Riverside, Calif. (March 7, 2017) – The College of Arts and Science at California Baptist University is offering students a unique opportunity to explore several acclaimed French films through the Tournées Film Festival. The festival kicked off on March 6 and will feature six films in three weeks.

The Tournées program is an initiative of the Franco-American Cultural Exchange, which is dedicated to fostering greater international awareness of French and Francophone cultures.

Dr. Owen Staley, CBU lecturer in modern languages and literature and festival coordinator, said CBU applied to host the festival on campus along with a selected list of films that would be relevant to a CBU audience.

Staley said each movie will be a unique experience for CBU students.

“Mainly what we are looking for in the selected films are compelling stories that are told in different genres that can inspire students to think how they can advance the mission of CBU,” Staley said.

On March 6, the festival opened with “Diplomatie” (2014), a film about a Swedish diplomat who has to bargain with a Nazi commander. On March 8, the second film of the festival will feature “Monsieur Lazhar” (2011). The film follows an Algerian refugee living in Canada who takes over a demoralized sixth-grade class whose teacher has committed suicide.

The second week of the festival will feature a classic film that is hard to get a hold of, Staley said.

“‘L’Armée des ombres’ is a great film about the French resistance during the second World War,” Staley said. “The film doesn’t romanticize the resistance, and it raises moral questions such as wartime killings…it’s a reflective piece.”

All films are in French with English subtitles. At each screening, a speaker will introduce the film and then lead the audience in a discussion after the conclusion of the film.

“This is an opportunity [for students] to have a foreign film experience they will remember for the rest of their lives,” Staley said. “These are great films and the themes will mean something to them…films have a way of making the world smaller.”

For a full list of films with times and locations click here.