Pallister French Lecture Series


 The Pallister Francophone-Canadian Lecture Series showcases talent from French Canada, and explores French cultural experiences in the North American setting. 

The lecture series was established by Dr. Janis L. Pallister, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Romance Languages at BGSU. During the course of her career and after, Dr. Pallister earned an outstanding reputation in scholarly activities. She published six books, co-authored others and delivered 90 scholarly papers in the USA and abroad. Her interests were focused on French Renaissance and Baroque literature, black literature in romance languages, Canadian Francophone literature, Vietnamese literature in French, Francophone women film directors and Acadian film.

Please join the BGSU Department of World Languages and Cultures and the French Program for the 2019 Pallister Francophone-Canadian Lecture Series.

April 25, 2019
7:30 p.m.
206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theater


This year's guest is Frédérick Pelletier; he will discuss his feature film, Diego Star (2013) after the screening. This event is free and open to the public. All are welcome at the reception following the film, which will take place in the theater's foyer.

Diego Star is part of the International Film Festival, “Undoing the Single Story.” The term, “single story,” refers to Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngoze Achidie’s TED talk, “The Danger of the Single Story.” Achidie explores the power of storytelling to construct and perpetuate stereotypes about others—especially if one tells one single story about them over and over again. This year’s International Film Festival therefore explores ways to discover unexpected, unfamiliar stories about cultures as different as those found in Turkey & Germany (Fatih Akin’s The Edge of Heaven), Austria* (The Farmer of Nathal & Down Below, to be discussed by film maker Djordje Cenic on April 12th), Mauritania & Mali (Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu, April 18th), Québec (Diego Star), and Israel & Palestine (Burnat & Davidi’s Five Broken Cameras, May 2nd). All films are screened at 7:30 p.m. [*Please note: The Austrian films are part of the Austrian Studies conference, hosted this year from April 11-14 on BGSU’s campus.]

About the Director

Frédérick Pelletier was born in Lévis—across the St. Lawrence River from Québec City. He currently lives and works in Montreal and has worked both for the Cinémathèque du Québec and the National Film Board of Canada. Currently, he is a documentary programmer for Rendez-vous du cinema québécois, which is a film festival founded in 1982 in Québec; he continues to produce both shorts and feature films.

Tournage Diego Star

Plot of Diego Star

A serious accident occurs on board the Diego Star, a dilapidated Russian cargo ship. Traore, a mechanic from the Ivory Coast, is unfairly blamed for it. The ship is towed to the nearest shipyard for repairs. In the interim, crew members find shelter with the inhabitants of the small local village. Far from everyone he loves and knows, Traore is engulfed by the Quebec winter.

Pallister French-Canadian Lecture Series Speaker Spring 2018:

Bachir Bensaddek


 On Thursday, March 29th, M. Bensaddek visited BGSU's campus to talk about his film. A reception followed the screening of the film.  

Bachir Bensaddek  has been a director of documentaries for fifteen years. His first feature fiction film, Montréal la Blanche/Montreal White City, which will be screened March 29, 2018 at 7:30 pm in the BGSU Gish Theatre in Hanna Hall, was playing in theatres in the province of Québec in Spring 2016. M. Bensaddek is currently directing a documentary series for Télé Québec while developing new feature film projects.


Montréal la Blanche/Montreal White City (2016), starring Karina Aktouf  and Rabah Aït Ouyahia

Summary - One Christmas Eve in Montreal, during Ramadan (the Muslim month of fasting), the destinies of two immigrants of Algerian origin cross for a brief few hours. Amokrane, a taxi driver attempting to avoid any holidays that might dredge up difficult memories, picks up Kahina, a young, somewhat distracted professional tryng to catch up to her ex-husband and her young daughter. The night and the taxi serve as the backdrop of Amokrane and Kahina's interactions, and in the rear-view mirror of Amokrane's taxi, memories of Algeria and the civil war of the 1990s resurface despite the attempts of both protagonists to blanket those experiences under the white snow of Montreal.

Past Pallister Series Guests