The Cultural Agenda
Cultural events are another way of reinforcing your knowledge and understanding of French and French speaking cultures. Whether it is organised by the Alliance française de Manchester or another organisation, you can find out what is happening in our area. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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On joue sur la terre / We play on earth
19 January - 21 February
@ Alliance Française de Manchester

"We play to enjoy ourselves, to pass the time, but also to learn, to defeat, to win money, to tempt fate or to scare ourselves. Games are a powerful expression of human nature and cultural diversities.” (Jean-Claude Jacq, Fondation Alliance française)

In 2010, the Alliance Française Foundation decided to create a photography competition that is open to the members of all the Alliance française centres around the world.

In 2014, the theme ‘On joue sur la terre / We play on Earth’ inspired amateur artists from 66 countries to participate in this worldwide contest. After carefully examining all the photos received, a professional jury (photographers, curators, journalists, etc.) selected 45 photos, which now have the chance to be exhibited around the world, from one Alliance Française to another.

Games have always existed, in all societies. This exhibition showcases games in their various social and cultural functions (board games, video games, outdoor games, children’s games, sporting events, etc.). It also gives us the opportunity to learn about the evolution of how people play games all around the world.

"A world which cultivates the art of play is a world full of life, one that advances.” (Françoise Huguier, photographer, President of the jury)

We invite you to discover these exceptional pictures at the Alliance between 19 January and 21 February 2015

Free Admission
Opening Times: Monday to Thursday 10am-8.30pm / Friday 10am-4pm / Saturday 9.30am-1pm
Climate – State of Emergency
International Photo Competition 2015


The Fondation Alliance française is holding an international photography competition under the patronage of the celebrated French photographer, journalist and environmentalist Yann Arthus Bertrand, with the theme “Climate – State of Emergency”.

To enter, you need to send two photos which capture how questions concerning climate and the way in which it is changing (or it is perceived to be changing) are being addressed in the area where you live. The photos may show the impact that climate has on the way people live, or the public or private solutions which have been devised and/or implemented to fight the adverse effects of climate change in your country of residence.

The overall winner, who will be selected by a jury in Paris, will be invited to Paris for a week, with travel and accommodation costs paid by the Fondation Alliance française.

Forty photos will be chosen by the jury for display in a collective exhibition held in Paris. Following the Paris exhibition, the photos will be available for display in Alliances françaises around the world.

Competition rules

The competition is free and is open to all entrants over the age of eighteen. However, professional photographers who have already gained recognition for their photographic work and are living from the proceeds of it are not eligible to compete.

Entrants should send two photographs on the theme of “Climate – State of Emergency” to the Alliance française de Manchester on or before 14 June 2015, in a TIFF or JPEG file, with a resolution of 300 dpi.

A title must be provided for each photograph, along with the following information:
- details of the camera used,
- the aperture,
- the shutter speed, and
- if photographic film has been used, details of the film (brand and ISO number).

Photos must be original, unpublished works. Entrants must be able to guarantee that they hold exclusive rights to the photos presented for the competition.

Entrants cede publication rights for their competition photos to the Fondation Alliance française for the duration of the competition.

Some pointers for photo content:
- you need to obtain consent from any people you photograph;
- you need to ensure that any photographs of buildings (new or historical) and/or street furniture are not subject to third-party rights;
- your photos should not feature objects such as clothing or furniture which have a visible brand or signature;
- you should avoid all representations of alcohol and tobacco and their consumption.

The competition winner and the 19 finalists expressly authorise the Fondation Alliance française to reproduce and distribute their photos free of charge for the collective exhibition. They also permit the Fondation Alliance française to promote and publicise their works worldwide, using any form of media, for a period of 24 months from the date of 20 November 2015.

Competition timeline

14 June 2015: deadline for photo submission.
A jury from the Alliance française de Manchester will choose a winner from the submissions received and will send the winner’s two photographs to the Fondation Alliance française in Paris on 15 June 2015.

