The fifth and final Tournées French Film Festival will premiere the weekend of Feb. 19 and 20 at the Wettaw building, #88, room 130, and will feature five contemporary films selected by cinema and visual culture students at Northern Arizona University.

The films will be in French with English subtitles and the festival is free and open to the public. Parking is available off-campus and in parking lot P7 near the Wall Aquatic Center.

The festival is a program overseen by the French American Cultural Exchange, which awards grants to universities across the United States to bring French film festivals to their campuses. This is the final year of the grant.

Featured films

Saturday, Feb. 19

Welcome

Welcome

Noon
Welcome
Directed by Philippe Lioret, 2008, 110 min., NRBoth a study of a budding friendship and a compassionate look at the perils faced by illegal immigrants, Welcome centers on Bilal, a 17-year-old Iraqi Kurd who is stuck in Calais, northern France, and Simon, a recently divorced swimming teacher.  Acting veteran Lindon and first-time performer Ayverdi beautifully play off each other as Simon and Bilal slowly start to form a tender surrogate father-son connection.

Panique au village

Panique au village

3 p.m.
Panique au village (A Town Called Panic)
Directed by Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar, 2009, 75 min., NRThe giddy, chaotic pace in Aubier and Patar’s first feature, made using meticulously detailed stop-motion animation and a cast of 1,500 plastic-toy figures, never lets up for a second. Gleefully defying all logic, A Town Called Panic finds its heroes Horse, Cowboy and Indian, living together harmoniously, with Horse partial to taking long, soapy hot showers. A Town Called Panic is in a class of its own, its playful, nonstop anarchy bound to appeal to children and adults alike.

Barbe bleu

Barbe bleu

7 p.m.
Barbe bleu (Bluebeard)
Directed by Catherine Breillat, 2008, 80 min., NRDirector Breillat slyly subverts Charles Perrault’s gruesome 1697 fairy tale about a monstrous aristocrat who marries and murders a series of wives. By inserting semiautobiographical scenes of two sisters in the 1950s who are fascinated with this grisly narrative, Breillat creates a clever framing device to explicate a centuries-old story—and tease out its significance in the contemporary world.
Sunday, Feb. 20

L'ennemi intime

L’ennemi intime

Noon
L’ennemi intime (Intimate Enemies)
Directed by Florent-Emilio Siri, 2006, 108 min., NRSet in 1959, Siri’s film is a harrowing depiction of Algeria’s war for independence, the contradictory title referring to the fact that less than 10 years after French and Algerian soldiers fought together against the Nazis, they were battling each other. Siri’s filmmaking finesse never detracts from “Intimate Enemies’” deeper significance as an unforgettable statement on the absolute futility of war—a message that powerfully resonates today.

Cliente

Cliente

4 p.m.
Cliente 
(A French Gigolo)
Directed by Josiane Balasko, 2007, 105 min., NRPoised, confident, attractive 50-ish divorcée Judith (Nathalie Baye, in an expert performance) runs a home-shopping TV show with her sister, Irène. While Irène dreams of finding Mr. Right, Judith favors the no-strings attachment of paying gigolos for sex. Consistently funny, A French Gigolo is nonetheless seriously committed to exposing sexual double standards.