Statement from the director
The 20th French Film Festival – Richmond, Virginia, has been the culmination of Françoise and Peter Kirkpatrick’s dedication and commitment to French Cinema’s cause. To the cause of Cinema itself should we say. During last year’s splendid 20th anniversary, we were able to witness the convergence of American and French inspiration, inventiveness, and talents, since the cinematograph was invented. Is the invention of cinema French or American? This question was answered every day during the actual ‘French Cinema in America’ week which took place in Richmond, with a three-day symposium free and open to the public entitled “French Film: Arts, Sciences, and Technologies at Work for Humanity” preceding the four-day Festival itself. The answer to the question was: BOTH… In a similar way Martin Scorcese pays tribute to Georges Méliès with Hugo and Bertrand Tavernier celebrates American cinema, its screenwriters and actors in In the Electric Mist.
From the beginning, the stimulating and creative mutual attraction between French and American cinema, brought forth the notion of auteur, independence, and recognition through time of the true value of a film. Far from “Blockbusters” and quickly achieved profit…
The 2012 Symposium took place at the University of Richmond. It purported to subjects as technical creation and the role of the “technician artist” in French cinema. It involved directors, film technicians, cinematographic industry specialists, experts in environmental sciences, as well as health and culture, film students, and film critics from France and the United States. It was a worldwide event. It has to be known and said, given the public and cultural impact and success witnessed in 2012.
I am currently devoting my time to a film about the event, entitled To be 20 in Richmond, symbolically shot by French film students from la Fémis and American film production students from VCU. A film to express all the affection that I have for this city, where I have deep roots; to, always, link together Past, Present and Future; to repeat my obstinacy not to disassociate art, technology and science in the cinematographic process; and to finally acknowledge my filiation, my gratitude and my love for Peter and Françoise who have had for the past 20 years the talent to attract to Virginia, at their own financial risks, the elite of French cinema. It is entirely their fault if, because of seeing in Richmond the best sides of both our countries, I do not know anymore when returning to Paris after my stays in Virginia, if I am French or American.
French Director and Cinematographer
President of the CST (Commission Supérieure Technique de l’Image et du Son)
Professor of Cinematography at La Fémis-Paris
Cast & Crew
Director : Pierre-William Glenn
Crew : VCUart Cinema and La Fémis students
Schedule & Presentation
Presentation by and discussion with director Pierre-William Glenn • Free Screening
Thursday, March 21 – 6:30 p.m at the Byrd Theater ~ 40 min ~ General Audience