French Film Festival
French students get the opportunity to attend the annual French Film Festival in Richmond, Va., which is sponsored by Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Richmond.
One of the largest festivals of its kind in the U.S., film directors, actors, and technical staff from France are invited to present new films.
The audience even gets the opportunity to meet some of the featured actors in a question-answer session after each film.
A unique workshop in 2010 was conducted by an expert technician in the latest 3-D technology. Our students viewed a series of short films that demonstrated the newest techniques.
The famous Byrd Theatre, host to the festival, is located on Cary Street in Richmond. This area is animated with its French Bakery, art shops, restaurants with international cuisine, and shops.
What Students Say
I loved the festival and am so glad I got to go. It's such an amazing experience to see all those movies and then get to interact with the directors and actors. It's also really interesting seeing movies that you may not normally watch, either on your own or in a classroom. Thank you so much for the opportunity to experience the French film festival! -Christine Swett '16
The Byrd theatre where the festival was on is originally an opera house that is grand and classic. Because of the conversation between directors and the audience, I could appreciate understand the films much more, and know the others’ thoughts. Besides, through French film class I take this semester, I have learned how to criticize and appreciate film, which seemed to be much more important than before I came here. Personally, I think film is important for life. Audience learns the way to live, feel, and communicate through film. And this festival made people connected and communicated through the common fun and heartwarming moments in the films. - Shoyeong Kim, visiting undergraduate
The French Film Festival was an incredible experience, especially as a student that has a minor in French. However, I believe that even students not involved in French still would have enjoyed themselves. It was a very shocking experience to be that close to people who are famous in another country because each and every one of the producers/actors/directors/etc.were extremely humble. They were all willing to answer questions and give their opinions and insight and they were wearing t-shirts and jeans! The films shown were all very well done, and it allowed me to see directly into another culture, which surprisingly did not seem too different from my own. I was very honored to have been in the same room as the Ambassador of France and to learn that my very own home state has developed a strong relationship with France. I am proud to be a Virginian, and even more proud to be a student of the French language and culture. The film festival is something I believe all students deserve to experience, especially those who would like practice listening to and comprehending the French language! - Emily Moore '16
I really enjoyed The French Film Festival. Film festivals in general are a great experience because often the directors will present what they've made and it becomes really surreal; sometimes people just imagine movies as actors being filmed but there's an entire creative team and extensive process behind it that is really fascinating, but we never really get to see. The French Film Festival was not only educational in terms of film making, but also in terms of cultural awareness. - Cierra McMahan '17
I was afforded a wonderful opportunity to attend the French Film Festival in Richmond Virginia on March 29, 2014. There I got to be part of a unique cultural exchange situation by the seeing the similarities and differences between various French films as well the reactions of the American people to the those particular pieces. As an international student, coming from a country with has very strong French and American influences, I was very intrigued by the perspectives of the filmmakers as well as the various audiences. - Leandra Williams ‘17
The French Film Festival was such a great learning experience. The discussion was my favorite part because you got to see the thought process behind the film and got to take away a deeper meaning of the film than otherwise possible. It was like seeing the director's commentary in real life. I feel so lucky that Lynchburg College allows French students to experience these types of events! I felt so starstruck to be in the same room as such notable people as Jacques Perrin!! - Kendell Porter '16
As for what I'd say about my experiences at the film festival...It was everything I could have imagined and much more. I've been wanting to go to the film festival since 2010 when I first moved to Virginia and heard about the event. I got to eat a succulent French croissant from a legitimate French bakery before sitting for hours and hours on a spring beneath old fabric in a grand sea of a thousand unfamiliar faces all there for one purpose; to watch film. After the viewing, we got to hear from the actual directors and actors, including the very famous Jacques Perrin. Hearing from minds behind the masterpieces we just viewed was, again, beyond belief and expectation. I had so much fun this year, and I cannot wait to do it again in years to come. - Melanie Armstrong '17