French film festival returns to campus

The French department received a grant from the French American Cultural Exchange to conduct the French film festival on campus for the second time. The event began last week as part of National French Week and goes through Nov. 16 during International Education Week. The festival spans three weeks in all.

“FACE foundation has a lot of different grants. One is for the Tournées Film Festival. They suggest six francophone films for a month long period,” said Heather West, assistant professor of French and director of Samford’s critical languages program.

The organization provides a range of films covering the classic, alternative and current eras.  

“FACE requires five from current or alternative periods and one from the classic,” West said.

The primary themes for the festival are women, immigration and anti-colonization. These more specific topics are a prominent change from last year when the festival covered very broad topics, according to West.  

The film festival is not just for French majors, West said. They work with other programs on campus so that people not studying French can still be exposed to French culture.

“Last year, we had an overlap with the German department with a film about WWII,” said West.

The festival will showcase films with a cultural overlap to reach a wider audience.

“Since the French colonized lots of African, Asian and Caribbean countries, there is a broader appeal,” said West.

There were 51 people at the first film screening and 46 at the second, which is roughly the same as last year, according to West.

A student from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nathan Muteba, who leads weekly French conversation tables, helped introduce “Examen d’État,” a documentary about an exam taken by students of the country which determines if they will go into manual labor or attend university.

The festival partners with several organizations including the Samford Film Club and American Association of Teachers of French to foster discussions after each film.

“This is a great activity for National French Week and International Education Week,” said West.

All the films are free and open to the community. Convocation credit will be offered to students.

“We want people to come who are not studying French,” said West.

All the films will have English subtitles and be shown in the Christenberry Planetarium.


Avril et le monde truqué (April and the Extraordinary World)

October 30, 7 p.m.


Nov. 1, 7 p.m.                           

La noire de… (Black Girl)         

Nov. 6, 7 p.m.                

Examen d’État (National Diploma)

Nov. 8, 7 p.m.              


Nov. 14, 4 p.m.

Deux jours, une nuit (Two Days, One Night)    

Nov. 16, 4 p.m.


Daniel Dodson, News Writer

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