Celebrating 10 years of bringing the best of French cinema to New Zealand, the Alliance Française French Film Festival unveiled the official film selection delivering the largest and most diverse selection of films to date. The 2016 programme features 37 titles, including a special section of films from the Cannes International Film Festival, Festival Patron Antonia Prebble's personal favourites and a number of international French-language productions.

"I am extremely proud and thrilled about our 2016 line-up," notes Festival Director Sébastien Donnadieu, "It illustrates our 10 year history. That of a daring, innovative, charming and inclusive event, for all ages and tastes".

The coveted Opening Night spot will see Julien Rappeneau's first feature  Rosalie Blum open the Festival in each city. The film will have its International Première at the Wellington launch on February 17.

The section 'Le Festival de Cannes en Nouvelle-Zélande' features the New Zealand premières of Palme D'Or winner Dheepan, the extraordinary  Valley of Love, starring Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu, Samuel Benchetrit's bewitching  Macadam Stories, Pascale Ferran's modern tale Bird People, and the poignant Mon Roi, which earned Emmanuelle Bercot the Best Actress Award at the 2015 Cannes International Film Festival.

Other highlights include Eva Husson's directorial debut and TIFF sensation  Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story), Piero Messina's The Wait, starring Juliette Binoche and Lou de Laâge (outstanding in last year's Breathe), and Michel Gondry's latest film,  Microbe & Gasoline.

Moving into new territory, the line-up will also feature two French television series in the 'TV Out of the Box' section. Helmed by a star-studded cast and produced by Studiocanal, The Last Panthers is a thrilling crime drama based on real events. Samantha Morton, Tahar Rahim, Goran Bogdan and John Hurt give affecting performances, and audiences will have a chance to see the first two episodes of season one during the Festival. Rounding out the section is the award-winning historical drama Un Village Français. Set in the small town of Villeneuve during the Second World War, the screening of the first two episodes of the series will be an unmissable event at the cinema.

The 2016 programme includes four titles which have been selected for the Festival's 2016 Education Outreach programme. Designed to engage, educate and inspire student audiences by exposing them to French language in context, the Education Outreach Programme encourages discussion in the classroom through comprehensive study guides, which are provided free of charge on the Festival website. For more information, visit  www.frenchfilmfestival.co.nz/education-outreach/

The Alliance Française French Film Festival will run from 17 February - 13 April 2016 in 12 cities across New Zealand and tickets are now on sale through Festival venues. For the full line-up, visit www.frenchfilmfestival.co.nz

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