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U. of I. to host festival of award-winning French films Oct. 7-13

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been selected to host the prestigious Tournées French Film Festival. Only 50 college and university campuses are annually chosen to host the tour, after a competitive grant process.

The festival, a first for the area and being held in cooperation with Parkland College in Champaign, will take place Oct. 7 to 13 (Friday through Thursday) at the historic Boardman’s Art Theatre, 126 W. Church St., Champaign.

Five award-winning films, all subtitled in English and having multiple screenings, will be shown throughout the week: “Brodeuses/Sequins” (directed by Eléonore Faucher, France, 2004), “L’Esquive/Games of Love and Chance” (Abdellatif Kechiche, France, 2003), “Moolaadé” (Ousmane Sembene, Senegal, 2004), “Notre Musique/Our Music” (Jean-Luc Godard, France-Switzerland, 2004), and “Qui a Tué Bambi?/Who Killed Bambi?” (Gilles Marchand, France, 2003).

The screening schedule is at

The festival is open to the public. All seats are reserved; prices for tickets, on sale now, range from $5.50 to $8.

Tournées, launched 10 years ago, is an annual grant program designed to support the screening of contemporary French films on U.S. college and university campuses. Additional financial support for the festival came from the U. of I. French department and the Foreign Language Building Fund, Parkland College and the Hub, a local newspaper.

Margaret Flinn, an assistant professor of French and of cinema studies at Illinois led the grant proposal to bring the festival to Champaign-Urbana.

“We’re honored to have been selected from applicants all over the U.S. to receive a Tournées grant for culture,” Flinn said.

“And we’re particularly pleased with the fantastic collaboration of Parkland College and Boardman’s Art Theatre.”

Flinn said the collaboration has been “an extremely productive triangulation among the institutions, the community and the students, which makes it, I believe, an especially positive town-and-gown venture.”

In her research, Flinn specializes in the French cinema of the 1930s. She is particularly interested in “the crossroads of film and politics as well as film and other art forms as intersecting cultural discourses,” she said.

The Tournées program is made available by FACE, the French American Cultural Exchange.

FACE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting contemporary creative work in the context of French-American cultural and educational exchange. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, FACE administers programs and projects in music, theater, dance, cinema, education and the visual arts.

The FACE Council supports French film festivals and screenings in collaboration with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Centre National de la Cinématographie, the Florence Gould Foundation and the French-American Cultural Fund.