OCC says ‘bonjour’ to French film festival

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Farmington Press | Published March 22, 2013

FARMINGTON HILLS — Beginning next week, the Orchard Ridge campus of Oakland Community College will get a bit of a French twist when it plays host to the Tournées Film Festival.

The Smith Theatre, housed on the campus, will screen a variety of recent French-language films in March and April. The festival is part of a program provided by the French American Cultural Exchange, which works to bring contemporary French cinema to American collegiate and university audiences.

To bring the festival to Farmington Hills, the college applied for a grant from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Centre National de la Cinématographic et la Image Animée, the Florence Gould Foundation and Highbrow Entertainment.

Though many film students will surely attend the six scheduled screenings, the public is welcome to come and enjoy the films, each of which is followed by a panel discussion led by OCC faculty.

“These six films were selected not only for their cinematic value, but for their social and cultural relevance,” said OCC faculty member Gheorghita Tres, who helped to write the grant that brought the program to the college.

These six films will be shown:

• “Un Prophéte” (“A Prophet”) at 7:30 p.m.  March 28.

• “Entre Les Murs” (“The Class”) at 1 p.m. March 30.

• “La Grotte Des Rêves Perdus” (“Cave of Forgotten Dreams”) at 10 a.m. April 3.

• “L’Illusioniste” (“The Illusionist”) at 1 p.m. April 3.

• “Des Dieux et Des Hommes” (“Of Gods and Men”) at 7:30 p.m. April 4.

• “Les Plages D’Agnes” (“The Beaches of Agnes”) at 1 p.m.  April 6.

Among those in the audience for many of the screenings will be Laura Kendall, film humanities faculty at the Royal Oak and Southfield campuses. Kendall said she is encouraging her students, as well as the members of the Royal Oak Film Society at OCC, to take advantage of the film festival, which the college is so fortunate to host.

“France is truly the birthplace of cinema, and French films continue to be a powerful voice in contemporary cinema,” said Kendall. “The exciting aspect of the festival is using film as a conduit for learning. I am very honored to participate in the presentation of these powerful French films.”

Admission to each screening during the Tournées Film Festival is $5 at the door, with free parking available on campus lots. For more information, go to facecouncil.org or email Gheorghita Tres at gxtres@oaklandcc.edu.

The Orchard Ridge Campus of Oakland Community College is located at 27055 Orchard Lake Road.