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4th Annual Fort Kent French Film Festival coming soon

March 9, 2009

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The fourth annual Fort Kent French Film Festival will begin on Thursday, March 26 and will run through Sunday, March 29. All films will be shown at the University of Maine Fort Kent’s Fox Auditorium.

The festival will feature a series of five different contemporary French language films over a four-day period. The films will be shown in French, with English subtitles.

Admission for each movie is $3.50. A festival pass, to see all movies, can be purchased for $10. UMFK students attend free.

According to Katharine Harrington, University of Maine at Fort Kent assistant professor of French and the festival's director, “It is exciting to have the French film festival for the fourth year and growing. This year’s film festival features five films from France, although many different time periods are represented, and one film, Persepolis has an international perspective. I encourage anyone to come out and see the films, whether you speak French or not. We can learn so much about another culture by viewing its cinema.”

The first film of the festival is La mome (La vie en rose), which will be shown on Thursday, March 26 at 6 p.m. and on Sunday, March 29 at 8:30 p.m.  It is a film based on the life of Edith Piaf, a legendary French icon, who was born into a low-income family. Piaf goes from the streets of the Belleville district of Paris to the lime-light of New York’s famous concert halls. Piaf's life was a constant battle to sing and survive, to live and love. The film is rated R.

The second film, Le Scaphandre et le papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) is a true story about Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor of Elle, who suffered a stroke at age 43 leaving him with locked-in syndrome. Only able to blink one letter at a time, he writes about his new life and touches the very essence of what it is to be human.  The film will be shown on Thursday, March 26 at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 28 at 6 p.m. It is rated R.

Persepolis will be shown on Friday, March 27 at 6 p.m. and on Saturday, March 28 at 8:30 p.m.  It is an animated film about the coming-of-age story of Marjane, a nine-year-old girl growing-up during the Islamic revolution in Iran. Afraid for their daughter’s life, her parents send her to live in Vienna. Over time she accepts her new home, though she remains homesick. Eventually she returns to Iran and speaks out about the hypocrisy she sees. The film is rated PG-13.

Harrington stresses the fact that the films are accessible to everyone, not just French speakers, since they all are subtitled in English.

On Friday, March 27 at 8:30 p.m. and on Sunday, March 29 at 6 p.m. the film Molière will be shown.  The film mostly is in the form of flashbacks, and is about the early years of the legendary 17th century French playwright Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière.  After going bankrupt, Jean-Baptiste is hounded by creditors and sent to jail. After escaping jail, he takes refuge with a wealthy man who agrees to erase his debt. In exchange, Jean must teach him the craft of the stage.  It is rated PG-13.

The film La Faute à Fidel (Blame it on Fidel) will only be shown on Sunday, March 29 at 2 p.m.  Nine-year-old Anna has been brought up in an easy lifestyle. Her family is rich and she attends a private school. When the political situation in Spain directly affects her family, her parents become revolutionaries changing their life drastically while Anna tries to remain the same. The film is rated PG and is suitable for family viewing.

Festival passes may be purchased in advance at the office of University Relations or at the door.

For more information contact Katharine Harrington at 207-834-7629 or by e-mail at: katharine.harrington@maine.edu