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2013.03.12 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Communications
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

Festival to Showcase Contemporary French Cinema at UNO

Omaha - Five impressive works of contemporary French cinema will be showcased at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) as part of the Tournées Festival, a national program put on by the French Embassy of the United States, thanks to a competitive grant awarded to the UNO Foreign Languages and Literature Department.

Every Sunday at 3 p.m., from April 7 to May 5, a new film will be shown in the Eppley Administration Building auditorium on the UNO Dodge Campus. The films range in topic from personal transformation to the horrors of Europe’s past and come from award-winning directors like Luc Dardenne and Jean-Luc Godard.

Admission to the films is free.

The Tournées Festival was created 17 years ago by the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE) and has visited numerous college campuses across the country. Support is provided by the French Embassy of the United States, the Centre National de la Cinématographie et l'Image Animée, Campus France, Florence Gould Foundation and Highbrow Entertainment.

Juliette Parnell, associate professor of French, is coordinating the festival.

“We are incredibly lucky that UNO was selected for this grant due to how competitive it is,” she explained. This is the second year UNO has received the grant.

A full list of films being shown follows:

April 7: “Les femmes du 6ème étage” (The Women on the 6th Floor) by Philippe Le Guay (2010)
Set in 1962, “The Women on the 6th Floor” centers on the transformation of third-generation stockbroker Jean-Louis, husband of a brittle, insecure woman from the provinces and father of two boarding-school brats. The self-centered businessman starts to discover his altruistic side after the arrival of the new Spanish maid María, who stirs deep compassion in Jean-Louis, with her stories of working 15 hours a day as a teenager at a tobacco factory back home during Franco’s regime.

April 14: “Le gamin au vélo” (The Kid with a Bike) by Luc Dardenne (2011)
The sublime tale of love and redemption begins with an 11-year-old boy in frantic, desperate motion. Refusing to acknowledge that he has been abandoned by his father, Cyril escapes the children’s home where he’s been living. As the authorities from the children’s home catch up with him, Cyril, refusing to return, tightly grips a total stranger, a woman named Samantha, who will prove to be the heartbroken boy’s savior.

April 21: “Les hommes libres” (Free Men) by Ismaël Ferroukhi (2011)
A fascinating look at a little-known chapter in the French Resistance during World War II, Ismaël Ferroukhi’s second film highlights the courage of a group of Muslim agents who provided North African Jews with false identification papers. “Free Men” focuses specifically on the political awakening of Younes, an illiterate Algerian immigrant who makes his living selling goods on the black market and in order to avoid prison, he agrees to serve as a spy for the police.

April 28: “Tomboy” (Tomboy) by Céline Sciamma (2011)
A sensitive portrait of childhood just before pubescence, “Tomboy,” astutely explores the freedom of being untethered to the rule-bound world of gender codes. Laure, a gangly, short-haired kid about to go into fourth grade has just moved to a suburban apartment complex with her family a few weeks before the school year starts. The clan’s relocation provides Laure an opportunity for re-invention, of sorting out what repels her.

May 5: “Film Socialisme” (Film Socialisme) by Jean-Luc Godard (2010)
“Film Socialisme” is set on a Mediterranean cruise ship, which docks in ports in Egypt, Greece, Spain, and Italy, among others; at each stop, passengers reflect on both the horrors of Europe’s past—the Inquisition, the Holocaust—and its uncertain future. In its second half, the focus shifts to a rural gas station whose owners appear to be in the midst of a marital crisis. Yet here, too, larger sociopolitical issues— the Israel-Palestine conflict, for instance—are never far from the characters’ thoughts.

For information on the festival or any of the films, contact Juliette Parnell at 402.554.3029 or by email at jparnell@unomaha.edu.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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