Hobart and William Smith Colleges will host The Tourneés Festival, highlighting five contemporary French films of differing genres in February.
The festival will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 5 with the film “Les Hommes Libres” (Free Men), and conclude on Thursday, Feb. 21, with a showing of “Les Femmes du 6Ème Ètage” (The Women on the 6th Floor). Each viewing is free and open to the public, and will take place at 7 p.m. in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library.
In addition, several other films will be shown as part of the series, including “Le Havre” (Le Havre) on Wednesday, Feb. 6; “La Princesse de Montpensier” (The Princess of Montpensier) on Wednesday, Feb. 13; and “Le Gamin Au Vélo” (The Kid with a Bike) on Wednesday, Feb. 20. All films will be in French with English subtitles. A brief description of each film is as follows:
The opening film, “Les Hommes Libres,” tells the story of Algerian immigrants’ contributions to the French Resistance during World War II. Produced by Ismaël Ferroukhi and screen written by Alain-Michel Blanc and Ismaël Ferroukhi, the film illuminates the Middle East and Europe in a pivotal time in history.
“Les Femmes du 6e étage” produced by Philippe Le Guay and screen written by Philippe Le Guay and Jérôme Tonnerre is the story of a Parisian stockbroker who finds compassion for the sufferings of his Spanish maid, Maria, who tells him tales of life in Spain under Franco’s regime. “Les Femmes du 6e étage” will interest both French and Spanish studies students as it brings together these two cultures in this 2010 comedy.
“Le Havre,” both produced and written by Aki Kaurismäki recounts the mobilization of an entire French town to protect an illegal African child from deportation. The film “La Princesse de Montpensier” is an Early Modern love story that tells the tale of a woman who is married to one man, but is in love with another. A 17th-century retelling of a medieval myth produced by Bertrand Tavernier and written by Jean Cosmos, Madame de La Fayette, François-Olivier Rousseau, and Bertrand Tavernier will interest both English and European studies majors. “Le Gamin Au Vélo” both directed and screen written by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne tells the story of a boy’s search for love after being abandoned by his father.
HWS offers three popular study abroad programs throughout France, from Aix en Provence to Rennes. Hosting The Tourneés Festival is a unique opportunity for the Colleges, with only a handful of schools throughout the country receiving the privilege.
The Tourneés Festival is a product of French American Cultural Exchange, as well as the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. The program strives to bring the latest French films to the campuses of American colleges and universities, and commits nearly $200,000 in grants each year to help schools start their own French film festivals.
Now in its 17th year, the program has partnered with more than 400 colleges and universities, providing French films to more than 500,000 students. Along with being closely linked to the French Embassy, the Tourneés Festival has begun a new partnership with CampusFrance, an NGO that promotes studies in French universities.
The Tournées Festival was made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S. and the Centre National de la Cinématographie et de l’Image Animée. Additional sponsors: Florence Gould Foundation, CampusFrance, Grand Marnier Foundation, highbrow entertainment. At HWS, the events are sponsored by the French and Francophone Studies Department.