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“My Life as a Zucchini”
The 2016 animated French film “My Life as a Zucchini” is one of six films which will be shown at Dakota State University Feb. 23-25, part of DSU’s Tournées French Film Festival. The festival is free and open to the public.

DSU to host French Film Festival

College of Arts and Sciences, Academics, Admissions

“Students at DSU love their technology, but they really want that traditional liberal arts experience as well,” said Dr. Susan Conover, professor of speech at Dakota State University.

“It is important to give our students access to traditional arts and humanities experiences,” she stated, “and they love it!” Through a $2,200 Tournées (pronounced tour-nay) French Film Festival grant which Conover received last summer, DSU will provide such an experience on campus Feb. 23-25.

“We are excited about this opportunity,” said Conover,” as we are the only school in South Dakota who is sponsoring a Tournées Festival.”

She and co-director Tim Orme, assistant professor of animation, have chosen six films which will be shown over the weekend. Five are animated, so the festival is titled “Animation and Inspiration.” This theme will interest DSU’s animation and film and cinematic arts students and will also appeal to those in the greater campus community and the Madison area.

“We hope to give everyone a chance to experience a little trip to France to brighten up their late February,” Conover said. “The French American Cultural Exchange which sponsors the grant is eager to share French culture with those of us in the USA, so I hope we take advantage of this opportunity to develop a clearer understanding and appreciation for our European friends and neighbors.”

Each of the films’ animation style is very different, and the subject matter is varied as well, Conover stated, “political, social, heartwarming, sad, funny -- a little bit of everything, from aging women to disabled children to Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge.” The final film, a 1946 version of “Beauty and the Beast,” is live action.  “I thought it would be interesting to see one of the inspirations for the Disney film of the same name,” she said. 

The Tournées Film Festival is a program of the FACE Foundation (French-American Cultural Exchange), an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. FACE partners with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States to promote artistic, literary and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. Founded in 1995, the Tournées Film Festival has partnered with over 500 universities, reaching an audience of over 500,000 students and community members all across the United States.

“We extend a big thank you to the professors who put on these festivals that inspire us, through exploring another culture, to become more tolerant, more curious, and more available to others,” said Alejandra Norambuena Skira, director general of the Franco-American Cultural Fund.

DSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Digital Arts and Design and the animation and film programs are co-sponsoring the event, which is free and open to students, faculty and staff, and community members. Attendees may participate in any or all of the weekend’s events, which begin Friday evening in the Beacom Institute of Technology; Saturday and Sunday events will be held in the Habeger Science Center.

The festival’s complete schedule is as follows:

Friday, February 23

5:00 p.m. Festival opens in the Beacom Institute of Technology with a photography show of French travels, French cuisine, a photography booth, French trivia.

6:30 p.m. Dr. Marie-Pierre Baggett, professor in SDSU’s Modern Language Department, will discuss French cinema’s international impact.

7:00 p.m.  “Phantom Boy”

Saturday, February 24

Habeger Science Center Auditorium

1:00 p.m.  “My Life as a Zucchini,” introduced by Ryan English, DSU animation professor

Break

3:30 p.m. “The Missing Picture,” introduced by historian and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences Dr. Ben Jones

Break

7:00 p.m. “April and the Extraordinary World,” introduced by DSU animation professor Tim Orme

Sunday, February 25

Habeger Science Center Auditorium

3:30 p.m. “Louise by the Shore,” introduced by DSU art professor Alan Montgomery

Break

7:00 p.m. “Beauty and the Beast,” introduced by CLASSICS Institute Director Dr. Joseph Bottum

Festival Closing