French film festival entering third year


Issues of immigration, terrorism and globalization will all be explored during the Tournées Festival.

The festival, which launched on March 16 in Cherry Hall 125, will continue on Monday and Tuesday evenings until the festival’s conclusion on March 31. 

“The general idea [of the festival] is to help foster film culture and demonstrate a demand for these movies in Bowling Green,” said Jerod Ra’Del Hollyfield, the coordinator of the festival and assistant professor of English and film. 

This year will mark the festival’s third year at WKU. The previous two years focused on adolescence and the greatest hits of French cinema respectively, Hollyfield said. 

“This year it was really an unfortunate circumstance, but I wanted to show films that dealt with migrancy and terrorism,” Hollyfield said. “Then, in January, when I was getting the speakers together, Charlie Hebdo happened, and then ISIS in Europe has also become this big talking point.”

In addition to the focus on immigration and terrorism, the festival will also explore globalization. 

“A lot of these directors aren’t actually from France; they’re just making French-speaking films,” Hollyfield said. “So it’s a really good globalization engagement with that international reach part of the university’s mission statement with these movies.”  

Following the screening of each film, an interdisciplinary conversation will occur between members of the audience and faculty members from various departments. The discussions will draw conversation from disciplines like political science, psychology, journalism, philosophy and more. 

“We have speakers from all these departments coming to co-host the discussions after each film,” Hollyfield said. “So this isn’t like a regular film event; we’re trying to get the entire university involved.” 

The festival is designed to encourage discussion amongst those in attendance and to leave a lasting impression after the screen fades to black, according to Hollyfield. 

“As great as it is to have access to some of these films through Netflix and the Internet, you can’t really replace seeing it on Blu-Ray, on a big screen, with some context provided afterwards,” Hollyfield said.  

Ted Hovet, a professor of film, said cinema and film provide students with a chance to explore other cultures on a critical level. 

“I think [the festival] gets students interested in a wider range of film and also gives them a window into other cultures,” Hovet said. “I’d like to think it would get the students to study more international topics, whether it’s international film or a foreign language. Or, best of all, maybe even travel somewhere because they’ve seen something that really inspired them to get out and see more of the world.” 

The following films will be shown over the course of the festival, according to the event’s press release: “Bay of Angels”, “The Past”, “The Attack”, “The Gatekeepers”, “Bastards” and “Blue is the Warmest Color.” 

At this upcoming Monday’s screening, on March 23, there will also be a selection of French cuisine available to festival participants, according to Hollyfield. 

The festival is not only for WKU students, but it is also free to members of the Bowling Green community. 

Monday’s showing of “The Attack” will begin at 7 p.m. in Cherry 125.