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Four days of French films for free

March 21, 2011

U.S. premiere of "Espions" will include a Q&A with director Nicolas Saada.

Francophiles and cinemaphiles – aren’t they usually one and the same? – can start counting down the days now. The second annual Chapman University and Tournees French Film Festival opens Thursday, March 24, with a U.S. premiere screening of Espions and a Q&A with its director, Nicolas Saada, and continues with a terrific lineup of French films through Sunday, March 27.

Thanks to sponsorship of the festival from Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dodge College of Film & Media Arts, the Office of the Chancellor and the Department of Languages’ French Club, all screenings are free.

Thursday’s premiere, sponsored by uniFrance Films, is a sensual thriller starring Guillaume Canet and opens the festival at 7 p.m. in Folino Theater at Marion Knott Studios.

All other films will screen in Irvine Lecture Hall, including:

Friday, March 25

7 p.m. – Paris – explores the lives of eight strangers whose paths intersect in Paris. Director Cedric Klapisch.

9:30 p.m. – Bluebeard – a gruesome fairy tale about a man with a blue beard. Director Catherine Breillat.

Saturday, March 26

Noon – Summer Hours – a film about three siblings and their mother’s death. Director Oliver Assayas.

2 p.m. – Coco before Chanel – a chronicle of Coco Chanel’s early life. Director Anne Fontaine.

6 p.m. – Welcome – the story of a swim coach and an illegal immigrant. Director Phillippe Lioret.

8 p.m. – The French Kissers – a coming of age tale about a boy trying to fit in. Director Riad Sattouf.

Sunday, March 27

1 p.m. – Le Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet – a documentary about the making of seven ballets. Director Frederick Wiseman.

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