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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Murdock Theatre brings in Oscar-nominated Canadian film

By Rod Pocowatchit
The Wichita Eagle

The Murdock Theatre continues to bring interesting films to Wichita that are off-the-beaten path.

“Monsieur Lazhar” was an Academy Award nominee earlier this year for best foreign language film (it’s from Canada but is in French with English subtitles), set in a Montreal public grade school.

It follows the plight of Bachir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant, who is hired to replace a popular teacher who committed suicide in her classroom.

He helps his students deal with their grief, but nobody at the school is aware of Bachir’s painful former life — nor that he is at risk of being deported at any moment.

The film will screen at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday at the Murdock, 536 N. Broadway. Tickets are $8. For more information, go to www.murdocktheatre.com.

Girls’ gathering — To celebrate their milestone anniversary years, the Tallgrass Film Association and Botanica are partnering to present a series of three “Pop Up Cinema” screenings, which will take place between May and September.

The first event — titled “Girls’ Night Out” — is Wednesday and will include a screening of John Hughes’ 1986 hit “Pretty in Pink,” starring a young Molly Ringwald and Jon Cryer.

Tickets are $20 ($15 for Tallgrass association and Botanica members), and includes admission to the gardens, complimentary food and drink, film screening and other activities, such as hairstyle demonstrations and spa treatments.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the film starting at 8:30. Tickets are available at www.botanica.org. Advance purchase is recommended.

For more information, go to www.tallgrassfilmfest.com.

Former Kansan at Cannes — Christina Campagnola better brush up on her French.

She’s a former Wichitan (who lived here from age 3 to 18 and attended Kapaun Mount Carmel High School) who is now living in Florida, where she is attending film school at Florida State University.

It certainly looks like she has a bright future in the film world, because a short documentary she has directed will play at the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France.

“Kingdom Incorporated” will play in the festival’s Emerging Filmmaker Showcase competition on May 22 and 24. The showcase is part of Cannes’ Worldwide Student Programs, and provides an opportunity for young filmmakers to have their work seen by Cannes festival and film market attendees in special invitation-only events.

The film explores the corporate power of the Disney company, and how it seeks to affect every person in the world from birth onward.

Campagnola, who still has family ties in Wichita, says she will be attending the festival, and calls this “the greatest accomplishment in my life so far.”

Bon voyage, Christina!

Reach Rod Pocowatchit at rpocowatchit@wichitaeagle.com.

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