RWU to Host Fifth Annual Tournées French Film Festival from April 3 to 8

Festival kicks off on Monday, April 3, with "Valley of Love" and features the premiere of award-winning short films on Saturday, April 8

A scene from one of the films featured in the festival.
From the film “May Allah Bless France!”
Juan Siliezar

BRISTOL, R.I. – The Tournées Film French Film Festival returns to Roger Williams University with six acclaimed French feature-length films and the premiere of a selection of award-winning short films. Presented in collaboration with Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival, the festival runs from April 3 to 8. The films bring the RWU community a sampling of issues societies across the globe are currently confronting and feature both French acting legends and wider known actors like Viggo Mortensen.

Through the films, audiences at RWU will be exposed to situations and landscapes that aren’t normally portrayed in Hollywood films. The films selected are meant to expand the appreciation of a larger world and address topical issues such as immigration, assimilation, diversity and cultural identity, said George T. Marshall, adjunct professor of communications and film at RWU and executive director of the Flickers Art Collaborative.

"These films do not shy away from controversial explorations of difficult issues, many of which seem ripped from the front page of international newspapers," Marshall said. The issues and themes addressed in the films also connect to RWU’s year-long focus on the "Quest for Refuge," he added.

The film festival is a program of the FACE Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, which aims to bring French cinema to American college and university campuses. The films try to illuminate the realities of social oppression, isolation and alienation while at the same time focusing on characters who desire acceptance, intimacy and a sense of belonging.

"These are films that will move, inspire and motivate audiences with powerful storytelling," Marshall said.

All films – screened with English subtitles – are free and open to the public. All showings, except the final day, will be at 6 p.m.

Look for these upcoming films:

April. 3 – Global Heritage Hall, Room 01
"Valley of Love," directed by Guillaume Nicloux, features French acting legends Isabelle Huppert and Gérard Depardieu and tells the story of a divorced couple who meet in Death Valley after receiving a letter from their recently deceased son, who committed suicide, promising he will reappear there.

April. 4 – Mary Tefft White Cultural Center
"Far From Men," directed by David Oelhoffen, stars Viggo Mortensen who plays a French teacher in Algeria who finds himself escorting a man through a desert landscape to the nearest city to face trial for murder; the two men quickly find themselves at odds and stuck between French troops and rebel fighters.

April. 5 – Global Heritage Hall, Room 01
"Rififi," directed by Jules Dassin, is one of the uncontested peaks of hardboiled French noir and tells the story of the consequences of an aging gangster’s final heist.

April. 6 – Global Heritage Hall, Room 01
"May Allah Bless France!" written and directed by Abd Al Malik, is a coming-of-age story and redemption tale that tells the story of a young rapper who funds his budding music career through petty crime.

April. 7 – Global Heritage Hall, Room 01
"Eastern Boys," directed by Robin Campillo, is a complex thriller about a middle-aged gay professional who decides to rescue his undocumented, young lover from his troubled life.

April. 8 – Global Heritage Hall, Room 01
At 2 p.m., Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival will premiere a collection of award-winning short films celebrating the Francophone experience across the globe. At 4 p.m., "Phantom Boy," directed by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, will be screened. The film tells story of the unlikely alliance between a wheelchair-bound police officer and a seriously ill eleven-year-old.

The RWU Tournées French Film Festival was made possible by a grant from the French American Cultural Exchange, a New York-based nonprofit that promotes French culture through grants and special projects in arts and education. For more information on the Tournées Film French Film Festival visit www.RIFilmFest.org.