French film festival free to students

Jennifer Shore

The third annual Tournées Festival is bringing films from across the ocean to splash Kent State students with something they are familiar with — movies.

“The people in those movies are, in a sense, more like themselves, their friends or their families than the Hollywood figures we see,” said Françoise Massardier-Kenney, professor of French translation.

The French film festival is a four-day event that will begin today and take place in Room 177 of the Michael Schwartz Center. The films are free and open to the public.

With students in mind, cosponsors Kenney and history professor Rebecca Pulju picked five films from a list given to them by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

“There aren’t a lot of opportunities to see foreign films, or French films in particular, very close to campus or to Kent,” Pulju said. “We thought it would be a great chance for them to be introduced.”

Kenney said she travels to France quite often and sees a lot of movies, and she picked ones with different genres that would interest students. She said these are different from Hollywood movies, which are made to attract the biggest name and audience possible to generate a large profit. In France and many other countries, grants are given to some filmmakers by the government.

“They are able to worry less about pleasing most people,” Kenney said.

Aside from a personal interest in watching movies in other languages, Sarah Cook, freshman French translation major, watches them to gain a better understanding of the French language.

Kenneth Bindas, professor and chair of the history department, said experts from the area are partnered with a film and will lead a discussion before and after the viewing. He said that the discussion leaders will lay down a contextual foundation for the people who are watching the film.

Kenney said as students are watching, they can relate to the specific characters and what they go through, even though they are French movies with English subtitles.

“I think sometimes students are intimidated by watching a film with subtitles or a film in a different language,” Pulju said. “We picked films that were very accessible and would be entertaining to American students so that they, perhaps, will find foreign film less intimidating. They’ll realize when you watch a film with subtitles, you very quickly get used to it, and it’s not intimidating or hard to follow.”

Contact College of Arts and

Sciences reporter Jennifer Shore

at [email protected].