French Film Festival Coming to Wausau

By: Kristen Guilfoos Email
By: Kristen Guilfoos Email

A big French Film Festival is coming to Wausau. The festival's coordinator stopped by Sunrise 7 to tell us all about it.

The Artist, the big winner at the 2012 Academy Awards, will be the lead act in the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County’s fourth annual free French film festival. The silent movie will be shown Feb. 14, 7 p.m., in the UW Center for Civic Engagement Theater, 625 Stewart Ave., Wausau.

“I’m very excited that we are able to offer The Artist as part of this year’s Tournées Festival,” said Julie Bunczak, who teaches French at UWMC and organizes the festival. “It was the first French film ever to win Best Film and Jean Dujardin was the first French actor win Best Actor.

“The film, which is set in Hollywood with a very Hollywood flavor, showed only briefly in Wausau last year so I think it will be a big draw,” said Bunczak, who received the 2012 UW Colleges Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, in part for her work in bringing The Tournées Film Festival to central Wisconsin.

The special Valentine’s Day showing of The Artist will be appealing to all types of movie goers, according to Bunczak. “My hope is that it will draw people looking for something different to do on the biggest date night of the year, but it also would be a cool thing for anyone who loves great cinema to enjoy.”

Four other movies are included in this year’s French film festival. They will be shown in the UWMC Auditorium, located in the campus’ main building at 518 S. 7th Ave., Wausau.

•Romantics Anonymous, Feb. 15, 7 p.m., a romantic comedy about a gifted chocolatier who is so self-effacing that any complement sends her into great distress.

•Tales of the Night, Feb. 17, 2 p.m., an animated film that featuring six visually bold fairy tales rendered in “shadow puppet style”.

•The Hedge Hog, Feb. 21, 7 p.m., adapted from Muriel Barbery’s international best seller, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, the film follows two parallel storylines: one featuring a morbid little girl and the other a mysterious middle-aged widow janitor.

•17 Girls, Feb. 22, 7 p.m., is set in a French seaside village and is inspired by the true story of high school students from a Massachusetts fishing town who make a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together.

Tales of the Night is in English. The other movies are in French with English subtitles. All are free and open to the public. After each showing, a UWMC faculty member will lead an audience discussion about the film.

The Tournées Festival is made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture. Locally, the festival is sponsored by the UWMC Department of World Languages.

Each year, the grant for this festival is awarded to approximately 85 colleges and universities in the United States.