering visitors an immersive cultural experience that showcases the best of French and European art and heritage. With over 200 installations worldwide, including in countries like Burma, China, Egypt, Peru, and Turkey, Micro-Folie has become synonymous with accessible and immersive cultural experiences.

 

The Micro-Folie initiative has resonated particularly well with Australian audiences. Linguistically adapted to accommodate visitors from various backgrounds, the digital content is often available in multiple languages, such as French, English, Arabic, and more. This approach guarantees accessibility for all, bridging cultural gaps and allowing Australians to revel in French art and heritage. The Embassy and Micro-Folie teams collaborate closely with Australian cultural establishments to develop content tailored to Australia’s unique culture. This joint effort enriches exhibitions, offering visitors a deeper understanding of the Australian and Pacific region’s heritage and distinct cultural characteristics. By intertwining the rich tapestry of French and Australian culture, Micro-Folie fosters cross-cultural appreciation, celebration, and understanding.

 

The Micro-Folie at QUT promises to become a cultural hub, igniting passions and fostering a deeper appreciation for art within the local community, and as the project continues to thrive and expand its global footprint, it exemplifies the boundless potential of technology in shaping cultural experiences. With each installation, this technological and cultural marvel brings the world closer, celebrating the beauty and diversity of human creativity.

 

So, whether you are an art aficionado, a technology enthusiast, or simply a curious soul, prepare to embark on a mesmerizing journey at the Micro-Folie – an experience where art, technology, and community seamlessly intertwine.