LSU to Screen French Films as Part of National Grant Program
Films, discussions and cultural talks every Monday and Thursday beginning Nov. 3
BATON ROUGE – LSU will screen a series of recent French films every Monday and Thursday for the first three weeks of November as part of a grant sponsored by the French Ministry of Culture and the French Embassy. The festival will begin on Nov. 3 with Oscar-nominated gangster epic “Un prophète,” or “A Prophet,” and end on Nov. 17 with the French-Iranian film “Copie Conforme,” or “Certified Copy,” starring Juliette Binoche.
Events will begin at 6 p.m. in Lockett Room 6 on LSU’s campus, but the festival’s closing night will move to the Art & Design auditorium. Admission is free and all films are open to the public.
As a host school for The Tournées Festival, LSU joins a select group of 40 American universities that the French American Cultural Exchange chose as a festival site. Given recent international political conflicts and Louisiana’s French heritage, the festival will focus on French films dealing with issues of decolonization and independence in countries ranging from Algeria and Senegal to the Ivory Coast.
“As the flagship research institution of Louisiana, LSU serves as a center for the study of how French culture has influenced the Gulf Coast,” said festival director Jerod Ra’Del Hollyfield. “My hope is that the festival will foster discussion between LSU and the greater Baton Rouge communities about how contemporary French cinema reflects the globalized world and how a unique state like Louisiana fits into that international scope.”
In addition to “A Prophet” and “Certified Copy,” the festival will feature several films that have won international critical acclaim, including Cannes Film Festival-winning French school system drama “Entre Les Murs,” or “The Class,” and the Oscar-nominated “Des Dieux Et Des Hommes,” “Of Gods and Men,” a true story of eight monks who attempted to preserve their ministry in a small Algerian village during a wave of fundamentalist terrorism.
The full schedule of films is as follows: “A Prophet” on Nov. 3, “The Class” on Nov. 7, “White Material” on Nov. 10, “Of Gods and Men” on Nov. 14, and “Certified Copy on Nov. 17.”
A postdoctoral fellow in LSU’s English department, Hollyfield sought a series of films that would appeal to scholars from a wide range of departments – many of whom will be on hand to moderate post-screening discussions.
“One of the best aspects of LSU is seeing how the work we’re doing in one department relates to what others are working on in completely different fields,” said Hollyfield.
In addition to several speakers from the French and English departments, the discussions will include professors from education, political science, film & media arts, mass communication and communication studies.
“The interdepartmental interest has been amazing,” Hollyfield said. “It’s a true testament to how dedicated faculty are to investigating the global issues that are becoming so much more a part of our daily lives.”
The event is cosponsored by LSU’s Center for French and Francophone Studies, Department of English, Department of French Studies, Film & Media Arts Program and International Studies Program.
Several local businesses and writers will also participate in the festival. Before the screening of the coffee plantation-set “White Material,” Highland Coffees owner Clarke Cadzow will give a brief talk on coffee culture. Likewise, Helana Brigman, blogger for Clearly Delicious and food writer for The Advocate, will discuss French fusion foods before “The Class.”