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Kate Rodger Reveals Her Picks of the Programme

The Alliance Française French Film Festival Patron Kate Rodger Reveals Her Picks of the Programme

National Press Release: Alliance Française French Film Festival 2018
Press release for 1 February 2018

The Alliance Française French Film Festival is honoured to have entertainment reporter and cinephile Kate Rodger as the 2018 Festival Patron. With the full programme launch only a week away on 8 February, the Festival is delighted to reveal Kate Rodger’s picks from the 2018 line-up.

Of the more than 35 features screening in the 2018 Alliance Française French Film Festival, Kate Rodger’s top picks are Ava by Léa Mysius and Ismael’s Ghosts (Les Fantômes d’Ismaël) by Arnaud Desplechin. Her notes appear below.


“There is nothing j’adore more than the exciting cinematic aroma of a new, emerging and enormous talent, and in Ava, inhaling the first feature of young female filmmaker Léa Mysius filled me with joy. Here she tells the story of 13-year old Ava on holiday by the sea with her mother, the teenager facing a future with slowly diminishing eyesight. She is drawn to a local gypsy boy banished from his own community and living on the beach, and as their relationship grows she will see less and less, while seeing more and more. It’s a compelling notion, allowing the filmmaker and her audience to look beyond what they see, and instead to explore their other senses. This is a coming-of-age story told with an oftentimes confrontingly unique voice, intuitively cast and dripping with a brooding intimacy and intensity.”
Ismael’s Ghosts (Les Fantômes d’Ismaël)
“You’d be INSANE to let this opportunity pass you by, a chance to soak up three of France’s most gifted actors on the big screen. And what an unmitigated pleasure it is to watch Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard and César-winners Charlotte Gainsbourg and Mathieu Amalric face off with each other in a typically twisted and unpredictable love triangle. Amalric is a widowed film director, his grief still a palpable living, breathing force in his life. 20 years after his young wife disappeared, convincing all those close to her she was dead, Carlotta (Cotillard) reappears. Her arrival will of course throw Ismael’s life and his new relationship with Sylvia (Gainsbourg) into total chaos. Fabulously French, this is everything you need in a big screen festival outing, bursting at the seams with passion, life, comedy and a healthy dose of madness (or is it?). The fact this is also a film within a film will add an even more alluring extra layer for committed cinephiles.”

The Alliance Française French Film Festival will run from 1 March - 18 April 2018 in 13 cities across New Zealand. For dates and venues information, visit


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