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Skidmore College
The French Program

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French Film Festival Title Picture




Join us throughout the year for screenings and discussions of six films that grapple with the search for identity, and explore the people and places that make us who we are.

These events are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. All films will be shown with English subtitles.

Sponsored by the Department of World Languages & Literatures and Albertine Cinematheque a program of FACE Foundation and Villa Albertine, with support from the CNC / Centre National du Cinema, and SACEM / Fonds Culturel Franco-Américain.

Co-sponsored by Asian Studies, Black Studies, the Dean of the Faculty, Gender Studies, International Affairs, MDOCS, Media & Film Studies, and Sociology.


Spring 2024

Winter Boy Poster

      Return to Seoul
       Davy Chou
        (Cambodia, France, Germany, Belgium, Qatar, 2022)

        Friday, February 9
        Emerson Auditorium
        This screening will be followed by an in-person discussion with the director, Davy Chou.


Freddie, a young French woman, finds herself spontaneously tracking down the South Korean birth parents she has never met while on vacation in Seoul. From this seemingly simple premise, Cambodian-French filmmaker Davy Chou spins an unpredictable, careering narrative that takes place over the course of several years, always staying close on the roving heels of its impetuous protagonist, who moves to her own turbulent rhythms. Chou elegantly creates probing psychological portraiture from a character whose feelings of unbelonging have kept her at an emotional distance from nearly everyone in her life; it’s an enormously moving film made with verve, sensitivity, and boundless energy. (Film at Lincoln Center)

Watch the trailer here


Saint Omer Poster

      Saint Omer
       Alice Diop
        (France, 2022)

        Thursday, March 21
        Emerson Auditorium


Rama, a successful journalist and author living in Paris, has come to Saint Omer, a town in the north of France, to attend the trial of a young Senegalese woman, Laurence Coly, who allegedly murdered her baby daughter. Although she admits to killing the child, she cannot or will not provide motivation, claiming it was a kind of sorcery out of her control. Rama’s plan to write about Laurence in a book inspired by the Medea myth increasingly unravels as she becomes overwhelmed by the case and reckons with memories of her immigrant mother as well as her own impending motherhood. In her consummate fiction feature debut, Alice Diop constructs an arresting yet highly sensitive, superbly acted film of constantly revealing layers. Saint Omer is at once a tense courtroom drama, a work of abstracted psychological portraiture, an inquiry into human agency, and a provocative examination of the limits of myth and cross-cultural knowledge. (Film at Lincoln Center)

Watch the trailer here

The 400 Blows Poster

       Fanny Liatard & Jérémy Trouilh
        (France, 2020)

        Thursday, April 25
        Emerson Auditorium


16-year-old Youri has lived his whole life in Cité Gagarine, a vast red brick housing estate on the outskirts of Paris, where he dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he hears of plans to demolish his community’s home, Youri joins the resistance. With his friends Diana and Houssam, as well as other local residents, he embarks on a mission to save Gagarine by transforming it into his own “spaceship”. When they discovered the former working-class estate in 2014, Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh were captivated by this immense red housing block of 370 homes, which had just been approved for demolition as part of an urban redevelopment plan. Given the task to capture the families being forced out of the area along with their stories, the directors quickly felt the need to show the contrast between the negative images portrayed in the media and the reality of their experience with the residents of the estate. By combining archival images, including those of the famous cosmonaut who gave his name to the estate during its inauguration in 1963, moments of daily life, and surrealist scenes that reflect Youri’s imagination, Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh have created a valuable, realistic and dreamlike account of a suburb that has now disappeared. (Festival de Cannes)

Watch the trailer here


Fall 2023

The 400 Blows Poster

        The 400 Blows
        François Truffaut
        (France, 1959)

        Thursday, September 28
        Emerson Auditorium

        Join us to kick off the festival with a classic!

The unforgettable debut feature by François Truffaut is a wrenchingly personal coming-of-age story that introduced the character that would become the director’s lifelong cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel. With the utmost sensitivity, The 400 Blows dramatizes the trials of Truffaut’s own difficult childhood, characterized by aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime. The film marks its maker’s official transition from influential critic to one of Europe’s most brilliant auteurs, and is considered the first true work of the French New Wave. (The Criterion Collection)

Watch the trailer here


Return To Seoul Poster

        Winter Boy
        Christophe Honoré
        (France, 2022)

        Thursday, October 26
        Emerson Auditorium

   “My life has become a wild animal that I can’t approach without getting bitten,” explains young Lucas at the beginning of the latest from Christophe Honoré. In the wake of his father’s sudden death, adolescent Lucas is plunged into deep grief, leading his mother, Isabelle, to send him to live temporarily with his brother, Quentin, in Paris. Manic in his mourning, Lucas tumultuously explores his queer sexuality as his brother and mother deal with their own emotional turmoil. Inspired by Honoré’s experience of losing his own father at the age of 15, Winter Boy stands as one of the director’s most autobiographical films yet, a story that he’s updated and set in the present day—rendering his past both immediate and universal in this raw, tender, and gorgeous work. (Film at Lincoln Center)

This film deals with difficult themes including the loss of a parent, sexual exploitation, and self-harm, and includes a graphic depiction of attempted suicide.

Watch the trailer here


Lingui Poster

        Lingui, The Sacred Bonds
        Mahamat Saleh Haroun
        (Chad, France, Germany, Belgium, 2021)

        Thursday, November 30
        Emerson Auditorium


In this timely, cathartic drama, Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun elevates the saying “It takes a village” to a profound and even sacred necessity. When her 15-year-old daughter becomes pregnant, a single mother’s shame and conflict swiftly transform into fierce maternal determination. The pair’s harrowing quest to secure an abortion potently expands to a web of resilient women (here lingui refers to collective resistance in the face of catastrophic odds) as Haroun melds sober reality with gorgeous visual storytelling. This superb film infuses both thought and feeling into a subject that our own nation continues to struggle with. (Film Forum)

This film deals with difficult themes including unwanted pregnancy, abortion, female genital mutilation, and suicide.

Watch the trailer here