Launching the 2012 Festival will be Declarations of War (La Guerre est declaree), a powerful tale selected as France's official submission for the 2012 Academy Awards. Based on real-life events, Declaration of War will screen courtesy of Palace Films, and is the compelling tale of a young Parisian couple whose carefree existence is suddenly shattered by an unexpected twist of fate. A massive box office success in its native France, Declaration of War is just one of 45 films and documentaries on offer in this year's line-up, which will also include a closing night presentation of Francois Truffaut's 1980 classic, The Last Metro, starring Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu and Jean Poiret.
2012 Festival Highlights include:
A Happy Event [Un heureux evenement] Director: Remi Bezancon
This stylish, contemporary drama with a comedic tone, takes an intimate look at a woman's most joyful, painful, terrifying and life-changing experience: first-time motherhood.
All Our Desires [Toutes nos envies] Director: Philippe Lioret
Claire, a 30-year-old judge at Lyon magistrate's court, becomes locked in a fight for justice, on behalf of citizens impacted by the unscrupulous practices of the financial services industry. Her plight piques the interest of disenchanted colleague Stephane, who becomes drawn into the case. Something emerges between them: a mixture of rebellion, outrage, and above all and urgent need to live life to the fullest.
And If We All Lived Together [Et si on vivait tous ensemble] Director: Stephane Robelin
Annie, Jean, Claude, and Jeanne have been friends for more than 40 years. So when the possibility of being consigned to an old-age home rears its ugly head, they rebel and decide to cohabit.
Beloved [Les bien-aimes] Director: Christophe Honore
Starring Catherine Deneuve and her real-life daughter Chiara Mastroianni, this sly and exquisitely romantic musical-drama spans four decades as it follows a mother and daughter's twin misadventures in love.
Point Blank [A bout portant] Director: Fred Cayave
In this classic wrong-man scenario, an innocent nurse-in-training whose career is on the rise, finds himself entangled in a web of violent chaos when his wife is kidnapped, before his very eyes, from their apartment one evening.
Presumed Guilty [Presume coupable] Director: Vincent Garenq
This chillingly raw account of one of France's most famous miscarriages of justice, tells the true story of Allain Marecaux, an average family man from a small village in the north of France who, along with 17 other people, was wrongly accused and jailed for paedophilia in 2001.
Omar Killed Me [Omar m'a tuer] Director: Roschdy Zem
Based on a true story, this compelling drama revisits a famous murder case in which a poorly educated Moroccan immigrant was imprisoned for a crime that may not have committed.
Romantics Anonymous [Les emotifs anonymes] Director: Jean-Pierre Ameris
Two shy chocolate makers find the perfect recipe for love in this moving comedy.
The Conquest [La conquete] Director: Xavier Durringer
This part fictional, part factual biopic gives an account of the rise of President Nicolas Sarkozy to power.
The Well-Digger's Daughter [La fille du puisatier] Director: Daniel Auteuil
At the onset of WWII, a young and beautiful country girl has a chance encounter with a seductive and handsome pilot from a bourgeois family that leads to a fleeting romance and future heartbreak.
National dates and venues for the 2012 Festival are:
Sydney 6-25 March (Palace Verone, Palace Norton Street, Chauvel Cinema and Hayden Orpheum Cremorne)
Melbourne 7-15 March (Palace Cinema Como, Palace Balwyn, Palace Westgarth, Palace Brighton Bay and Kino Cinemas)
Brisbane 14 March - 1 April (Palace Centro and Palace Barracks Cinema)
Canberra 14 March - 1 April (Greater Union Mauka and Arc Cinema, National Film and Sound Archive)
Adelaide 20 March - 8 April (Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas)
Perth 21 March - 9 April (Cinema Paradiso, Lunz on SX and Windsor Cinema)
For booking and session details, visit the Festival's official website at http://www.affrenchfilmfestival.org