Tournées French Film Festival strikes back

Bonjour, cinephiles! Five French films released within the past few years will be making their debut in the Cincinnati area during the second annual Tournées Festival of New French Films on the Northern Kentucky University campus over the next month.

The Tournées Festival will screen five films that include a variety of themes and setting which showcase the diversity of contemporary French films. The genres of these films range from love story to fairy tale, but never lose the sense of realism. Dr. John Alberti, director of NKU’s Cinema Studies minor and a member of the Tournées Festival organizing committee, believes there is a distinct difference between American and French films, which will be appealing to movie fans.

“French movies are more sophisticated and very character driven. They are not afraid to explore complexities of human nature,” Alberti said. “Also French films leave endings of movies more up to debate for the viewer. It’s less of black-and-white views and more shades of grey; like American films, where they say here are the bad guys and here are the good guys.”

If potential festival attendees are worried about seeing the films without knowing anything about the French language, fear not. All five movies will include English subtitles.

Four of the films that will be showcased were directed by women. According to Dr. Alberti, female film directors are still very rare, so it is nice to see that four out of the five films are directed by women.

Dr. Alberti said he believes there is a lot of rich French film history worth seeing and allows American students to learn a bit about the French culture through film.

“France was one of the birthplaces of movies. It is one of the world’s best film cultures and loves to tell stories with moving pictures,” Alberti said.

The Tournées Festival is sponsored by the French American Cultural Exchange, which gives grants to colleges and universities to hold the festival and promote French culture through the critically acclaimed films, the Cinema Studies Program, the English department and the Department of World Languages and Literatures department.

Each film will be shown twice a week at 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and 7 p.m. Thursdays. Admission is free to students with a valid NKU ID and $5 for everyone else. After each showing, an NKU professor will talk about the film.

The Tournées Film Festival begins by showing “Welcome,” directed by Philippe Lioret, March 30 and 31. The next film will be “The Wedding Song,” directed by Karin Albou, showing April 6 and 7, followed by “Blue Beard,” directed by Catherine Breillat, showing April 13 and 14. “35 Shots of Rum,” directed by Claire Denis, will show April 20 and 21 and “A French Gigolo,” directed by Josiane Balasko will close out the series.

All showings are in the University Center’s Otto Buding Theater. For more information about the festival, movie plot synopses and trailers for all five movies, visit

Story by Derick Bischoff