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Festival focuses on France

Last updated 05:00 30/01/2014

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Takapuna is saying bonjour for the first time to a major French film festival.

The Alliance Francaise French Film Festival runs from February 27 to March 16 and is hosted by Berkeley Cinemas Takapuna and Rialto Cinemas Newmarket.

Businesses are welcoming the festival's arrival with the Takapuna Beach Business Association holding a free open air French short film movie night and French market.

There's also a French waiters' race that will see hospitality staff go head to head with live commentary of the action.

Berkeley Cinemas Takapuna local manager Lesley Simpson is delighted the festival has come to Takapuna and hopes it will stay.

The festival runs in 11 cities across New Zealand and is described as one of the largest of its kind outside France.

It's supported by Alliance Francaise, a worldwide non-profit network of associations that aim to promote French language and culture.

The group runs evening classes at the Lake House in Takapuna.

The French market and open air movie night is in Hurstmere Green on February 5. The market starts at 4pm and films run from 9pm. The French waiters' race is from 6pm in the McKenzies Precinct. The festival's opening night in Takapuna, complete with red carpet, is on February 28. Go to for festival information.

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- North Shore Times

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