UW-Platteville and Avalon Cinema to host International Film Festival

February 13, 2017
Dr. Gohar Siddiqui
Dr. Melissa Gormley
Caleb Marse

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s College of Liberal Arts and Education and Department of Human Resources are collaborating with the French-American Cultural Exchange Tournées Film Festival and the Avalon Cinema in Platteville to host UW-Platteville’s annual International Film Festival on Feb. 20-22, 27-28 and March 1 at the Avalon Cinema, located at 95 East Main Street in Platteville. All films are free and open to the public.

The film festival was organized by Dr. Gohar Siddiqui, assistant professor of English at UW-Platteville; Caleb Marse, special programs coordinator and retention specialist at UW-Platteville; and Dr. Melissa Gormley, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education at UW-Platteville.

There will be a reception for the event on Wednesday, Feb. 15 in the Harry and Laura Nohr Gallery, UW-Platteville, from 5-6.30 pm. Gormley will introduce the presenters. The reception is free and open to all.

The theme for this year’s film festival is “Humanity, Love, and Equality in French Cinema,” and will include six films that deal with issues of diversity and inclusion, sexuality, nationality and race in French cinema. The purpose of the festival is to generate discussion and dialog between university students and employees, as well as the broader Platteville community about these issues.

Prior to each film, a UW-Platteville faculty member will provide a brief introduction about the film and after each film screening, he or she will lead a discussion about the film’s themes.

“Our aim in reviving the film festival is to give opportunities to our students and larger communities to engage in foreign cultures via film,” said Siddiqui. “I teach courses on cinema and each semester I witness the power of this art form in its capacity to move and engage students with cultures and experiences alien to them. We selected critically-acclaimed films that speak to various issues of equality and humanity and will make the viewer engage with them intellectually as well as emotionally.”

Siddiqui elaborated on the importance of the film festival in furthering the internationalization of the university. “Our mission statement at UW-Platteville articulates our desire of empowering each student to have a broader perspective and to grow intellectually and ethically in order to become a knowledgeable citizen in a diverse global community,” she said.  “We hope that this film festival will foster greater knowledge, respect and understanding of cultures outside of the United States for our students and staff. It is exciting for our campus community that the film festival will be hosted at Avalon Cinema; the venue gives greater access to non-campus communities across the tri-state areas as well. The discussions following the films, run by faculty members, will engage diverse communities in conversation and will serve as exceptional educational opportunity at the same time.”


Monday, Feb. 20, 5 p.m.
Pierrot le Fou/Pierrot the Madman
“Pierrot le Fou” (1965) is arguably the masterpiece of Jean-Luc Godard’s
glorious first period, that extraordinary burst of creativity that extends from his landmark debut “Breathless” to the political films of the late sixties. In recounting the whirlwind romance between wealthy Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and his babysitter Marianne (Anna Karina), followed by their escape to the south of France with gangsters on their trail, Godard walks the thin line between sixties liberation and nihilism. Dr. David Gillota, assistant professor of English, will provide the introduction and lead the discussion.

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 5 p.m. (children/family-friendly film)
Phantom Boy (PG)
Alan Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli bring their charming style of hand-drawn animation and whimsical narrative to New York to tell the story of the unlikely alliance between wheelchair-bound police officer Lieutenant Tanguy and Leo, a seriously ill 11-year-old. In this hybrid that borrows from children’s films, thriller genre, and superhero movies, the heroic duo are able to save New York from a disfigured maniac without ever leaving their hospital rooms. Dr. Chris Schulenburg, associate professor of Spanish, will provide the introduction and lead the discussion.

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 5 p.m. (mature content)
La Vie d'Adèle /Blue is the Warmest Color (NC-17)
Explosive, explicit and profoundly empathic, Abdellatif Kechiche’s loose adaptation of Julie Maroh’s 2010 graphic novel is one of the best representations of the agony and ecstasy of falling in love. Kechiche intelligently explores the ways that the differences in socioeconomic status and career ambition that mark Adèle, who is training to be a nursery-school teacher, and Emma, fiercely determined to land her first painting exhibition. Dr. Pip Gordon, assistant professor of English, will provide the introduction and lead the discussion.

Monday, Feb. 27, 5 p.m.
La Cour de Babel/School of Babel
“School of Babel” follows a year in a Paris schoolroom for children who have recently immigrated to France. Using a surprisingly intimate fly-on-the-wall style, Julie Bertucelli’s documentary gives us unforgettable glimpses into the lives of tweens and teens from Mauritania, Serbia, Venezuela, Rumania, Senegal, Libya, Ireland, Brazil and China. Gormley will provide the introduction and lead the discussion.

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 5 p.m. (mature content)
La Belle Saison/Summertime
It’s 1971 and Delphine (Izïa Higelin), the only child of a farming couple in the Limousin, stuns her rural community by moving to Paris to go to university. Once in the city, she quickly gets swept up in the feminist movement and falls in love with the sophisticated activist Carole (Cécile de France). Clare Forstie, university fellow, Patricia A. Doyle Center for Gender and Sexuality, will provide the introduction and lead the discussion.

Wednesday, March 1, 5 p.m.
Qu'Allah bénisse la France!/May Allah Bless France!
A profoundly satisfying cinematic experience, “May Allah Bless France!” is a coming-of-age story and redemption tale based on the writer-director’s own youth in the beleaguered projects of Strasbourg. The film follows the struggles of Régis, a budding rapper who relies on petty crime to fund his passion for music. But as his fellow musicians get lured into drug dealing, teenage Régis finds salvation in the classics of French literature and his conversion to Sufi Islam. Dr. Richard Waugh, professor of geography, will provide the introduction and lead the discussion.

The International Film Festival is made possible with the support of UW-Platteville College of Liberal Arts and Education, UW-Platteville Human Resources, Avalon Cinema, and The French American Cultural Exchange Tournées Film Festival. The Tournées Film Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States of America, Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée, French American Cultural Fund, Florence Gould Foundation and Highbrow Entertainment.

To request disability accommodations, contact the College of Liberal Arts and Education at 608-342-1151 or lae@uwplatt.edu. For any other questions, contact Siddiqui at siddiquig@uwplatt.edu.

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, Communications Specialist, College of Liberal Arts and Education, 608-342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu


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