French film festival coming to Kent State

John Milligan

The movie schedule includes:

Friday, Oct. 7, 7:30 – “Paris”

Saturday, Oct. 8, 7:30 – “A French Gigolo”

Friday, Oct. 21, 7:30 – “The Girl on the Train”

Saturday, Oct. 22, 2:00 – “Welcome”

Saturday, Oct. 22, 7:30 – “La France”

Kent State is hosting a French film festival Oct. 7-8 and Oct. 21-22 in the Michael Schwartz auditorium.

The festival is organized by the History Department and the Institute for Applied Linguistics. The film series is part of the Tournées Festival sponsored by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Kent State received a $1,800 grant from the embassy to help introduce the community to French film.

Rebecca Pulju, an assistant professor helping organize the festival, said this is the fourth French film festival the university has participated in. Pulju said she first became interested in French cinema because of her research on French history.

The films are chosen from a list provided by the Tournées festival. Pulju said the directors try to pick films that will appeal to a local audience.

“We just try to get a range of films. Some dramas, some comedies, something that appeals to everybody,” she said. “We get films that we feel will appeal to the audience here so the festival will be accessible to everyone.”

All of the films are in French but will be presented with English subtitles. Pulju said she thinks students will enjoy the film series and the language barrier shouldn’t intimidate them.

“I think that people think that if they have to read subtitles they won’t be able to get into the movie and enjoy it,” Pulju said. “But it seems that everyone who sees a movie with subtitles for the first time says afterward ‘Oh, I forgot that I was reading them.’”

Francoise Massardier-Kenney, co-director of the festival and professor of Modern and Classical Languages, said the subtitles shouldn’t discourage students from seeing the films. She said some may already be accustomed to reading subtitles from reading brand names and news tickers constantly.

“Subtitles tend to be short,” Massardier-Kenney said. “If you give it a try, you won’t even notice it after a while.”

Pulju said crowds in the past have been an interesting mix of international, history and graduate students, but the festival is free and open to the public.

“It’s a great opportunity to go to the movies for free,” she said.

Massardier-Kenney said she thinks the festival is a valuable event, designed to give students a chance to broaden their cultural experiences.

“These kind of cultural experiences are important to show students what is out there,” she said. “It’s an experience we can all share and enjoy.”

Contact John Milligan at [email protected].