Vive Le Cinéma Français!

Wednesday 2 December 2009

A little taste of French cinema will arrive in St Andrews this week with the launch of the town’s first ever French Film Festival.

Organised by the University of St Andrews’ Department of Film Studies, the four-day event (3-6 December) follows the success of the first St Andrews Italian Film Festival held earlier this year.

The event offers the opportunity to not only view the best of French cinema on the big screen, but to take part in special discussion sessions hosted by academics from Film Studies.

The Department, in collaboration with the New Picture House cinema, is hosting the event as part of the nationwide French Film Festival, which also goes to London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and other major cities around the UK.

The St Andrews’ lineup includes French films such as The Beautiful Person and M Hulot’s Holiday, with each screening being accompanied by an introduction.

The event will kick off with a special educational screening (Thursday 3 December at 2pm) of Michou d’Auber, involving the participation of local schools Madras College and St Leonard’s School.

The film, set during the Algerian War, tells the story of a young boy who is put into a foster home because of his mother’s terminal illness.  Relocated to the French countryside, young Messaoud finds himself living with a Gaullist family, which means that he must disguise himself as `Michel’ (or `Michou’) in order to pass unnoticed.

The educational screening is open to the public but, thanks to the generous support of the Institut Français Écosse, will be free to school children in the area.

Organiser Dr William Brown, said, “This is a fantastic opportunity to give local children an insight into life in 1960s France at a crucial point in that country’s recent history, as well as to introduce them to the importance of cinema as a medium for representing history and politics.”

The official launch party for the festival will be held on Friday night in the Cabin Room of the Victoria Café on Market Street.  The Festival Launch Party is open to the public and has been organised with the assistance of the University’s French Society.

On Saturday (5 December) Richard Mowe, the head of the French Film Festival UK, will join Dr Brown and his colleague Saër Maty Bâ for a discussion on French Cinema Today.

The festival will close with a screening at 6pm of Jacques Tati’s classic, M Hulot’s Holiday – a comedy starring Tati himself about Hulot and his experiences on holiday in the south of France.

The St Andrews French Film Festival is supported by the Centre for Film Studies at the University of St Andrews, as well as by the Russell Development Trust, Fife Council and the Institut Français Écosse.

The full screenings (all at New Picture House Cinema, North Street, St Andrews) are as follows:

Thurs Dec 3rd 2pm – MICHOU D’AUBER (12)

Fri Dec 4th 6pm – THE BEAUTIFUL PERSON (15)

Sat Dec 5th 2pm – FIRST STAR (15)

Sun Dec 6th 2pm – THE JOY OF SINGING (15)

Sun Dec 6th 6pm – M HULOT’S HOLIDAY (U)

Talks and other events:

Fri Dec 4th 8pm Launch Party and Discussion of The Beautiful  Person Cabin Room, Victoria Café, Market Street, St Andrews

Sat Dec 5th 12pm French Cinema Today, a discussion in Board  Room, Department of Film Studies, 99 North Street, St Andrews

Sun Dec 6th 8pm Discussion of M Hulot¿s Holiday, in  Board Room, Department of Film Studies, 99 North Street, St Andrews

For more information contact William Brown on [email protected]


Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Gayle Cook, Senior Communications Manager on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email [email protected]
Ref:  French film festival 021209
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