French films screen on Collier campus

Tourness French Film Festival panel on March 17: FSW professors, Steven Chase, Wendy Chase and Emily Porter, and Sarasota Film Festival events organizer, Petra Ratner

By Grace McLaughin

The Tournees French Film Festival brought a unique and exciting cinematic experience to the FSW with screenings of six French films on Collier campus from March 27 to 30.

Myriam Mompoint, an FSW French and humanities professor, hosted the event. 

“Creativity is a way to be in the world” said Mompoint. “The importance of curiosity are themes to look for in the movies being shown.”

The debut film for the film festival, Faces/Places is a documentary that showcases a cross-generational friendship. Agnes Varda the director and star of the movie was 90 years old when she made the movie. Her co-star JR, a street artist, was 35.  The two friends filmed their road trip through France.

“I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the film, and it didn’t feel like I was watching a foreign film,” said Marissa Chavez, an FSW student.  

The movie delivers a message about the importance of human connection. 

The friendship between Varda, a world-famous French director, and JR, is what makes the movie different than a travel film.  Instead of focusing on telling the histories behind the places they visit, they tell the stories of the people who live there. 

It’s a film that showcases the beautiful countryside of France with funny, tender and relatable moments. 

“I liked how both Agnes and JR took care of each other.  It wasn’t stereotypical where the young guy takes care of the old lady, but instead showed how they both supported and helped each other,” said Pablo Trejo, an FSW student. 

After the film, a discussion followed with photography professor, Steven Chase, humanities professor, Wendy Chase, professor of environmental science, Emily Porter, and Petra Ratner, the events manager for the Sarasota Film Festival.

The panel discussed topics like the importance of film festivals, what makes a movie iconic, how movies have changed over the years, the effect technology has had on the movie industry and the differences between American and French cinema.

“Film festivals bring likeminded people together,” said S. Chase. “It is a place where you can see something highly curated and see a lot of different movies at once.” 

The first day of the film festival ended with a reception that had tables filled with French pastries and drinks, while a live band played.

The festival showcased films that resonated with the audience. It caused the audience to question and look for deeper meaning behind films. One of the main points the panelists discussed was viewing film not only as entertainment, but as an art form. “The ability for a film to tug at our heart strings and make us want to feel more is what makes a movie iconic,” said E. Porter.

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