News News: French & Francophone Studies Spring 2011

2000 attend the 2011 Tournées French & Francophone Film Festival

The 2011 Tournées French & Francophone Film Festival was attended by about 2000 people this year.

The 5th French & Francophone Film Festival took place from January 28th to February 25th at the Kimball Theater in Williamsburg.  Organized by prof. Magali Compan (MLL. French & Francophone) , the French & Francophone Film Festival was made possible this year again thanks to the funding of the Wendy and Emery Reves Center for International Studies, Literary and Cultural Studies program, Film Studies program, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture (CNC). Each film was free to the public.

This year films featured came from France, Belgium and Burkina Faso.  Each Friday night, for 5 weeks, we presented a different film. Two movies were presented during the weekend of the Global film festival (February 17-20).

The festival opened with a wine-and-cheese reception on Friday, 28th. The first movie featured was “Séraphine” a 2008 French-Belgian movie about Séraphine Louis (1864-1942), a French painter in the naïve style.  The movie reeceived the 2009 César for best film, while actress Yolande Moreau received the César for best actress that year. The movie was introduced by Prof. Catherine Levesque ( Dept. of Art and Art History).

On February 4th, we featured Le Silence de Lorna/Lorna’s silence by the critically acclaimed Dardenne’s brother. This 2008 social drama takes place in Charleroi, a declining industrial Belgian city and focuses on Lorna, a young woman who migrated to Belgium from Albania. The movie was presented by Prof. Gul Ozyegin (Dept. of Sociology).

On February 11th, Welcome (France, 2009), a movie featuring Vincent Lindon, was presented. Welcome takes place in Calais, Europe’s main gateway to Great Britain, were hundreds of illegal immigrants are trying to find an opportunity to cross. It documents the friendship between Simon Calmat (Lindon), a 40 years old swim coach, and a young Kurdish immigrant from Irak, Bilal. The movie was presented by Prof. Nicolas Medevielle (Dept. of MLL/ French & Francophone).

The next weekend, two movies were shown and included in the Global film festival’s program.

The landmark environmental film Home (France 2009) by world renowned areal photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and narrated by Glenn Close ’74 was presented on February 18th. Prof. Maryse Fauvel (dept. of MLL/ French & Francophone Studies) . After her intervention, director Yann Arthus-Bertrand made a few comments about his movie via skype!

The next morning, “Panique au village/ A town called Panic” (Belgium 2009), an animation film by Stéphane Aubier & Vincent Patar, was presented.

This years’ edition came to a close on February 25th with Reves de poussiere (2006 France, Burkina Faso), a meditative movie that presents the dismal conditions of gold miners in Burkina Faso. The movie was presented by prof. Neil Norman (dept of anthropology).

We are already working on the 2012 French and Francophone Film Festival’s edition. Next year we will no longer have the support of the French embassy, as we did in the last 5 years, but we are confident the festival is here to stay!