OOH LA LA: Flavours of France at Jetty Memorial Theatre.
OOH LA LA: Flavours of France at Jetty Memorial Theatre.

Vive la France French Film Fest is returning

A CLUMSY Canadian frantically searching for her lost 93-year-old aunt in Paris, two sisters' spellbinding behind-the-scenes journey through pre-war movie land, a hilariously compulsive penny-pincher, and a story about food and appetite so confronting it had audiences fainting in the aisles at its premiere.

These are just some of the offerings of Screenwave's Vive la France! French Film Festival, which returns to Coffs August 23 to 27.

After enjoying sellout success last year, Vive la France!'s program is increasing to 15 films, in genres ranging from charming comedy and family films, to dystopian drama and a "French Extremity” sub-strand, including controversial Cannes film Raw - a film so visceral in its themes an ambulance was called to its Toronto premiere last year.

"This year we are excited to bring audiences a flurry of flavours from French cinema: with contemporary and provocative fare, to anniversary classic, plus films for the whole family,” said artistic director Kate Howat. The festival will open on a celebratory comedic note, with the critically-acclaimed Lost in Paris, a romp through the French capital in a classic slapstick comedy style reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin and Jacques Tati. The night, at the Jetty Memorial Theatre, will feature a special introduction by the film's directors Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel, as well as canapes and drinks.

Among the program's other highlights is Valley of Love, starring French cinema veterans Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu, on screen together for the first time in more than 30 years, Planetarium starring Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp, and the Oscar-nominated stop-motion family animation My Life As a Zucchini.

There will also be wine tasting, French Follies, and a free morning event run by local community group U3A where film fans can swap stories and learn about French culture.

Tickets and festival passes on sale at vivelafrance.swiff.com.au and Jetty Theatre. Discounts for SWIFF Film Club members.

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