(Posted March 13, 2006)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Just in time for a post-Oscar celebration of movie excellence, Juniata College has organized a French Film Festival from March 16 through April 18 where students and visitors can see classics of recent French cinema.

The films will be shown at 7 p.m. in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus. The film festival, made possible with the support of grants from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture, is free and open to the public.

The schedule of films is as follows:

--March 14: "Les Choristes" (The Chorus)

A young teacher arrives at a boys reformatory school, where the principal rules the school through intimidation and punishment. The young teacher tries to teach the unruly class trust and discipline through music.

--March 19: Un Long Dimanche de finacailles" (A Very Long Engagement)

Starring Audrey Tatou, this is an epic film that follows the adventures of a young provincial girl at the end of World War I. The woman's relentless search for her fiancée, who is believed to be one of five French soldiers court-martialed and made to enter No-Man's Land, takes her deeper into the postwar shame of military secrets and the arbitrary nature of war.

--March 26: "Le Grande Voyage"

A French teenager of Moroccan heritage is asked to accompany his dying father on a pilgrimage to Mecca. The teenager would prefer to stay in school and explore a new relationship, but this "road movie" goes beyond cliché to explore the connections between two different generations of European Muslims.

-- April 9: "Le Placard" (The Closet)

A meek and forgettable accountant learns he is to be fired from his soulless job in a factory. A new neighbor convinces him to start a rumor that he is gay, on the theory that the factory will keep him as an employee rather than risk a sexual discrimination lawsuit. This hilarious comedy of mixed identities targets homophobia and political correctness as its main objects of derision.

--April 18: "L'Esquive" (Games of Love and Chance)

A rough-and-tumble teenager lives in a poor Parisian neighborhood populated primarily by North African immigrants. One of those neighborhood kids, a luminous girl named Lydia, inspires the boy to join her on the cast of the school play. As he grapples with his new infatuation, the teenager must contend with a jealous ex-girlfriend and a threatening bully.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.