21st Rencontres Cinema Des Antipodes

The 21st Cinéma des Antipodes took place in St Tropez in October, with summer-blue skies, full houses and vibrant films from Australia and New Zealand.

“It is a great honour for the Australian Embassy to support this festival,” said Australian Ambassador Mr Brendan Berne, who was there to receive several prizes on behalf of the Australian films in competition.

“My heartfelt thanks to Bernard Bories, President of the Cinéma des Antipodes, and his hard-working team of volunteers.”

In these 21 years, ABIE member Bernard Bories has brought to St Tropez, and the Australian Week he organises at the Cannes Film Festival, the best films and documentaries available.

The figures speak for themselves :

  • 600 films and documentaries screened
  • 60,000 entries
  • 9,000 high school students, many of whom discovered Australia and New Zealand for the first time.

And as 21 is regarded as the age of coming of age, his clever opening night programming looked back to the coming of age of the Australian cinema, with Gillian Armstrong’s My Brilliant Career. Forty years ago, the film launched the director and it’s two stars, Judy Davis and Sam Neill, into international careers.

Another directing star from that crop of new Australian directors, Oscar-winning Bruce Beresford, won this year’s audience prize with Ladies in Black, his nostalgic love poem to Australia of the 1950s. Look for it soon in Paris with the title Les Petites Robes Noires.

Two other films that may have a French release are Top End Wedding, a romantic comedy that turns racial stereotypes on their head, and the hard-hitting Slam that follows the implosion of an Arab immigrant family when a member is suspected of terrorism.

To learn more about ABIE member Bernard Bories, click here.

Photo credit: 2019/ Claire de Robespierre