Loyola hosts women-centered French film festival


A still from the 2019 film “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.” It is one of many films from the Tournées Film Festival lineup. Courtesy of NEON

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Loyola will be hosting this year’s virtual edition of the Tournées Film Festival focused on women-centered French films.

This year’s theme focuses on six French films either made by or about women. The selection includes recent films such as Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” the Justine Triet drama “Sibyl,” Bruno Dumont’s Joan of Arc biopic “Jeanne,” and “Varda by Agnes,” the titular director’s final documentary before her passing in 2019.

The festival runs from March 12 to April 15. It will show one film every Thursday for six weeks through Zoom, and will also feature presentations from a series of guest speakers in which they discuss the films presented.

The lineup also includes past films such as French actress Mia Hansen-Løve’s directorial debut “Things to Come” (2007) and Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambéty’s “Hyenas” (1992).

The Department of Languages and Cultures, in cooperation with the Center for International Education and Loyola Society for Francophone Cultures, spearheaded the event by applying to the annual grant from FACE Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting French-American relations through the arts.

“We were lucky enough to be chosen, and we hope this reaches a larger demographic since we reside in a city known for its rich French history,” said Kim Diaz, a member of the Society for Francophone Cultures.

Owing to the festival’s theme, the department has also partnered with the Women’s Resource Center.

“We found it best to partner with WRC so we could receive aid in examining women and LGBTQ+ ideals demonstrated in the films,” Diaz continued.

French professor Amanda Vredenburgh, who handles the administrative side of the festival, hopes to spark a discussion on women’s contemporary issues, such as queer relationships and the historical oppression of women through the films featured in the festival.

“Given the cultural and economic importance of French in Louisiana, we wish to bring Francophone cultures to Loyola through cinema to highlight their importance both in the local and international communities,” she said.

Diaz said she has high hopes for Tournées.

“We thought it would be memorable to host this festival that centralizes itself on women while witnessing Loyola’s first female president,” Diaz said.