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Film festival to highlight French cinema

The artistic style and storytelling of French cinema is coming to UNC.

The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, in collaboration with the Center for European Studies, will be hosting the Tournees Film Festival starting tonight.

The festival will showcase five films between Feb. 5 and 27, which are all free to Francophiles and film lovers alike.

“I’m excited for all of (the films),” said Anna Bernard-Hoverstad, the festival’s organizer. “It’s a diverse set. Of the five films, some are more frenchy-French than others. Like the first one we’re screening, ‘Couleur de Peau: Miel,’ which is a semi-autobiographical movie based on this comic book. It’s about a Korean child, adopted by a Belgian family, remembering what his childhood was like and understanding his mixed cultural heritage.”

Hoverstad also wrote the grant application to the French American Cultural Exchange allowing UNC to be able to host the festival. She worked closely with professor Hannelore Jarausch, UNC’s director of French language instruction, to keep the festival on track.

“We wanted to have different films that would appeal to a variety of audiences,” Jarausch said. “These are films not just from France, but that also represent a lot of the French speaking world.

“We have some animated films, some dramas, we tried to find things people wouldn’t get to see otherwise. It’s easy to pick something trivial, but you want to appeal to the film buff as well as to those who want to see movies for entertainment.”

Erica Edwards, executive director of the Center for European Studies, gave the festival her endorsement, citing the global and cultural perspective it brings to those attending.

“It’s about the Francophone identity,” Edwards said. “How it manifests itself in different countries and at different ages. While a lot of these are about France, they show how people see French culture around the world and in different communities. It’s about reminding people that it’s not just France, but a larger francophone world and a larger identity that surrounds that.”

This is the second time that UNC has received the grant to host the festival, with similar grants now awarded to Duke and UNC-Greensboro to host on their respective campuses.

“A lot of people take a language just because there is a requirement, but tons of students are excited about more depth than just the baguette and wine culture,” Hoverstad said. “Movies are a way to bring people into that culture because, well, people just seem to like them.”

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