The French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), inspired by the success of the Festival Tournées in the US and its expertise in developing new audiences among young generations, has decided to customise the festival format to engage with a selection of Universities on the continent. French Films on Campus is developed in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, the French Institute in Paris and the Premiers Plans Festival.
The festival aims to bring French cinema to university audiences in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The selected films and series of this second edition of French Films on Campus Africa cross generational and geographical boundaries, offer a wide range of genres and subjects, and present innovations in both style and storytelling. They include films by emerging directors as well as films by respected and renowned figures of French cinema.
Each University that enters French Films On Campus programming can choose their own festival film selection over a catalogue of 20 features films. They can also choose the number of screenings as well as the dates of the festival. IFAS is providing an ultra-secured and cutting-edge technology online festival platform, films’ material and is covering copyright fees. IFAS is also providing marketing and communication tools, can facilitate the participation of talents and experts and access to content by providing data. In the context of the pandemic, IFAS has indeed signed a partnership with the French online festival and screening platform Festivalscope in order for students and academics to access an online version of French Films On Campus.
After a first edition in September 2020 with WITS University (Johannesburg), it is UP’s turn to host the festival online in its campus from 17 th to 28 th of May.
Thanks to a partnership between the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the IFAS, the University of Pretoria will host the Online Festival for its 50,000 students with a program of 8 feature films selected from the French Film On Campus catalog by the departments of Ancient and Modern Languages and Cultures, Visual studies, History & Heritage Studies and School of Arts.
“French cinema has a rich and layered history ranging from the very origins of film itself and important movements such as the New Wave, to the films of Francophone filmmakers whose work addresses crucial French socio-political realities that often resonate with adjacent realities in South Africa. Across our countries, these touchpoints provide a starting point for thinking about film’s capacity to challenge the status quo by giving a voice and presence to those who (are often made to) occupy the margins”.
Dr. Chris Broodryk, Chair of Drama, School of the Arts
“I am looking forward to exploring where film, creative memory and interstitial history encounter each other.”
Dr. Nisa Paleker, Senior Lecturer, Department of Historical and Heritage Studies
“I am excited about the festival because I hope that we will all be made aware of and learn to appreciate the rich diversity that exists within the francophone world so that we can continue to celebrate life and art across borders, nationalities, races and cultures.”
Dr Anna-Marie de Beer, Lecturer in Department of Ancient and Modern Languages and Cultures
“The current climate has stymied our cultural connections, leaving us starved for enrichment. I’m looking forward to the Transnational Encounters film festival as a break away from the mundane lockdown life: an opportunity for artistic appreciation and philosophical reflection.”
Ms. Deneesher Pather, Ph.D. Student and Assistant Lecturer in Visual Studies
“Cinematic experiences as an art form have always left indelible marks as a reflection of world events and have provided both an escape and a tool to deal with the changing nature of the world. This French film festival thus naturally provides each of us with a unique opportunity to reassess our standpoint as individuals, to reconnect as humans through the beautiful French language and to appreciate the valuable impact of films in modern society.”
Ms. Rogene van Tonder, Department of Ancient and Modern Languages and Cultures