25 October 2015: announcement of the competition winner and the 19 finalists. Publication of the results on the Fondation Alliance française website.

Competition prizes

A selection of the works of the winner and the finalists picked by the jury of the Fondation Alliance française will be displayed in a collective exhibition at a location in Paris chosen by the Fondation Alliance française and/or at the Fondation’s gallery.

Some of the selected photos will be published in specialist art and photography press.

The winner will be offered a week in Paris with transport (return ticket economy class), accommodation and a daily allowance of €40 provided by the Fondation Alliance française.
Visite guidée
The John Rylands Library

@ the John Rylands Library
Free of charge, booking required

Visit the John Rylands Library en français!

This building was opened to the public in 1900 and its neo-gothic style makes it one of the most beautiful libraries in the UK. Its special collection is also one of the largest in the country!

- Saturday 24 January (11am-12pm)
- Saturday 21 February (11am-12pm)
- Saturday 21 March (12pm-1pm)

The visit is free of charge but booking is required!
Tel.: 0161306055 or email: 

More info here.
Are We Charlie?
Friday 30th January - 5-7 pm
@ University of Manchester
free and public event

Following the events that occured in Paris early January, the University of Manchester organises a round-table so as to contextualise these attacks and their consequences.

The academic presentations will be followed by open debate.

- Olivier Cyran (Journalist, former collaborator with Charlie Hebdo)*
- Jonathan Ervine (French Studies, Bangor) "Comedy, Controversy and Consensus in France"
- Ravi Hensman (History, Manchester) "Blaming the Banlieues: a Suburban Perspective"
- Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet (Politics, Manchester) "The temptation of a Patriot Act à la française... Ain't we learnt nothing yet?"
- Hatsuki Aishima (Middle Easter Studies, Manchester) "Which Muslim Perspective?"
- Moshe Behar (Middle Eastern Studies, Manchester) "Thoughts on killing and the killed"

Lecture Theatre A, University Place
The University of Manchester
Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL

Free and public event.
Event organised by

*NB: O. Cyran left Charlie Hebdo in 2001 in disagreement with its editiorial line, which he considered as prejudiced against French Muslims. He will discuss the fraught place of secularism in French journalism.
Le Ciné-Club : "Du 9e au 7e"
Lulu femme nue
Friday 6 February - 6pm
@ Alliance Française de Manchester
£2 for members, £3 for non-members

The last movie of our cycle dedicated to graphic novels adapted to cinema...

Lulu femme nue
(2014, 90 min)
by Solveig Anspach (adapted from a graphic novel by Etienne Davodeau)
with Karine Viard, Bouli Lanners, Claude Gensac

Following a botched job interview, Lulu decides not to return home, leaving her husband and their three children in the lurch. It was not premeditated; it all happened quite simply. She steals a few days of freedom for herself, alone, on the coast with no other purpose in mind than to take full advantage of the moment, without feeling guilty about it. On the way, she crosses paths with a variety of people who, like herself, are at the edge of the world. These decisive encounters will help Lulu rediscover an old acquaintance she's not seen for years: herself.

Click to see the trailer (in French)

Film with English subtitles. Snacks & wine after the film
Ciné Goûter
Saturday 7 February - 2pm-4pm
@ Alliance Française de Manchester

The AF de Manchester in collaboration with La Petite Ecole de Manchester is happy to invite children to a special screening which will be followed by a small snack.

The programme is made up on "Le Tableau" (76 min.) directed by J-F. Laguionie (for children from 6 years old):
“A Wonder! Rapturous! Creative, colorful, and unexpectedly wise!
Laguionie brings the viewer gently up to the edge of some very large ideas and then, in a final scene that has the power to lift the hairs on your head, brings Lola the seeker to a moment of revelation and light. And then he has the imagination to go beyond that!"
- The Boston Globe

Click to view the trailer.
Film in French with English subtitles
Musique - Concert
De Gainsbourg à Gainsbarre
Friday 13 February - 6pm-9pm
@ Alliance Française de Manchester
£3 for members, £6 for non-members

A musical journey through the life of Serge Gainsbourg!

