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French Film Festival coming up Feb. 19 to 22

February 13, 2009

Coastal Carolina University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) will host its fifth annual French Film Festival, beginning Thursday, Feb. 19 and continuing through Sunday, Feb. 22 at various times at the Waccamaw Higher Education Center, located at 160 Willbrook Blvd. off U.S. 17 in Litchfield.

The event, organized by OLLI foreign film instructor Josette Sharwell, was made possible through the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture. Admission is $2 and free for students and OLLI members. For more information, call 843-349-4030.

Thursday, Feb. 19, 7 p.m. "Ma Vie en l'air" ("My Life in the Air"), directed and written by Remy Bezancon, 2005

Yann Kerbec's traumatic birth took place on an airliner in the skies over the Pacific Ocean. His mother died during the birth, and Yann (Vincent Elbaz) has not flown since. Now he is an aviation safety simulator trainer for pilots of a large airline company, but he still refuses to fly -- that is, until he meets Alice (Marion Cotillard). Nominated for a Cesar (French equivalent of Oscars) in 2006.

Friday, Feb. 20, 7 p.m. "Un Secret" ("A Secret"), directed by Claude Miller, 2007

Based on a true story, this moving film provides insight into the inner workings of a close French family who lived through the Nazi invasion and how they moved on yet never fully recovered. It received one award and 10 nominations at the 2008 Cesars (French Oscars), and it won the Grand Prix at the 2007 Montreal Film Festival.

Saturday, Feb. 21, 1:30 p.m. "La Faute a Fidel" ("Blame it on Fidel"), directed by Julie Gavras, 2006

Anna's bourgeois Parisian life is turned upside down in 1970 Paris when her aunt, a refugee of Franco's Spain, shows up and forces a change in the family's political attitude. Told from Anna's perspective, the film captures the coming-of-age moment when children realize the contradictions of adulthood and have to make their own choices. It was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

Saturday, Feb. 21, 4:30 p.m. "Ne le dis a personne" ("Tell No One"), directed by Guillaume Canet, 2007

Pediatrician Alex Beck is swimming in a lake with his wife Margot when she disappears. Alex is suspected, but it becomes apparent that she was the victim of a serial killer. Or was she? Eight years later, Alex receives an e-mail with what appears to be a recent video of his wife that instructs him to "tell no one." The film won four Cesars (French Oscars), including awards for best director and best actor, and it was nominated for five more.

Sunday, Feb. 22, 2 p.m. "Le Scaphandre et le Papillion" ("Diving Bell and Butterfly"), directed by Julian Schnabel, 2007

In 1995, 43-year-old Jean-Dominique Bauby was at the top of his game as editor-in-chief for the prestigious French magazine Elle. That is, until he suffers a cardiovascular "incident" that leaves him completely paralyzed except for his left eye. Instead of becoming a prisoner in his near-lifeless body, he learns, painstakingly, to use his remaining eye to communicate, remember and imagine in ways he never knew before. It won the Golden Globe 2007 Best Picture of the Year, and it was nominated for four Academy Awards.