VCU To Host Internationally Recognized French Film Festival

Directors and actors to present their films and interact with the audience

The 16th annual Virginia Commonwealth University French Film Festival will present an unparalleled selection of feature films and short films, including several North American premieres.

The VCU French Film Festival will be held March 28 through March 30 at the historic Byrd Theatre in Richmond. French director Jean Becker and actor Thierry Lhermitte will lead a delegation of more than 30 directors and actors who will present their films and participate in question-and-answer sessions with the audience.

This year, the VCU French Film Festival offers a selection of 11 feature films and 14 short films to the public, all illustrating the diversity and richness of current French cinematographic production. All films have English subtitles.

The VCU French Film Festival draws a large American audience from across the United States. Last year's festival attracted a record-breaking 20,000 patrons made up of a diverse American and French public, including film enthusiasts, families, art aficionados, teachers and students. Peter Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., executive director of VCU's Office of International Education, and his wife, Françoise Ravaux-Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., founded the festival and serve as co-directors. 

The festival is also making an unprecedented connection between eight directors associated with the FEMIS, France's top cinema school, who will stay a week after the event to shoot in 35mm cinemascope format a series of short films with VCUArts Cinema students.

Some of this year's feature films include "Ensemble c'est tout," by Claude Berri; "Dialogue avec mon jardinier," by Jean Becker; "Jean de La Fontaine-le défi," directed by Daniel Vigne; "Un secret," directed by Claude Miller; and "L'Invité," by Laurent Bouhnik. Selections illustrate the diversity and richness of French cinema today.

The festival is sponsored by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Unifrance, l'ARP (Guild of French Directors and Producers) and the SACD (Society of Dramatic Authors, Directors and Producers). The Community Idea Stations (PBS) and the TV channel TV5MONDE are also partners of the festival.

All screenings will be presented at the Byrd Theatre, 2908 Cary St., in the heart of Richmond's cultural and commercial neighborhood, Carytown. Visit for the 2008 festival schedule and a synopsis of each film.

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see