Film festival brings French cinema to campus

by Life Editor Tyler Hargett

While Florence’s AMC theater provides access to the newest Hollywood movies, fans of foreign films must look harder for screenings.

However, since Jan. 23, UNA has hosted the Tournées Film Festival, which works annually to bring French films to American college campuses.

So far, the films “Frantz” and “The French Minister” have screened. Through Feb. 27, a new film will screen every Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Wesleyan Auditorium.

The departments of foreign languages, history, English and communications are hosting the event, which is a collaboration within the UNA College of Arts and Sciences.

To feature the festival, Stephanie Coker, assistant professor in the department of foreign languages, applied for a $2,200 grant to cover the cost of screening six films, one classic and five modern. The list of titles to choose from is located on the festival’s official website.

Coker said she sought the grant to give the local community the chance to witness new culture and be able to view French cinema without having to drive a long distance.

“It opens up the dialogue about cultural differences (and) similarities and, thus, helps us better understand those around us, whether they be the international students and faculty on our campus or, certainly, the international issues we encounter in the news,” she said.

Admission is free for all UNA faculty and students, as well as members of the local community. The UNA French Club will provide free popcorn.

All films are spoken in French but feature English subtitles.

The French Club’s annual Mardi Gras party will coincide with the screening of 1946’s “Beauty and the Beast” Feb. 13 at 4:30 p.m.

Junior Cassandra Moore, president of the French Club, said the films give her an opportunity to further her knowledge of the French language.

“Watching movies made in other countries is a great way to globalize oneself, and it’s a great way to open one’s mind,” she said.

Sophomore Joy Machen said everyone should attend the festival to learn about a new culture.

“Even if French culture isn’t your favorite, you’re still learning about a culture that is different than your own,” he said. “If you love foreign language, history, global issues or just movies in general, the festival is a great way to spend your Tuesday night.”

For a list of the upcoming titles, visit the Department of Foreign Languages’ page on the UNA website.

Tournées Film Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S., the Centre National du Cinéma de l’Image Animee (CNC), the French American Cultural Fund, Florence Gould Foundation and Highbrow Entertainment.