Isabelle Huppert and Roman Kolinka in “Things to Come”

University of Louisville’s French Film Festival is getting a boost this year through a new partnership with the Speed Art Museum, but even with the expansion, all films will be free and open to the public. The annual event that celebrates French and French-speaking cultures starts Thursday, Feb. 2, and continues through Feb. 26.

The eight films in the fest are divided into contemporary and classic, with all the contemporaries screening at UofL’s Floyd Theater on Thursdays and Fridays, and all the classics at Speed Cinema on Sundays. (The full schedule is below.)

The Thursday screenings will include post-film discussions with local experts on French culture and film.

UofL French professor Matthieu Dalle, who directs the festival, says movies in France are just as lucrative and popular as they are here.

“After the USA, France is one of the leading countries in the world of cinema,” he tells Insider. “Its film industry is robust economically, and its productions, directors and actors are recognized internationally — one example among many: This year, actress Isabelle Huppert won the Golden Globe for Best Actress, she is nominated for the Oscars in the same category, and she has the lead role in one of our selections (‘Things to Come’).”

Below is the schedule and capsule descriptions (provided by UofL).

Floyd Theater

• “Being 17” — Thursday, Feb. 2, at 5 and 8 p.m.; and Friday, Feb. 3, at 2 p.m.
Damien lives with his mother Marianne, a doctor, while his father is on a tour of duty abroad. He is bullied by Thomas, whose mother is ill. The boys find themselves living together when Marianne invites Thomas to come and stay with them.

“School of Babel”

• “A Kid (Le fils de Jean)” — Thursday, Feb. 9, at 5 & 8 p.m.; and Friday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m.
Mathieu has never known his father. One morning, in his Parisian flat, he receives a call from Quebec telling him his father just died. Mathieu decides to go to the funeral and meet the two Canadian brothers he just found out he had. In Montreal, nobody is aware of his existence, and Mathieu realizes he is in a hostile territory.

• “School of Babel (La cour de Babel)” — Thursday, Feb. 16, at 5 & 8 p.m.; and Friday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m.
Director Julie Bertuccelli’s feature documentary debut follows one class of students ranging from 11 to 15 years of age as they begin life in a new land at a one-of-a-kind Parisian education program for immigrant children.

• “Things to Come (L’avenir)” — Thursday, Feb. 23, at 5 & 8 p.m.; and Friday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m.
A philosophy teacher soldiers through the death of her mother, getting fired from her job and dealing with a husband who is cheating on her.

Speed Cinema

• “RIFIFI (Du rififi chez les hommes)” — Sunday, Feb. 5, at 12:30 p.m.
Out of prison after a five-year stretch, jewel thief Tony discovers his old girlfriend has become the lover of local gangster Pierre Grutter during Tony’s absence. Expanding a minor smash-and-grab into a full-scale jewel heist, Tony and his crew appear to get away clean, but their actions after the job is completed threaten the lives of everyone involved.

“Hiroshima, My Love”

• “Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur pour l’échafaud)” — Sunday, Feb. 12, at 12:30 p.m.
A self-assured businessman murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events.

• “Hiroshima, My Love (Hiroshima, mon amour)” — Sunday, Feb. 19, at 12:30 p.m.
A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.

• “The Battle of Algiers (La bataille d’Alger)” — Sunday, Feb. 26, at 12:30 p.m.
In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle ( She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."