University of Pittsburgh
February 22, 2012

Pitt Presents the Tournées Festival for French Films Feb. 23-25

Contact:  412-624-4147


PITTSBURGH—The Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures and Film Studies Program will present the Tournées Festival: New French Films on Campus from Feb. 23 to 25 in the Seventh-Floor Alumni Hall Auditorium, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. All screenings are free and open to the public.

The festival will feature screenings of five recent French films. Among them will be Welcome, which won the 2009 Gijón International Film Festival’s Award for Best Screenplay, the 2009 Heartland Film Festival’s Grande Prize for Dramatic Feature, and the 2012 Lumiere Award for Best Film, and 35 Shots of Rum, which won the 2008 Gijón International Film Festival Special Jury Award and placed third in the National Society of Film Critics Awards’ Best Foreign Language Film category.

A list of the screenings follows.

Feb. 23—7:30 p.m.

Welcome (2008), directed by Philippe Lioret, 110 minutes. 

Synopsis: A study of a budding friendship and the perils faced by illegal immigrants, Welcome centers on 17-year-old Bilal, an Iraqi Kurd who is stuck in Calais, Northern France, and Simon, a recently divorced swimming teacher. Desperate to join his girlfriend in London, Bilal vows to swim across the English Channel if he must, setting the stage for his meeting with Simon. 

Feb. 24—6 p.m.

The Sleeping Beauty (La Belle Endormie, 2010), directed by Catherine Breillat, 82 minutes.

Synopsis: In this deconstruction of the classic fairytale, the title character is six-year-old Anastasia, who is cursed to sleep for 100 years and visits far-off lands in her slumber. She wakes up a century later as a teenager and discovers carnal pleasures with a man and a woman—as well as heartbreak.

Feb. 24—8 p.m.

Boarding Gate (2007), directed by Olivier Assayas, 106 minutes.

Synopsis: In this high-energy international thriller, an Italian woman who lives in London has a passionate affair with a former financial bigwig. She also has a second lover, a contract killer whose target is the bigwig. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, pulling strings, is her second lover’s wife. 

Feb. 25—7 p.m. 

35 Shots of Rum (35 Rhums, 2008), directed by Claire Denis, 100 minutes.

Synopsis: This story follows the dynamics of a family, with a particular focus on how the relationship between a widower and his university-age daughter becomes strained by the arrival of a handsome young man.

Feb. 25—9:15 p.m. 

Hadewijch (2009), directed by Bruno Dumont, 105 minutes.

Synopsis: 20-year-old Céline is expelled from a nunnery for her over-zealous faith and returns to the secular world, where she meets rebellious teenager Yassine and his older brother Nassir, whose religious fervor mirrors Céline’s. Hadewijch explores the relentless pursuit of faith—in both Christianity and Islam—and what drives some believers to acts of extreme violence.

The Tournées Festival is presented in collaboration with Pitt’s University Honors College and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies. For more information, visit