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Francophone Fest brings rare films, director to WMU

March 10, 2011

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Francophone Film Festival poster art.KALAMAZOO--The Francophone Film Festival celebrates its 10th year of bringing rare films from French-speaking nations to Kalamazoo with a full slate of new films and a visit by a well-known North African director next week at Western Michigan University.

A highlight of the festival, running Wednesday through Sunday, March 16-20, in the Little Theatre, will be the appearance of noted Algerian filmmaker Abdelkrim Bahloul, who will present his film "A Trip to Algiers." The film will be given its U.S. premiere at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 19, and 4 p.m. Sunday, March 20. Bahloul will be on hand to lead post-screening dialogues.

Set in the period immediately after the departure of French colonists from Algeria in 1962, "A Trip to Algiers" tells the true story of an independence fighter's widow expulsed from her house by a local city official. After a lost battle at the local level, she decides to go to the capital to meet the president of the republic. She wins her case with the intervention of a young colonel who was to become president shortly after.

Bahloul studied at the Institut des Houtes Etudes Cinématographiques in Paris and has worked as a director and an actor since 1980. He has directed six award-winning films, including "The Assassinated Sun," which won the Gold Kazoo award at the Francophone Film Festival of Kalamazoo in 2004. Released in 2009, "A Trip to Algiers" won the Best Script Award at the Francophone Film Festival of Namur, in Belgium.

Bahloul's visit is through the Visiting Scholars and Artists Program and cosponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages, Africana Studies and the School of Communication.

Other long-feature films this year include "Route 132" by Louis Bélanger, "Polytechnique" by Denis Villeneuve, "A Woman Like No Others" by Dao Abdoulaye, "Aliker" by Guy Deslauriers, "35 Shorts of Rum" by Claire Denis and "Tabataba" by Raymond Rajaonarivelo.

For more information, including screening times and admission prices, visit wmich.edu/fffkazoo.

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Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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