Annual French film festival runs Oct. 7 to Nov. 3

The University of St. Thomas this fall will once again host the Tournées Festival, an event in which five French films will be presented on campus.

A different film will be shown each week beginning Oct. 7 and ending Nov. 3. All showings will be held in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center and will begin at 7 p.m.

The films are free and open to the public.

Since its inception, the Tournées Festival has partnered with hundreds of universities and has made it possible for more than 300,000 students to discover French-language films. St. Thomas was awarded a grant from the Tournées Festival to choose and feature five French films from a list of current selections. The French section of the university’s Modern and Classical Languages Department applied for the grant and is hosting the festival at St. Thomas.

The film schedule is listed below. There will be a discussion following the film "Persepolis" on Oct. 28. Receptions will follow the Oct. 7 and Nov. 3 screenings.

Tuesday, Oct. 7

"Ne le dis à personne" (Tell no one)

Alex, a pediatrician, has been devastated since his wife Margot was savagely murdered eight years ago. One day he receives an anonymous e-mail. When he clicks on the inserted link, he sees a woman’s face standing in a crowd, being filmed live. Alex is in shock; it is his wife’s face. Alex’s unrelenting questioning unravels a sordid story that will incriminate unscrupulous family members and ultimately reunite him with his wife (some violent content).

Tuesday, Oct. 14

"Le Scaphandre et le papillon" (The diving bell and the butterfly)

Elle France editor Jean-Dominique Bauby suffered a stroke at the age of 43 that paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Using that eye to blink out his memoir, Bauby eloquently describes the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he only visits in his mind.

Tuesday, Oct, 21

"’L’Origine de la tendresse’ et autres contes" (‘L’origine de la tendresse’ and other tales)

A series of short films including:

– "My Mother, Story of an Immigration," The story of the director’s mother who left Algeria in 1956 to reunite with her husband in Paris.
– " L’origine de la tendresse," Elise is a quiet, solitary woman who works as a museum attendant. Nothing really happens in her life. And in a life in which nothing happens, no moment is devoid of meaning.

The other shorts include: "Pen-pusher," "One Voice One Vote," "The Last Day" and "Kitchen."

Tuesday, Oct. 28

" Persepolis"

This animated film tells the poignant coming-of-age story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic Revolution. Clever and fearless, Marjane outsmarts local "social guardians."

As a student in Vienna she has to combat being equated with the religious fundamentalism she is trying to escape. Marjane endures the typical ordeals of a teenager as she continues to speak against the hypocrisy she witnesses. There will be a panel discussion after the film.

Monday, Nov. 3

"Le Voyage du ballon rouge" (Flight of the red balloon)

A mysterious red balloon affectionately follows a little boy around Paris. Inspired by Albert Lamorisse’s classic 1956 short film, "The Red Balloon," the fluid elegance of Hou’s first French-language film finds grace in the simplest details and gently discovers a Paris previously unseen.

The Tournées Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture, the Florence Gould Foundation, the Grand Marnier Foundation, highbrow entertainment, Agnès b., the Franco-American Cultural Fund, the St. Thomas Libraries-Media Resources Collection and the St. Thomas Department of Modern and Classical Languages.

More information about the Tournées Festival and the films can be found at http://www.facecouncil.org/tournees/index.html.