The Tournées Film Festival is a program sponsored by FACE (French-American Cultural Exchange) working in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy to promote an appreciation for French film at American universities. For a university to host the festival, an application must be submitted to be approved to screen the films. When accepted, the university receives a grant from the program to pay for the films, posters, and other materials relevant to hosting the festival.
Films screened at each university’s festival are chosen from a list of French films compiled by the French Embassy of what they consider to be the best French films from the previous year. Requests may be made to the program if a film from the previous few years is desired, but the program focuses on the films from the year before.
WKU is in the midst of its fourth year hosting the festival. Dr. Jerod Hollyfield has coordinated WKU’s participation in the program for the last four years, with the assistance of Dr. Elizabeth Alsop, Dr. Ted Hovet, and various French professors who offer their insight on the chosen selection of films.
Choosing “Female Filmmakers and Characters” as the theme for this year’s festival, Dr. Hollyfield selected six films including: One Day Pica Asked, Clouds of Sils Maria, Girlhood, Timbuktu, Abuse of Weakness, and Two Days, One Night. The three-week festival began on Tuesday, November 3rd and will conclude on Tuesday, November 23rd. At each screening, at least two professors are present: a professor from the film or English department that teaches film classes and a professor from a department that corresponds to the subject of the film.
The festival is an opportunity to not only generate cultural enlightenment, but also foster discussion about gender issues currently highlighting gender representation and inequality in world cinema. Of this year’s festival, Dr. Hollyfield said, “My hope is that the festival will foster discussion between WKU and the greater Bowling Green community about how contemporary French cinema has a rich history of female protagonists and filmmakers.”
Dr. Hollyfield’s favorite screening of the festival thus far was the screening Clouds of Sils Maria, a film that won Kristen Stewart a French Academy Award, making her the first American to do so.
Reception to the festival began sparsely, but has since increased with an average participation ranging from 35-50 people in attendance.
The final screening of the festival will be Two Days, One Night on this Monday, November 23rd at 7pm in Cherry Hall room 125. A discussion of the film will follow its screening.
For more information on WKU’s hosting of the festival, visit tourneeswku .