Archive for December, 2007



December 6, 2007


Co-sponsored by the Upstate Film Society and The Peace Center for the Performing Arts

Newly restored and available for the first time in almost a decade, Albert Lamorisse’s Oscar®-winning The Red Balloon remains one of the most beloved children’s films of all time. Paired with White Mane, Lamorisse’s other newly restored classic short, the two films will anchor the second annual French Film Festival at the Gunter Theatre in late December 2007.

The short film series, co-sponsored by the Upstate Film Society and The Peace Center for the Performing Arts, will feature six award-winning French films. The series will premiere on Friday, Dec. 28 with a screening at 8 p.m. There will be two other screenings on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. In addition, there will be a special family matinee on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 2 p.m. featuring just The Red Balloon and White Mane.

Rounding out the festival are Pen Pusher, a romantic film set on the Paris Métro; My Last Role, a dark comedy about an actor’s memorable final part; The Woman Driver, a droll look at a woman hired to portray a positive image of Switzerland; and Be Quiet, a French-produced film detailing the relationship between a Palestinian boy and his father on their tense journey home. See below for a description of each film.

For ticket information, call The Peace Center box office at 864.467.3000 or 1.800.888.7768 or order online at

Dates and Times:

Friday, Dec. 28 at 8 p.m. (Special premiere screening)

Saturday, Dec. 29 at 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 29 – Family double-feature matinee at 2 p.m. (screenings of The Red Balloon and White Mane only)

Featured Films:

  • Pen Pusher (Gratte Papier) 2005, 9 min. Director Guillaume Martinez takes a dull Parisian Métro ride and transforms it into a fantastic setting for a romantic event, and achieves it without a word being spoken between the two leads. Award: The film won the ‘Silver Bear’ at the 56th Berlin International Film Festival in 2006.
  • My Last Role (Mon Dernier Rôle) 2006, 15 min. Directed by Olivier Ayache-Vidal. For three years actor Patrick Chesnais has been unemployed and living in a small hotel room in the suburbs. Today, Patrick is going to carry out what he’s been thinking about for awhile. This may be his last part, but it will be the greatest. Award: The film won the student jury prize at the 2007 Cracow International Documentary and Short Film Festival.
  • White Mane (Crin-Blanc) 1953, 40 min. Directed by Albert Lamorisse. In the south of France is a near-desert region called La Camargue. There lives White Mane, a magnificent stallion and the leader of a herd of wild horses too proud to let themselves be broken in by humans. Only Folco, a young fisherman, manages to tame him. A strong friendship grows between the boy and the horse, but they must elude the wrangler and his herdsmen to live freely. Janus Films is proud to bring this film, beloved by generations of French children, to North America in 2007 in a glorious new restoration (White Mane is presented in a new English translation, faithful to the original French voiceover and dialogue, spoken by Peter Strauss). Award: The film won the Grand Prize, Best Short Film at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.
  • The Woman Driver (La Conductrice) 2004, 10 min. Directed by Carl Lionnet. A young woman, hired to provide a positive image of Switzerland, profiles her daily routine. Award: Official selection at the short film festival in Clermont-Ferrand.
  • Be Quiet 2005, 19 min. Directed by Sameh Zoabi. On their journey home, a Palestinian boy and his father are beset by the tensions of a politically charged and militarized reality; an atmosphere that serves as a foil to the struggles for a father bringing up his son. Award: Third prize at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
  • The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge) 1956, 34 min. Directed by Albert Lamorisse. In this deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale, a young boy discovers a stray balloon that seems to have a mind of its own. Wandering through the streets of Paris, the two become inseparable, to the surprise of the neighborhood and the envy of other children. The Red Balloon has enchanted the young—and the young at heart—for decades, and it will surely find a new generation of fans with this Janus Films re-release. (In French: minimal dialogue with subtitles.) Awards: Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival and the only short film ever to receive an Oscar® outside of the short film category. It won the 1956 Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay, beating out ”The Bold and the Brave,” “The Ladykillers” and “Julie.”


Thursday, December 27th at 7:30 PM at Centre Stage, 501 River Street, Greenville

Admission $10 per person. (No reservations. Tickets available at door. Cash or check only, please)

To My Great Chagrin, a feature-length film produced and directed by Jeff Sumerel, has been selected by The Museum of Modern Art in New York City to have its World Premiere at their Opening Night of the 2008 Documentary Series to take place in February.

You are invited to attend the December 27th celebration at Centre Stage which is to be the only screening of To My Great Chagrin before its World Premiere at MoMA.

Sumerel, a Greenville native, along with collaborator Jeter Rhodes, have completed a three-year journey to create a most compelling and exhilarating account of the remarkable history and career of a man known as “Brother Theodore.” Theodore’s television appearances spanned from Jack Paar to Johnny Carson to Merv Griffin to David Letterman. His diverse movie experiences joined him with Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, and Tom Hanks.

The Los Angeles Daily News described Theodore as Boris Karloff, Salvadore Dali, and Najinski all in one.

To convey this unbelievable story, Sumerel and Rhodes have crafted an enthralling visual interpretation by weaving an array of rare audio and film archives in a most creative, poetic manner. In addition, Sumerel interviewed over sixty Theodore admirers, friends, and colleagues, such as Woody Allen, Eric Bogosian, Penn and Teller, Harlan Ellison, and Dick Cavett, among others.

The film will run 75 minutes, followed by a reception with a cash bar.

We hope you will be able to join us for this special Preview Screening and Celebration.

For more information, contact Jeff Sumerel at