Six French films are to enrich Pitt-Johnstown

Jane Beenenga, Contributing Writer

The Tournees Festival, a series of six French films, is to return to Pitt-Johnstown this fall. Beginning at 6 p.m. from Oct. 5 to 26, these films are to be in 248 Biddle Hall. Admission is free, and the films are to include English subtitles.

The Tournees Festival was partly funded by the French-American Cultural Exchange Foundation made possible by several organizations, including the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.       

According to a cultural exchange website, French officials aim to bring French Cinema to American college students.

This is the fourth time this event is to take place on Pitt-Johnstown’s campus.

In order to deliver the festival to the university this year, professor Barbara Petrosky said she needed to do some hard work.

“It is competitive to get this event on campus; you need to apply for a grant from the (cultural-exchange) foundation and answer many questions,” Petrosky said.

“You have to come up with a concept of how you will present the films, which ones you will show and why.”

The concept, or theme, of this year’s festival is the “Exploration of Relationships though Time.”

Petrosky said that delivering these films to students is a good way to broaden their horizons.

“French films are more intellectual than American films; they are more about thinking and analyzing who you are. It’s all about substance,” Petrosky said.

Sophomore Patrick Stahl, who said he intends to minor in French,  said he agreed.

“French films have unique characteristics; their wit is mystical, and it isn’t tied down to life as we think of it. It’s more ridiculous,” Stahl said.

Stahl also said these films give students the opportunity to see a little piece of French culture and language, especially when two French classes were canceled this semester due to lack of enrollment.

Petrosky said it is valuable to learn about different cultures and languages.

“People think it’s hard to learn French, or that they don’t have a use for it,” she said.

“French is not something people are very excited about, but it is actually important.”

There are various film genres being shown this year.

If students prefer comedies, Petrosky recommends the film “Dans la Cour” (In the Courtyard), which will be shown on Oct 12.