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ADA – February will be a time to view French movies as East Central University, in association with the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, hosts the Fourth Annual French Film Festival during the month.

The films range from romantic to period drama and feature a variety of cultural and historical perspectives. All films are free and open to the public.

The first film will be screened on Tuesday, Feb. 4, while the rest will be shown each Friday during the month, beginning Feb. 7. The first film will be screened in the Foundation Hall of the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center at 9 a.m. while the other four films will be shown at 4 p.m. in the Raymond J. Estep Multimedia Center in the Bill S. Cole University Center.

The festival will showcase five contemporary French films and host a giveaway after every screening, featuring free DVDs, books, posters, desserts, dinner gift certificates and Cinemark movie passes.

 “Attendance at the festival and enthusiasm about it has grown each year,” said Dr. Steve Benton, director of ECU’s Honors Program and an assistant professor in ECU’s Department of English and Languages. “Last year, 410 turned out for the screenings and this year we expect to top that.”

The first film on Tuesday, Nov. 4 is “Monsieur Lazhar,” winner of the prize for Best Canadian Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film explores the process by which M. Lazhar seeks the respect and trust of pupils who are still reeling from a beloved teacher’s suicide. The classroom drama will be the keynote text in the annual symposium hosted by ECU’s Education Department and a panel discussion with education faculty will follow the screening.

“Chicken with Plums” will be featured on Friday, Feb. 7. The afternoon is a celebration of global culture, beginning at 3:30 p.m. with a recital on the Persian Tar (a stringed musical instrument rarely heard in this part of the world) by Callen Clarke and his 14-year-old daughter Faith. Clark, from Edmond, is an internationally recognized composer and performer who has written over 50 works for the Oud (Arabic Lute). Faith will accompany her father as a percussionist. The film “Chicken with Plums” tells the story of Nasser-Ali Khan, a gifted violinist in anguish over the end of his first and only great love affair with the beautiful Irane. Following the film, the atrium of the University Center will be transformed into an international café with the Clarkes continuing their performances and ECU’s International Connections Club, serving food and drinks that will give festival goers a taste of the world.

 “Rust and Bone” will be screened on Valentine’s Day, telling the story of the ultimate fighter Ali and his 5-year-old son who hope to start a new life. Things change for both of them when he meets Stephanie, a whale trainer who lost her legs, following an orca attack. The friendship becomes much more as both struggle to heal their wounds.

 “Amour”, winner of the Academy Award in 2013 for Best Foreign Film, will be shown on Feb. 21. The film tells the story of retired music teachers, Georges and Anne, who still take great delight in each other. Their love is tested, however, as Anne grows increasingly debilitated.

The festival concludes with “Farewell, My Queen” on Feb. 28. The period drama, starring Diana Kruger, focuses on four tumultuous days before the French Revolutions, as Marie

Antionett’s reader navigates the rumors she hears in the gilded halls of Versailles, regarding the Queen’s most prized pet, Gabrielle de Polignac, who makes la reine lose her mind before she loses her head.

 Each film will be introduced by a member of the ECU faculty. For more information, contact Benton at 580-559-5877 or through email at .


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