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2008 News Releases

Longwood to offer French Film Festival

January 11, 2008

The films, all of which are free, have English subtitles and start at 7 p.m., are funded by a grant made possible with support from the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture. The February French Film Festival is part of the Tournées Festival, a project to bring contemporary French films to college campuses and to a wider American audience.

“For a community the size of Farmville, this is a rare opportunity enjoyed primarily by art-house theaters in large cities that regularly screen international and independent films,” said Dr. Wade Edwards, assistant professor of French. “We’ll be able to imitate that art house experience, at least for a month. We hope the festival will allow us to bring together people with similar interests and experiences. And since Longwood hosts 15 French business students every spring, we hope the films give them a small taste of home.”

The schedule, including location, is:

  • Monday, Feb. 4: Paris, Je t’aime, Lankford Ballroom. This is a patchwork of 18 short, low-budget films by various directors, including the Coen brothers and Gérard Depardieu, each focusing on a different Paris arrondissement (neighborhood). Actors include Natalie Portman, Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara and Catherine Deneuve.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 12: The Chorus, Hull 132. Nominated for two Oscars in 2005 and featuring original music, this is about a teacher at a boys’ boarding school who transforms the lives of his students through the magic of choir singing and music. Students from several area high schools, including Prince Edward County High School, plan to attend additional screenings at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Additional schools are also invited.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 20: Bamako, Longwood Center for the Visual Arts (Third and Main streets, Farmville) lower level. Winner of the 2007 Best Francophone Prize, produced by Danny Glover and set in the West African nation of Mali, this film juxtaposes Africa’s political and economic grievances with refined scenes of more mundane family struggles.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 26: The Beat That My Heart Skipped, Lankford Ballroom. A re-interpretation of James Toback’s 1978 cult neo-noir film Fingers, this edgy thriller combines equal parts Bach and rock in a Gallic transformation of the gangster-seeking-redemption genre.

  • Monday, March 3: Poison Friends, Lankford Ballroom. In what has been described as an “engaging tale of ambition, fabulation, romance and deceit,” four friends compete for attention and fame as they navigate the treacherous world of literature, academic and dissertation writing.

The festival is co-sponsored by the Department of English and Modern Languages, the General Education Film Series, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, and the Women’s & Gender Studies Program. For more information, phone Edwards at 395-2181 or visit: