April 5, 2007
The second annual Fort Kent French Film Festival will begin Friday, April 27 and will run through Tuesday, May 1. All films will be shown at the Century Theater at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (EST). The films will be shown in French, with English subtitles.
According to Katharine Harrington, University of Maine at Fort Kent Assistant Professor of French and the festival's director, Fort Kent's Century Theater will feature a series of five different contemporary French language films over a five-day period.
"Fort Kent is the ideal location for an annual French film festival considering the vibrant French heritage of this area," said Harrington. "I certainly hope that students and area residents will take advantage of the opportunity to see some acclaimed foreign films that one does not often get to see here in northern Maine."
Harrington also stresses the fact that the films are accessible to everyone, not just French speakers, since they all are subtitled in English.
The first film of the festival is Le papillon (The Butterfly), which will be shown on Friday, April 27 and Sunday, April 29; both days at 6 p.m. This is a charming story of a cross-generational friendship between eight-year-old Elsa and an elderly neighbor Julien, a butterfly collector. When Julien sets out on a week-long excursion to the Alps in search of a rare butterfly, Elsa hides herself in his car. The film is rated PG and should appeal to viewers of all ages.
The second film, Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants (Happily Ever After) is an entertaining romantic comedy depicting three buddies, Vincent and Georges who are married, and Fred, who is single, and their various relationships. The film observes the different couples' lives, their moments of happiness together, their frustrations, fears and their ultimate quest for happiness. The film will be shown on Friday, April 27 at 8 p.m. and on Tuesday, May 1 at 6 p.m. It is rated R.
On Saturday, April 28 at 6 p.m. and on Monday, April 30 at 8 p.m., the theater will feature the film Comme une image (Look at Me). The newest creation of the famous writing/directing duo Jean-Pierre Bacri and Agnès Jaoui, this film is a wise and witty look at an insecure 20-year-old singer who desperately seeks the approval of her self-involved father, a famous novelist. The film provides an incisive and lighthearted glimpse into everything from the creative life to the culture of celebrity to female body image. The film is rated PG-13.
L'homme du train (The Man on the Train) will be shown on Saturday, April 28 at 8 p.m. and on Monday, April 30 at 6 p.m. and is rated R. The famous French rock star, Johnny Hallyday, stars as Milan, a notorious criminal who is sent to a small French town to knock off the local bank. With no place to stay, he accepts a retired schoolteacher's offer of shelter. As a friendship develops between these two opposite personalities, each starts to envy the other's life.
The final film of the festival is De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté (The Beat my Heart Skipped). It will be featured on Sunday, April 29 and Monday, May 1 at 8 p.m. on both days and is rated R. This gangster-seeking-redemption film tells the story of Thomas who works as a sleazy real estate manager and appears destined to follow in the footsteps of his slumlord father. However, an unexpected encounter with the agent of his late classical musician mother reignites a long-buried desire for a life of a concert pianist.
The funding for the film festival was made possible by a $1,800 grant that Dr. Harrington received from the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE), as well as a supplementary grant from the University of Maine at Fort Kent Strategic Planning Special Initiatives Fund.
FACE is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to nurturing French-American relations through innovative international projects in the arts, education, and cultural exchange.
FACE's Tournées grant was conceived as a program to encourage schools to begin their own self-sustaining French film festivals. Since its inception, the program has collaborated with hundreds of universities and made it possible for tens of thousands of students to discover French-language films.
A festival pass is available for $10, which includes all films. The pass will be on sale at the Century Theater. Alternatively, admission to individual films will be at regular theater prices.