Cameron University presents Fourth Annual French Film Festival

Cameron University’s annual French Film Festival returns for the fourth year with three contemporary French language films on August 24-26. Free screenings of “Avenue Montaigne,” “The Little Prince,” and “Diplomatie” will take place in the Cameron University Theatre at 6:30 p.m. The festival will extend throughout the Lawton/Fort Sill community with special events held in conjunction with the films, and a scholarship from the Marco’s Fund Foundation will be presented to a Cameron student on opening night.

“Cameron’s annual French Film Festival continues this year with three great films,” says Marie-Ginette Baillargeon, festival director.  “Through partnerships with the Lawton County Club, Green Acres Market, The Percolator, Dillards and Cache Road Liquor, we plan to bring a small snippet of the French experience to the Lawton Fort Sill Community. In addition, we are thrilled to host director/producer Tara Pirnia, who will present a scholarship from the Marco’s Fund Foundation to a CU student.”

Here’s a look at the films selected for this year’s festival:

Thursday, August 24:  “Avenue Montaigne”  

A whirlwind comedy of intersecting lives, this 2006 film is a tribute to Paris, love and the invigorating power of art. Jessica has moved from her small provincial hometown to Paris to start a new life, inspired by her grandmother, Madame Roux, who "always loved luxury." She eventually gets a job waitressing in a small café, the Bar des Théâtres. The café is in an area of Paris close to several artistic venues, including the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and a concert hall, on Avenue Montaigne. Jessica meets a number of people who are all dealing with various life crises or changes. Catherine is an actress who has been typecast by her role in a popular TV soap opera and who yearns to do more artistically rewarding work. Jean-François is a world-renowned pianist who wants nothing more than to share his playing with those who would appreciate it least and to get away from formal classical music concerts. Jacques is an art collector who has decided to sell off his collection towards the end of his life. All three face pivotal turning points in their lives on the same night, with Jessica as a thread between all three. (PG-13)

Friday, August 25: “The Little Prince”

With a run time of 108 minutes, this 2015 fantasy marks the first adaptation of Antione Saint-Exupery’s classic illustrated novella as a full-length animated film.  A young girl strikes up a friendship with her neighbor, an eccentric aviator who tells her stories about a prince from a far-away asteroid whom he once met in the desert. These tales also include the prince's adventures across the cosmos and on Earth, as he encounters talking animals, a foolish businessman, and a monarch with no subjects. The production won the César Award for Best Animated Feature Film.  It has been cited as “Beautifully animated and faithful to the spirit of hits classic source material” and called “a family-friendly treat that anchors thrilling visuals with a satisfying story.” (PG)

Saturday, August 26: “Diplomatie“

Released in 2014, “Diplomatie” is a Franco-German historical drama that focuses on the relationship between Dietrich von Choltitz, the German military governor of occupied Paris, and Swedish consul-general Raoul Nordling. In August 1944, the Allies are marching toward Paris. Hitler gives orders that the French capital should not fall into enemy hands - or if it does, then ‘only as a field of rubble’. Choltitz is assigned to carry out this barbaric act and has mines planted on the Eiffel Tower, in the Louvre and Notre Dame and on the bridges over the Seine. Nordling steals into German headquarters through a secret underground tunnel and there starts a tension-filled game of cat and mouse as he tries to persuade Choltitz to abandon his plan. In this riveting adaptation of the stage success by Cyril Gély, director Volker Schlöndorff has created a psychologically elaborate game of political manners between two highly contrasting characters. While Choltitz entrenches himself behind his duty to unquestioningly obey all military orders, Nordling tries everything he can to appeal to reason and humanity to prevent the senseless destruction of the beloved ‘City of Light. (Not rated; suitable for mature audiences)

Embracing the French spirit are several community partners. The Lawton County Club dining room will be open to the public during the festival evenings of August 24-26 with a menu of savory and dessert crepes. Reservations are required. The Percolator will offer French brew and croissants available in its selection of coffees and side orders. Green Acres Market will feature French tastings at 5:30 p.m. in the theatre lobby on August 24. Dillard’s Lancôme will attend opening night with French make-up specials. Cache Road Liquor will offer French white wine tastings on August 19 and French red wine tastings on August 26 in their trophy room.

The Fourth Annual French Film Festival is presented by the Cameron University French Film Club. Funding has been provided by the Oklahoma Humanities Council (OHC), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and Apache Casino Hotel.

For more information about Cameron University’s Fourth Annual Film Festival, contact Dr. Marie-Ginette Baillargeon at 581-2262 or mbaillar@cameron.edu. Information is also available on Facebook  at Cameron University French Film Festival. 

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August 11, 2017