French film festival planned here this fall

French film festival planned here this fall

The University of St. Thomas this fall will host the Tournées Festival, an event in which five French films will be presented on campus.

A different film will be shown each week beginning Oct. 15 and ending Nov. 13. All showings will be held in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium and will begin at 7 p.m.

The films are free and open to the public.

Since its inception, the Tournées Festival has partnered with hundreds of universities and has made it possible for more than 250,000 students to discover French-language films.

St. Thomas was awarded a grant from the Tournées Festival to choose and feature five French films from a list of current selections. The French section of the Modern and Classical Languages Department applied for the grant and is hosting the festival at St. Thomas.

The film schedule is listed below. Discussions will follow three of the films: “La Moustache,” “Indigènes” and “ Bamako.” Refreshments will be served after the showing of the last film on Nov. 13.

Monday, Oct. 15

“Fauteuils d’orchestre” (Avenue Montaigne)

A bevy of wealthy and crisis-plagued customers bond with the film’s star, Jessica, a provincial yet utterly charming waitress at an eatery frequented by Paris’ cultural elite on the posh avenue Montaigne. A profound link forms between innocent Jessica and her quirky patrons in this film that, according to the Washington Post, paints a “cozy, precious and intimate” portrait of Parisian life.

Monday, Oct. 22

“La Moustache” (The Mustache)

Before a dinner party, Marc, a successful architect, impulsively shaves off the mustache he has worn most of his adult life. When his wife and friends insist that he has never worn a mustache (and when other parts of his life begin to unravel), they become convinced that he is going crazy. First he thinks he is being tricked by an elaborate group joke, but soon the sanity of the players comes into question.

Monday, Oct. 29

“Indigènes” (Days of Glory)

In 1944 and 1945 130,000 natives from North Africa and 20,000 Africans fought to liberate France, a country they had never seen.  With a reputation for endurance and great courage they were sent to the front lines of the battlefields. “Days of Glory” relates the forgotten story of these soldiers known as “indigènes” through four of these overlooked heroes.

Tuesday, Nov. 6


A trial pitting African civil society against such international institutions as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund has set a stage in the courtyard of a home in Bamako, Mali. Chaka, an unemployed married father, is preoccupied with the imminent break up of his marriage to Melé, a popular lounge singer.  Filmed with warm colors and inspirational music, “Bamako” voices Africa’s grievances in an original and profoundly moving way.

Tuesday, Nov. 13

“Chats Perchés” (The Grinning Cat)

French cinema essayist Chris Marker’s documentary chronicles his search for the graffiti artist(s) behind the sudden appearance of grinning yellow cat paintings on Paris’ buildings and public surfaces in late 2001. A critical film that examines Paris’ changing social climate post-9-11.

The Tournées Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture.

More information about the Tournées Festival and the films can be found at .