Arts Campus News

Strong women in cinema to highlight UGA’s 2018 French Film Festival

The University of Georgia French Film Festival returns to campus every Tuesday during the month of February. Screenings will be held at 8 p.m. in Tate Theater beginning Feb. 6 and every subsequent Tuesday through Feb. 27. Screenings will be free for all UGA students and $3 for non-students.

Held on UGA’s campus annually from 2002-2009, the French Film Festival sought to offer more varied French-language films for UGA students. The festival went on hiatus with the opening of Athens’ local arthouse cinema Cine, where French offerings were screened more regularly. However, UGA’s French program and the department of theatre and film studies in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences are seeking to offer an even larger selection of French films for students, French language enthusiasts and cinephiles from the UGA and the Athens-Clarke County communities.

The four films to be shown during the festival emphasize strong female roles both on screen and behind the camera in a range of genres with starring performances by familiar names such as Marion Cotillard and Isabelle Huppert.

“Today, France boasts more female directors than any other national cinema in the world,” said Richard Neupert, French film scholar and theatre and film studies professor.

The series will begin Feb. 6 with Lost in Paris (Paris pied nus, 2016), a comedy following a Canadian woman’s trip to Paris in search of her aging aunt. Lost in Paris is directed by Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon, who also stars in the film. As Indiewire writes, “No modern comedy group has shown as much commitment to resurrecting the spirit of classic slapstick as [Abel and Gordon]. Their film’s wandering trajectory remains unpredictable until the bittersweet end.”

On Feb. 13, the 2014 Dardennes brothers’ film Two Days, One Night (Deux jours, une nuit) will screen. The film stars Marion Cotillard as a working class woman who must fight for her job after an extended absence.

The third film on Feb. 20 is Louise Archambault’s 2013 film Gabrielle, the tale of a 21-year-old woman with Williams Syndrome who seeks to live her life despite her affliction.

The final film of the festival is Mia Hansen-Love’s 2016 film Things to Come (L’avenir) on Feb. 27. The film stars actress Isabelle Huppert in a role written specifically for her. As Le Parisien writes, Huppert “inhabits her character perfectly. It is startling to watch her crawl into the skin of this woman who is simultaneously so strong and yet a bit lost.” Things to Come won Mia Hansen-Love the Berlin Film Festival’s Golden Bear for best direction.

Each screening will begin with a short introduction and will be followed by an optional discussion with UGA’s own student-run film organization Cine-club.

The French Film Festival is funded in part by the Romance languages department’s French fund and co-sponsored by the theatre and film studies department  and Cinematic Arts.