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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Ninth annual French Film Festival turns Fullerton College into a cultural hub

Fullerton College’s ninth annual French Film Festival concluded on Friday, Apr. 13, with the movie “Chocolat”.

This year was even more mesmerizing than previous ones. The event has grown in popularity, number of participants and value to the community.

The festival spanned over four days and featured a cultural event on each day that presented astonishing performances. The event also hosted a few local restaurants and bakeries that served French-inspired food to attendees.

French Club students performing 'allouete' on premiere night. Photo credit: Linda Briney Fullerton College

The attendees included former and current Fullerton College students, parents and high school students full of enthusiasm for French culture.

The experience has proven over the years to be a good opportunity for the community to get together. Attendees discussed art and culture, shared a meal and immersed themselves into French culture.

Alan Ferracoli working on her painting during the French Film Festival held in Fullerton College. Photo credit: Linda Briney Fullerton College

Students showcased their talents in singing, painting, dancing, photography, and music. There was a Bavarian dance put on by the German Club on the night that celebrated German culture, ethnic food, and artistic activities available for attendees.

They even had a pin crafting station, where you can get a Parisian inspired souvenir.

Parisian inspired custom made souvenirs. Photo credit: Linda Briney Fullerton College

John Quick, a representative of Alliance Française – an international organization that seeks to promote the French culture and language – and a member of the film committee, stressed the importance of this event to members of the community

“It’s a great gathering. It has something for everyone that connects them to the community,” Quick said. “I see people that come back every year.”

“Fullerton College has given a lot to the community and we are always here to give back and support.”

Various restaurants offered delicious food tasting each night.

Tommy Levasseur, representing Pandor Artisan Boulangerie & Cafe, found the event eye-opening.

Representatives of Pandor Boulangerie give out samples during the French Film Festival. Photo credit: Linda Briney Fullerton College

“I did not know so many French people lived in the area. I got to speak French with a lot of people, and I was born in France, so it was nice speaking French,” Levasseur continued. “It was great, we’re excited to be here again and we love coming here.”

The movies showcased, one shown for each day of the festival, were the highlight of each night. They were culturally immersive, evoked deep thinking and sentimental affection.

“La Famille Bélier”, shown on Tuesday, Apr. 10, is a comedy/drama that follows the life of a 16-year-old girl named Paula. Born to a deaf family, she is a necessary interpreter for her family.

She and her family are torn when an opportunity arises to leave them to audition for a prestigious school in Paris. As her story unfolds, the audience witnesses a heartwarming story of a family torn apart by their differences, but united by their love, as a young girl journeys to follow her dream.

“Der Ganz Grosse Traum”, shown on German Night Wednesday, April 11, translated to “Lessons of a Dream”, is a German drama that takes place in the late 19th century and tells the story of Konrad Koch, one of the first English teachers in Germany.

He aspires to pique his students’ interest in English culture by teaching them soccer. While he opens his students’ minds and hearts to camaraderie, his liberal approach soon causes trouble within the school and local community.

“La Vache” was shown on Thursday, April 12. The comedy/adventure film details the story of Fatah, an Algerian peasant who leaves his family to follow his dream of taking his cow, Jacqueline, to the Paris International Agricultural Show.

“Chocolat” was shown on April 13, the last day of the film festival. The biographical drama follows Chocolat, the first African-American clown in late 19th century France as he faces racism and continues his quest to be taken seriously as an actor.

“I wish the festival was a week long,” said Alicia Tucker, a Fullerton High School student. “The food was amazing, the movie was great and I can’t wait to see what the festival will bring us next year.”

Starting next week, professor Catherine Reinhardt-Zacair and her French Club students will be attending the Colcoa French Film Festival in Los Angeles to pick the movies for next years event.