French Film Festival Spans the World
It began modestly in the UW-Milwaukee French department and has grown into an anticipated annual event. This year, the Festival of Films in French marks its 20th anniversary with 20 films. They range from 1920s silent movies by pioneering feminist filmmaker Germaine Dulac through Lola (1961) by new wave director Jacques Demy and a recent sequel to the popular Belle et Sébastien. Also on tap is the U.S. premiere of Demain, a globe-spanning documentary on environmental activists. Most films are from France, but—as the festival’s title suggests—the programming seeks to encompass the entire French-speaking world. This year’s films includes selections from Quebec, Senegal and Morocco and others that were filmed in Haiti and Madagascar.
Asked about the process of choosing the lineup, festival co-organizer Anita Alkhas says, “We’re in competition for French films that might make it into the mainstream American market. And we stay away from films that are too localized—inside jokes don’t play well here. We try to balance classics with recent films.”
Admission is free to all films. Screenings are Feb. 17-Feb. 26 at the UW-Milwaukee Union Cinema. An opening night party will take place from 5-6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17 at the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts, Room 250, 2419 E. Kenwood Blvd.
For opening night party reservations, information on the festival and a complete schedule, visit uwm.edu/french-film-festival.