The French Film Festival is returning for it’s eighth year in a row on Tuesday, March 21 to Friday, March 25 in the Fullerton College Campus Theatre.
Last year, it held an average of around 200 people per night and sold out all 540 tickets on Thursday.
With it’s gain in popularity, this year the event will be consecutive one day after another, leading to the biggest week the French Film Festival has ever had.
All four days of the event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Three of the four days will be showcasing a film in French with English subtitles.
On top of that, one hour before the movie starts, there will also be a cultural experience that will include a mix of singing, dancing, art exhibits, foreign foods and much more.
“We’re expanding it beyond just film to really emphasize the cultural aspect of it,” Catherine Reinhardt said, a chair member of the festival. “It’s like a window into another culture because when you’re in Orange County, you can actually forget that there’s a whole other world out there. We want people not to forget and to open the windows and to see something else.”
The French Film Festival started out in the Wilshire Theater. There was a lack of attendance as it was not well known throughout Fullerton College. The amount of attendance barely made it to continue for the following year.
“We couldn’t expand until we actually advertised in the community” Carol Rehfield explained, who’s a committee member for the French Film Festival since the start of the event.
Advertising has seriously developed over the years from a few posters on campus to the current large banner hanging over Harbor Boulevard and in local businesses, along with social media posts so that anyone online can discover the event.
The event previously received funding from the Tournées Film Festival program, but in return could only display a few movies selected by the program.
The popularity from the past three years allowed the French Film Festival committee to move away from the program to take charge by choosing their own French films and paying for the screening rights.
The popularity also allowed the event to expand, with more sponsors and businesses now taking part in this event.
The event will now include Hors d’Oeuvres from different restaurants participating every night for the first time, including Moulin Bistro, Pandor Boulangerie, Yves Restaurant and Wine bar, Porto’s Bakery, La Belle Cuisine, Les Amis, Jägerhaus, Choux Creme and Bourbon Street Restaurant. This will be free to all ticket holders.
Along with a variety of foods, there will be different fun activities and surprises each night of the event such as a free photo booth that takes you under the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, and a painting demonstration of “Starry Night”.
The French Film Festival will not be entirely French like previous years because for the first time, there will be a spotlight on Germany on Wednesday, March 22!
“It’s a really good opportunity to provide an aspect of German culture, specifically Bavarian culture” Klaus Hornell said, director of the German program at Fullerton College. “You will get to see cultural dress during the dance performance and a film that gives a small window of how German society operates and connects”
The event will begin with a German dance performed by Die Gemutlichen Schuhplattler of the Phoenix Club at 6:30 p.m.
Hornell is a long time member of the group and will be preforming as well. A German restaurant in the community, Jägerhaus, will also be providing a taste of German food during the event.
“This is the first step, and the goal is to eventually create a German Film Festival,” Hornell said.
Tickets are on sale now in the box office and are also sold one hour prior to each performance for walk-up sales only.
“All the proceeds go to run the next Film Festival and to give scholarships to students”, Rehfield explained. “It comes right back to the college.”
The movie Itinerary is as follows:
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 – “Samba”/”Samba”
Wednesday, March 22, 2017 – “Die Welle”/”The Wave”
Thursday, March 23, 2017 – “La Guerre des Boutons”/”War of the Buttons”
Friday, March 24, 2017 – “Les Innocentes”/”The Innocents”
All movies will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Fullerton College Campus Theatre.