Serge Gainsbourg was an inspired lyricist and exceptional musician with an inimitable style of delivery; his many masterpieces of song-writing are among the most significant in French musical history.

Laura Illouz, a Manchester-based French singer, invites you to relive the highlights of Gainsbourg’s remarkable and colourful career, from its beginnings in the cabarets of Paris’s Left Bank to the “Gainsbarre” period of the eighties. A (re)discovery of the work of a truly iconic French artist awaits you at this performance, which will include both video clips and live interpretations of Gainsbourg’s best-known songs.

£3 for members, £6 for non-members
Snacks and wine included!

Booking advised at / 0161 236 7117
Book club
Pas pleurer
Monday 16 February - 6.15-7.30pm
@ Alliance française de Manchester

Pas pleurer by Lydie Salvayre (Prix Goncourt 2014)

Deux voix entrelacées.

Celle, révoltée, de Bernanos, témoin direct de la guerre civile espagnole, qui dénonce la terreur exercée par les Nationaux avec la bénédiction de l’Église contre "les mauvais pauvres".
Celle, roborative, de Montse, mère de la narratrice et "mauvaise pauvre", qui a tout gommé de sa mémoire, hormis les jours enchantés de l’insurrection libertaire par laquelle s’ouvrit la guerre de 36 dans certaines régions d’Espagne, des jours qui comptèrent parmi les plus intenses de sa vie.

Deux paroles, deux visions qui résonnent étrangement avec notre présent et qui font apparaître l’art romanesque de Lydie Salvayre dans toute sa force, entre violence et légèreté, entre brutalité et finesse, porté par une prose tantôt impeccable, tantôt joyeusement malmenée.

The Book Club will start at 6.15pm. A good intermediate level of French is recommended to be able to participate to the discussion.

No participation fee – Complimentary wine offered by l'Alliance.

Next sessions :

- Monday 16 March: Charlotte by David Foenkinos
- Monday 20 April: Fables by Jean de La Fontaine
- Monday 18 May: Un aller simple by Didier van Cauwelaert
- Monday 15 June: Rue des Boutiques Obscures by Patrick Modiano

Double Issue
Wednesday 18 February - 6pm-8.30pm
@ TOAST (6th floor, federation house, ballon street, M4 2AH)
Free, in French

“Double Issue” is a workshop led by an artist from Rennes, Stéphanie Vivier, which will take place as part of the project “Do you Speak Malentendu?”

“Do you Speak Malentendu?” is an idea from the Franco-British collective MUTO.
MUTO organises events that explore exhibition formats with a particular interest in artistic forms that have a special relationship to the places where art is exhibited: performance, sound, video...
This year MUTO’s theme is misunderstanding. And so, “Do You Speak Misunderstanding?” is based on theoretical, poetic and visual research devoted to dialogue and the multiple meanings of language.
In February, a collective residence is taking place in TOAST, where French and Mancunian artists will meet.

The Workshop. "Double Issue" is a writing and sound editing workshop, exploring the concept of polysemy and homography in the French and English languages. This workshop invites you to explore your voice and insert yourself as a fictional character within existing soundtracks.

It is organized into 2 phases:
1)    Writing time, generated from transparent words or false friends which are French/English homographs.
2)    Recording time, in groups of 2 or 3 people, turning dialogues/scores into sounds. These extracts are computerized and added to a sound database comprised of language course extracts. After this, the groups can create a new montage mixing their voices and fictional characters.

Free. Workshop animated in French.
Booking advised at or call 0161 236 7117
My Film French Festival
16 January - 16 February 2015

The 5th edition of will take place from 16 January to 16 February 2015!

