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Centre de la francophonie

The Centre de la francophonie in collaboration with Speaking Place has just made possible a French version of the documentary Réveil-Waking Up French. You can find it at Stay tuned for a schedule of public screenings.

The Centre de la francophonie des Amériques helps promote and highlight a French-speaking community focused on the future of the French language in the midst of cultural diversity by reinforcing and enriching relations and encouraging give and take among French-speakers and Francophiles in America.

A teacher's guide to the film is now available. It includes historical and cultural background overviews, bibliographies, web sites for further research, and topics and questions to guide use of the film in the classroom. Please see "Copies-Schools and Libraries" for ordering information. The Teacher's Guide was prepared by by Dr. Eileen M. Angelini , Chair, Department of Modern Languages, Canisius College and winner of several prizes for excellence in teaching and promoting French Language and culture.

A review of REVEIL also by Dr. Angelini recently appeared in the The French Review, Vol. 81, No. 4, March 2008, pp 790-791.

Réveil to play daily at the Jean Lafitte National Historical and Preservation Park Layafette, LA

Réveil was presented at Université de La Sorbonne, Paris France, January 30, 2006 with a workshop in documentary filmmaking by Ben Levine.


Ben Levine is a Video Artist and Documentary Film Maker. Originally trained as a clinical psychologist, he had worked in Civil Rights, with the mentally ill, and with Vietnam Era heroin addicts where he developed active video feedback outreach techniques that make his documentary style intimate, engaged, and thoughtful.

As a founding Director of Peoples Video Theater and Survival Arts Media in New York's Soho, he was active in the 1970's Video Art and Community Television movement and is known as a Video Pioneer. His work has been seen at the Museum of Modern Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Hayden Planetarium, and on US and European Television. He has produced and performed in live multi-image media events at the Kitchen, the World Trade Center, Lincoln Center, and many universities.

Based in Maine for over 25 years, Ben Levine has been an Independent Producer writing and directing documentary-style educational, public interest, and corporate video and television programs for clients ranging from National Semiconductor to the Prudential, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Maine Office on AIDS, and the Baobab Institute in Dakar, Senegal. His productions have earned Gold and Silver Awards from ITVA, IFTVA, Broderson and others.

Ben has developed film and video community-based education programs in film festival formats including Accès Cinéma Africain in Montreal, and the Franco-American Film Festival in Maine. And he has served on panels including Membre du Jury, Vues d'Afrique, and the Maine Commission on the Arts, Media Panel. He has taught documentary video at Maine Film and Television Workshops and at the University of Maine.

His current film on Franco-American cultural survival: Réveil - Waking Up French revisits the themes of his first film on that subject made in 1980: Si Je Comprends Bien (If I really Understand).

Julia Schulz is a co-founder and former president of the internationally-recognized (nonprofit 501(c) 3) Penobscot School (language learning and cultural exchange in Rockland, Maine (see

Trained as a cultural anthropologist (M.A. McGill University, 1986) Julia completed fieldwork in the French-speaking Acadian communities of Maine's St. John Valley and in the mill city of Augusta, Maine. She has also lived, taught, and studied in France and Guadeloupe.

For almost twenty years, Schulz has developed innovative language learning and cultural programs that emphasize cultural immersion and the use of heritage art forms. In 1992, she created the Séjour Linguistique en Guadeloupe for the study of French and Caribbean Creole culture, which she now co-directs with Colby College's French Department. She is a co-founder of Accès Cinéma Africain at Vues d'Afrique in Montréal (see for the study of contemporary African culture using film, and she is co-founder of the Franco-American Film Festival (see Art, Culture, and Community Economic Development).

In 2002 she founded the Center for Heritage Language Reacquisition as a division of Penobscot School and has been doing research and refining programs for French language reacquisition in New England communities using film, music, traditional culture and contemporary forms such as video feedback and the internet. Her pioneering work in language reacquisition has been reported in a front-page article in the Boston Globe and in stories on National Public Radio, Maine Public Radio, UPI, and on Canadian television ("Zone Libre," CBC-Radio France Canada). In March 2003, Julia's contribution to the French Community was recognized in the proceedings of the Maine House of Representatives.