French film festival comes to NIU

By Jacob Baker

DeKALB — Tournées Film Festival: French Films on Campus will be hosted by the World Languages and Culture department Thursday though March 5, providing an opportunity for DeKalb residents to experience some of the best of French cinema.

Films will be shown weekly in the Cole Hall Auditorium for free. All films will be in French with English subtitles, ranging from contemporary narrative films, documentaries, period pieces and classics, according to a Jan. 22 news release. The festival will feature six films.

“We think this will be a great opportunity for NIU students and the wider DeKalb community to come together in appreciation of film, and we look forward to engaging conversations about the issues represented in our selections,” French professor Shannon Becker said in the release.

Tournées Film Festival: French Films on Campus is a program from the French-American Cultural Exchange Foundation and the cultural services of the French Embassy that provide a grant to American university campuses to showcase French cinema, according to the FACE Foundation’s website.

This is the first time French professor Emily Teising has collaborated to help with the film festival since she came to NIU two years ago, she said.

“We choose five recent films from the [past] year or two and one classic film,” Teising said. “We try to choose a variety of films that would appeal to different segments of the population here at NIU.”

Diversity is a big theme among the Tournées selection provided and the six films picked for NIU’s slate of time.

“These particular films promise to offer a diversity of perspectives on French and Francophone culture while telling or documenting stories with a universal appeal,” John Bently, chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures, said in the release. “As such, this festival contributes to our mission as a department to foster cross-cultural dialogue and train the next generation of informed and engaged global citizens.”

The month-long festival gives the NIU community a ton of opportunities to experience films it might not always get a chance to watch.

“Start by taking a look at the previews that we have up on the Facebook site for World Languages and Culture at NIU, and see what appeals to you,” Teising said. “Some films are more accessible than others. One film that is really accessible to audiences is ‘Tazzeka,’ and it deals with issues we’re all familiar with and not just in France.”