NEWPORT, R.I. – Salve Regina University’s French Film Festival, a two-week event that attracted an audience of more than 2,000 spectators last year, will open for its sixth season on Sunday evening, March 27. The festival runs at two locations in Newport through April 7.
The opening reception and film will be presented at 6:30 p.m. on March 27 at Newport’s historic Casino Theatre, 9 Freebody St. The evening will feature a wine and cheese tasting provided by Newport Wine Cellar, French café music performed by Salve Regina students, and student ushers from the university’s theatre department dressed in can-can.
The feature film on opening night, Heartbreaker/L’Arnacœur, will be screened at 7 p.m. It is an action-packed romantic comedy that was a blockbuster in France.
Tickets are $15 for the opening night film and reception. All other films during the festival will cost $5 at the door and will be screened at Salve Regina University’s O’Hare Academic Center, Ochre Point Avenue. A festival pass to all films and events is available for $20. Salve Regina students are admitted free with valid university identification.
Tickets and passes may be purchased at www.tinyurl.com/salvecasino or by calling (866) 811-4111. Tickets may also be purchased at the Casino Theatre during box office hours.
Following is the schedule of films:
Sunday, March 27, 7 p.m. at Casino Theatre
Heartbreaker/L’Arnacœur (Romantic comedy)
Alex is a professional heartbreaker who for a fee can turn any husband, fiancé or boyfriend into an ex. Alex has one ironclad rule: He only breaks up couples where the woman is unhappy. His latest job will put that rule to the test.
Tuesday, March 29, 7 p.m. at O’Hare Academic Center
A study of budding friendship and a compassionate look at the perils faced by illegal immigrants, this film won six best film awards plus ten César nominations. Philippe Lioret’s film centers on Bilal, a 17-year old Iraqi Kurd who is stuck in Calais in Northern France, and Simon, a recently divorced swimming teacher. Desperate to join his girlfriend in London, Bilal vows to swim across the English Channel.
Thursday, March 31, 7 p.m. at O’Hare Academic Center
Army of Crime/ L'Armée du Crime (Historical drama and thriller)
About the first days of the French Resistance to Nazi occupation, this film is based on a true story that portrays a time when many of the movement's leaders and foot soldiers were often foreigners who feared French collaborators as much as the Germans.
Sunday, April 3, 2 p.m. at O’Hare Academic Center
The Concert/Le Concert (Uplifting comedy)
Winner of two César Awards, this unlikely success story packed with laughs focuses on Andrei Filipov, a Russian conductor whose music career was cut short by politics and is now a mere cleaning man at the Bolshoi. When he learns by accident that the Châtelet Theater in Paris has invited the Bolshoi orchestra, he decides to gather together his old Jewish and Gypsy musicians and a French violinist to realize his long-cherished dream.
Reception following the film sponsored by Alliance Français of Newport will feature entertainment by Minor Swing, a local band that plays a repertoire of Gypsy jazz standards in the vein of Django Reinhardt, the renowned guitarist of the famous Hot Club in Paris of the 30s and 40s.
Tuesday, April 5, 7 p.m. at O’Hare Academic Center
Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno/L’Enfer d’Henri-Georges Clouzot (Documentary merging fiction and non-fiction)
L’Enfer, a story of sexual jealousy and psychological instability, was supposed to revolutionize the art form in the early 1960s. But after just three weeks of production this sultry, experimental film was mysteriously aborted. With clips from the unfinished movie, starring Romy Schneider and Serge Reggiani, and interviews with the film’s crew, the filmmakers shed light on the acclaimed director’s creative turmoil that precipitated the debacle. This film garnered César, Étoile d'Or, and São Paulo International Film Festival best documentary awards.
Thursday, April 7, 7 p.m. at O’Hare Academic Center
Father of my children/Le Père de mes enfants (Critically acclaimed drama)
The film is inspired by the true story of a French film producer who seemingly had everything but took his own life. The question on everyone's mind is, why? This drama explores that quandary by recounting the weeks before and after the producer's suicide. With an adoring family, a job that fulfills him completely, and a charismatic bearing that masks all woes, producer Grégoire Canvel appears at the top of his game. But underneath the surface, trouble is brewing. This film received Un Certain Regard award at Cannes and a Lumière Best Screenplay.
Coffee available on closing night
Community support of Salve Regina’s French Film Festival is provided by French Source Ltd, a wholesale distributor of fine, French-made gifts and accessories, Alliance Française de Newport, and Newport Wine Cellar, a specialty wine shop.
For more information, call 401-341-2327 or visit www.salve.edu/frenchfilm/.