The community is encouraged to attend the 10th annual Francophone Film Festival Feb. 22-23 on the Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus in Savannah.
The Armstrong French Club started this event in the spring of 2008 thanks to a grant provided by the French Embassy and the Tournées Festival, which aims to bring French cinema to American institutions.
“We read about the Tournées Festival grant over 10 years ago and wanted to spread our love for the French-speaking world: the different cultures, the different countries, the different accents,” said Director for the Office of International Programs and Services for the Armstrong Campus Dorothee Mertz-Weigel, Ph.D. “We wanted to make sure that people knew French was spoken outside of France, and that French speakers are on all five continents. We also wanted anyone who wanted to watch a more current French-speaking film to be able to do so, for free, because culture and the wish to travel to another country for the time of a film should be available to anyone, especially on a university campus.”
The festival will feature five films in French with English subtitles. This year, the films will be shown over the course of two days and include two matinees so students from local schools can attend.
“The festival has grown in the last 10 years and is an event that is now expected in the Savannah community,” said Mertz-Weigel. “It has been attended by past Armstrong presidents, by the Honorary Consul for France and Germany (Denis Blackburne), the French community of Savannah, as well as local French teachers and their students, among many others.”
The following films will be shown at the Ogeechee Theatre on the Armstrong Campus:
Thursday, Feb. 22
“Ma Vie de Courgette” / “My Life as a Zucchini” | 1 p.m. (70 minutes)
Directed by Claude Barras, “Ma Vie de Courgette” swept last year’s European film festivals and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Film. The poignant 2016 Swiss-French adult animated comedy-drama follows a police officer and a group of friends, as they help an orphan adjust to life at a foster home. The New York Times calls it “a bittersweet celebration of friendship and empathy.”
“Frontières” / “Borders” by Fabio Meira | 6 p.m. (90 minutes)
In this 2017 film, four women from different regions develop friendships during a bus journey across West Africa and face the universal challenge of being independent women.
Friday, Feb. 23
“Un monstre à Paris” / “A Monster in Paris” | 10 a.m. (85 minutes)
This 3-D animated fantasy set in 1910 in Paris chronicles the adventures of Raoul and Emile after they accidentally let a monster loose from a scientist’s garden. This charming period comedy is directed by veteran animator Bibo Bergeron, who co-directed the DreamWorks features “Shark Tale” and “The Road to El Dorado,” and stars French actress Vanessa Paradis.
“The Banane” / “The Big Banana” | 6 p.m. (85 minutes)
An expose on the poor working conditions on banana plantations amid corporate profits in Cameroon, “The Big Banana” was banned in the Central African nation following its release in 2011.
“Louise en Hiver” / “Louise by the Shore” | 8 p.m. (75 minutes)
In this 2016 French animated drama, an elderly woman must find a way to survive at a seaside resort alone during a bad storm, confronting her memories and the harsh elements surrounding her. Nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the European Film Awards, The Hollywood Reporter calls it “endearing” and “directed with hand-drawn affection” by Jean-François Laguionie.
The French Club, the Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy, the Office of International Education and the College of Arts and Humanities are sponsoring the event. The event is free and open to the public.