NEWPORT, R.I. - Salve Regina's eighth annual French Film Festival will again bring a French cultural flair to Newport six new, important and diverse films from France, Quebec and Belgium that will be screened March 17-28.
The festival, which attracted more than 2,000 spectators from the Salve Regina and Newport communities last year, will begin with an opening night reception featuring music, wine and cocktails at the historic Jane Pickens Theater, 49 Touro St. in Newport on Sunday, March 17 at 6:30 p.m.
All other films during the festival will be presented on the Salve Regina campus in Bazarsky Lecture Hall, located in the O'Hare Academic Center on Ochre Point Avenue. All films contain English subtitles.
Tickets are available at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/9748587 or by calling 401-341-2250. A full festival pass for $25 includes all six films. All other tickets must be purchased at the door. Weeknight films are $5 and Sunday screenings with receptions are $10. Salve Regina students are admitted free with valid university identification.
Following is the film schedule:
Monsieur Lazhar (drama set in Quebec)
Sunday, March 17, 7 p.m. Jane Pickens Theater
This nominee for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film tells the poignant story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher. Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, offers the school his services as a substitute teacher and is quickly hired. As he helps the children heal, he also learns to accept his own painful past. This moving film features exquisite performances by Fellag and a stunning ensemble of child actors. (Description from Music Box Films.)
The Fairy/La fée (comedy)
Tuesday, March 19, 7 p.m. O'Hare Academic Center
Dom works as a night clerk at a small hotel in the industrial port city of Le Havre. One night, a strangely dressed woman named Fiona arrives and claims she is a fairy. She grants Dom three wishes, and makes his first two wishes come true before mysteriously vanishing. By now, Dom has fallen in love with Fiona, and he proceeds to embark on a search for his elusive fairy. This third feature film by the gifted trio of physical comedians Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, and Bruno Romy presents a series of slapstick set pieces which hark back to the work of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Jacques Tati. A whimsical tale about the happiness that can be squeezed out of even the most mundane of lives. (Description from Kino Lorber Films.)
Point Blank/À bout portant (action thriller)
Thursday, March 21, 7 p.m., O'Hare Academic Center
Gilles Lellouche plays Samuel, a nurse working at a hospital when his pregnant wife (Anaya) is kidnapped before his very eyes. Knocked unconscious, he comes to and discovers that a dangerous criminal named Sartet is responsible, and if he's ever to see his wife again, he must do Sartet's bidding. Samuel quickly finds himself pitted against rival gangsters and trigger-happy police in a deadly race to save the lives of his wife and unborn child. (Description from Magnolia Pictures.)
The Well-Digger's Daughter (historical drama)
Sunday, March 24, 7 p.m., O'Hare Academic Center
Acclaimed French actor Daniel Auteuil returns to the world of Marcel Pagnol for his first work as director with this celebrated remake of the 1940s classic. Auteuil stars as the eponymous well-digger Pascal, a widower living with his six daughters in the Provence countryside at the start of World War I. His eldest daughter has returned home from Paris to help raise her sisters, and Pascal dreams of marrying her off to his loyal assistant Felipe. But when she is impregnated by a wealthy young pilot who promptly abandons her for the frontlines, Pascal is left to contend with the consequences. An exquisitely crafted, sun-drenched melodrama, set to a score by Academy Award-nominee Alexandre Desplat, this remake captures all the warmth and humanist spirit of Pagnol's original work. (Description from Kino Lorber Films.)
Curling (dark comedy set in Quebec)
Tuesday, March 26, 7 p.m., O'Hare Academic Center
Set on the fringe of society in a remote part of the countryside, this film by renowned Quebecois director Denis Côté takes a keen look at the unusual private life of a father and his daughter. Between his unremarkable jobs, Jean-François Sauvageau (Emmanuel Bilodeau) devotes an awkward energy to Julyvonne (Philomène Bilodeau). The fragile balance of their relationship will be jeopardized by some dreary circumstances. Winner of Best Director and Best Actor at the Locarno Film Festival. (Description from New Yorker Films.)
The Kid with a Bike/Le gamin au vélo (contemporary drama)
Thursday, March 28, 7 p.m., O'Hare Academic Center
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and a Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, the deeply moving new film by the Dardenne brothers ("L'Enfant," "Rosetta") delves into the emotional life of troubled 11-year-old Cyril. When his father abandons him, Cyril obsessively searches for his bicycle - placing his last bit of hope in this symbol of their relationship. Almost by accident, he becomes the ward of a kind hairdresser, who seems surprised to find herself so determined to help him. With his wild, unpredictable behavior and his disastrous search for father figures, Cyril risks losing her - though she refuses to give up without a fight. (Description from IFC Films.)
Salve Regina's 2013 film selection committee includes: Dr. Kevin Esch, adjunct film studies professor and festival coordinator; Dr. Kathy Lawber, department of modern and classical languages; Dr. Anthony Mangieri, department of art; Joseph Miklovic, media systems specialist; Dr. James Mitchell, department of modern and classical languages and Dr. Matthew Ramsey, department of English.