December 23, 2005
Since she first began teaching at the University of Maine at Fort Kent in the fall of 2004, Katherine Harrington, assistant professor of French, dreamed of someday bringing to the St. John Valley a film festival that would demonstrate French as a vibrant and living language to her students and the community at large.
In February of the coming year, Harrington's dream will become reality as the Tournées Festival comes to Fort Kent, in part through a $1,800 grant from the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE).
Details of the French film festival, scheduled for February 17 through 21 at Fort Kent's Century Theatre, are coming together.
The event will feature a series of five different French language films, some of which Harrington saw at a French film festival at Brown University where she recently completed her doctoral work.
Films planned for showings in Fort Kent are: Les choristes, Être et avoir, Une hirondelle à fait le printemps, Les Triplettes de Belleville and Les invasions barbares.
"I know that both the campus and community here will be very receptive to a French film festival, both to celebrate the French language and also simply to have exposure to international cinema," said Harrington. "I also hope that by showing quality contemporary French and francophone films it will spark an interest in my students and in community members to pursue their study of French and to see this French-speaking region as part of a larger global francophone community."
Tournées Festival was launched in 1995 to encourage the distribution and viewing of contemporary French films at educational institutions. In collaboration with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Centre National de la Cinématographie, the Florence Gould Foundation and the French-American Cultural Fund, FACE Council supports French film festivals and screenings on over fifty college campuses across the country each year.
FACE is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the state of New York. It is dedicated to nurturing French-American relations through innovative international projects in the arts, education, and cultural exchange.
Housed in the cultural services of the French Embassy in New York, and overseen by a board of trustees, FACE serves an extensive network of patrons through its film-based programs and provides support to various initiatives through its partnership with the cultural services of the French Embassy.
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 partnered with hundreds of universities and made it possible for tens of thousands of students to discover French-language films.
Tournées distributes approximately $75,000 in grants annually. The program is made possible with the generous support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Centre National de la Cinématographie, the Grand Marnier Foundation, the Florence Gould Foundation and the Franco-American Cultural Fund (SACEM, the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America and the Motion Picture Association).