2023 Hong Kong French Film Festival - 70 years of rendez-vous avec French cinema

The Hong Kong French Film Festival (HKFFF) returns to the city's cinemas in November 2023 with a large selection of more than 50 films. French talents including actresses, actors, writers, directors, and photographers are invited to come to Hong Kong for a series of events. This year we are presenting 30 new films, of which two thirds of them are Asia Premiere. The selection also includes two animations, four documentaries and a retrospective of eighteen films spanning across 70 years of French cinema. 2023 is a special year as the 52nd edition marks the 70th anniversary of Alliance Française Hong Kong, the founder of Hong Kong French Film Festival in 1953.

The 52nd edition of Hong Kong French Film Festival is more than a milestone for the festival itself but also sharing a collective memory for all the French film lovers out there. The Festival would like to invite all the cinephiles to join the event and celebrate 70 years of French cinema together! Bon festival!

Every year, The Festival selects films with a theme to embrace. This year, the selection of new films can be categorized into two main themes; social and institutional justice, the complexity and struggles of relationship.

Social and Institutional Justice

Justice and the questions it raises are at the heart of this year's film festival. The opening film, Anatomy of a Fall (L'anatomie d'une chute), won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2023. It a drama about an investigation of the guilt or innocence of a popular novelist (Sandra Hüller) who are accused of murdering her husband. I will always see your faces (Je verrai toujours vos visages), directed by Jeanne Herry who are specialized in social issues. The film is about restorative justice. A system that offers victims and perpetrators of offences the opportunity to dialogue through secure systems. Abbé Pierre and his quest for social justice, The Edge of the Blade (Une Affaire d'Honneur) by Vincent Perez and the exercise of individual 'self-justice' embodied by the duel in the 19th century. Vincent Perez is our guest of honor at the festival, together with Karine Silla, co-scenarist of the film.

The Complexity and Struggles of Relationship

Another key theme of this year’s selection is about relationship of the couple. Tran Anh Hung's latest film, The Pot au Feu (La Passion de Dodin Bouffant), received the award of The Best Director (Prix de la mise en scène) at the Cannes Film Festival 2023. The story is about how the couple (played by Benoît Magimel and Juliette Binoche) turns the practice of gastronomy and mutual admiration into a romantic relationship. The director and guest of honor, Tran, will have an online Q&A following the screening. 

Suddenly (Soudain Seuls) is based on a novel, about a stranded couple (played by Gilles Lellouche and Mélanie Thierry) on an island who were supposed to be on their dream journey.

Out of Love (Le Bonheur est pour demain), starring Laetitia Casta, is about a crazy, passionate, no-holds-barred love story. When we talk about relationships, we have to mention the film Jeanne du Barry. It tells the story of a woman (played by Maïwenn) who came from humble beginnings and become the favorite mistress of Louis XV (Johnny Depp) in the 18th century.


The documentary section includes four films of which Karine Silla directs two of them, The Mixing (Métissages) and Amandiers (Les Amandiers aux Amandiers). A third poignant documentary, Living Legacy (Vivants), explores with sensitivity of the end of life and Chambre 999, is about the profession of the filmmaker.

Retrospective – 70 years of French Cinema

The Retrospective section presents 18 films that are well loved by the audiences since the first edition back in 1953, the same year that Alliance française Hong Kong was founded. Classics such as Et Dieu créa la femme, Les 400 coups, Les choses de la vie, La reine Margot and Amélie Poulain, and popular hits such as Taxi, La grande vadrouille, Nikita, Jean de Florette and Les Tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine will be presented in this edition. In addition to the rich programme of screenings, Q&As, and master classes, renowned film critic Jean-Pierre Lavoignat will present a series of screenings and lectures on the work of the directors Claude Sautet, Romy Schneider and Patrice Chéreau.

Photo Exhibition of Luc Roux

Last but not least, as part of 70th anniversary celebration of the Alliance Française Hong Kong, a special photo exhibition of Cinematic Pulse: In the heart of Luc Roux’s photographs (Le cinema au coeur) is organized during Hong Kong French Film Festival. The exhibition will take place from November 22 to December 3, 2023 at Soho House in Sheung Wan. This photo exhibition will allow you to discover a selection of 50 photos taken by Luc Roux, set photographer for French movies and co-founder of Studio Magazine. There will also be guided tours with the presence of Luc Roux, film critic and co-founder of Studio Magazine Jean-Pierre Lavoignat.

More information of the Hong Kong French Film Festival will be available on www.hkfrenchfilmfestival.com and www.afhongkong.org