This unique online Film Festival allows film lovers from around the world to have access to a selection of 10 feature films (first and second films released in France in 2013/2014) and 10 shorts, subtitled in 13 languages. The films will compete online for a one-month period.

The filmmaker's jury is presided this year by Michel Gondry (Eternal sunshine of a spotless mind, The Science of sleep, Mood Indigo).

Where to watch the films

All the films are available to viewers around the world on the online platform. The festival is also available through 25 partner platforms, which vary from country to country, including iTunes in more than 90 countries.

The short films are free, worldwide. The feature films are free in certain countries (including Latin America, China, India, Poland, Russia, and Turkey) and can be purchased as a pack (€9.99) or singly (€1.99) in the other countries.


Purple Noon (René Clément, 1960) will be available worldwide, free of charge for a period of 24 hours on the opening day of the festival (16 January 2015).

All the films in the festival selection will be available for a one month period in 13 languages (Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish).

Last year’s edition of MyFrenchFilmFestival was an unprecedented hit, with visitors from 205 territories accounting for four million screenings of the short and feature films in the selection over a period of one month, via the site and partner platforms.
French Trip
Spend Easter in Nîmes and Provence!
4 days of historical and gastronomic discovery
3 to 6 April 2015

The AF de Manchester invites you to a 4-day-long trip to Nîmes and Provence, one of the most beautiful and picturesque regions in France.

Come and spend an Easter week-end, guided by a teacher of the AF de Manchester, to enjoy wine tasting, historical visits and French cuisine courses. Delight in living the French way for a weekend.

Only 8 places available!
Price/person: £419 (double room) - £469 (single room)*
Deadline to register: 17.12.2014!

You will find further information below or at the Alliance.

*Please check the applicable conditions
French speaking Films at Cornerhouse

@ Cornerhouse

Great films not to be missed at the Cornerhouse...

25 + 28 January (Matinee Classics): Le rayon vert (The Green Ray) by Eric Rohmer (1986)

February : La maison de la radio by Nicolas Philibert (2013)

11 March: Playtime by Jacques Tati (1967)

15 + 18 March (Matinee Classics): Au revoir les enfants by Louis Malle (1987)

Members and students of the Alliance française de Manchester are entitled to a concessionary price for any French-speaking film screen

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More updates on cultural events, forthcoming sessions, information about French and French-speaking cultures and the opportunity to get in touch with others AF worldwide!

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Our partners

63 Degrés: Enjoy the French gastronomy during a smart and charming dinner. Members and students of AF de Manchester have a 10% discount by production of their card (valid for 2 people).

Cafe Rouge Printworks: A French food restaurant and cafe, where you will enjoy 20% discount on the bill, drinks not included, with your AF membership card.

Cornerhouse: AF members get concessionary price on French-speaking world movies!

Epicerie Ludo: Enjoy French food all the year! Members and students of AF de Manchester have a 10% discount by production of their card.

NCP: Enjoy a discount at the "NCP Chorlton Street" car park (just opposite the AF): £5 for up to 13 hours!

Patisserie Valérie (83 Oxford Street): patisserie, baguettes, salad, drinks, etc.
All members/students of the AF are entitled to 10% discount on any product in Patisserie Valerie Manchester Oxford Street store by production of their card (n
ot in conjunction with any other offers).


French Meet-up: Meet French or French speakers in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere!

La Petite Ecole de Manchester: the Saturday morning French school for bilingual children (with at least a native French-speaking parent).

L'UFBE: Union Francophone des Belges à l'Etranger (contact de la déléguée à Manchester : Cécilia LYON -

Manchester French Connection: A website by the University of Manchester which list all the events in Manchester linked to France or Francphonie. No to be missed!

Alliance française de Manchester

3rd Floor, 55 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 3HP

Tel : 0161 236 7117

Registered Charity n°1068084

Opening hours:

Mon - Thurs: 10am - 8.30pm

Friday: 10am - 4.30pm

Saturday: 9.30am - 12.30pm