Beyond Babel: 3rd edition

Beyond Babel Multilingual Film Festival

Wednesday, 8th February 2017 – Thursday, 9th February 2017

Date: Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th February

Time: 5pm – 9pm

Location: 70 Oxford St, Manchester, M1 5NH

Tickets: Free and available at:

Alluding to the Bible story of The Tower of Babel and the curse of diversity of tongues, Beyond Babel is a film festival that aims to celebrate multilingual life, showcase a wide range of films, share discussions on film aesthetics, and broaden the visibility of multilingual communities on screen. As a culturally diverse cosmopolitan city, Manchester is the ideal location for a film festival that promotes and value the richness and complexity of multilingualism and multilingual life.

Aiming to bring together different communities and audiences, the 3rd edition of Beyond Babel will showcase multilingual films that may raise questions about cultural differences, multilingualism, homeland, education, global citizenship, mobility, immigration, integration and identity. This year programme will bring together two afternoons of screenings, with film introductions and Q&A sessions. Our aim is to engage, inspire, connect and celebrate the culturally diverse communities of Manchester.

Beyond Babel will take place over two nights – Weds 8th February and Thurs 9th February 2016

Each event will run 5pm – 9pm


La Cour de Babel (Julie Bertuccelli, 2013) [France]

Synopsis: “The school of La Grange aux Belles in northern Paris has a program for immigrant children (many of whom have a hesitant grasp of French) that provides intense language lessons alongside the core curriculum so the kids can ultimately matriculate into regular classes. Teacher Brigitte Cervoni, demonstrating the perfect balance of encouraging warmth and unwavering academic expectations, guides her charges through the year, cognizant of the need to be not only a teacher, but also a symbol of a France ideally welcoming to all newcomers. (


Colours of the Alphabet (Alastair Cole, 2016) [UK]

Synopsis: Colours of the Alphabet is a beautiful, inspiring and bittersweet story about language and childhood in Africa. It is a story of childhood innocence, misplaced hope, and the role of language as a means of binding a nation together. Colours of the Alphabet is a feature documentary shot over a period of 12 months in rural Zambia, in a grade one class with 30 children, as they, and their parents, come to terms with the often bemusing reality of education in their country. A country where you are told that to get ahead means understanding the world in English, despite less than 2% of Zambians using the language in their daily lives. (

Guest speakers:

Dr Isabelle Vanderschelden, Senior Lecturer in French (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Alastair Cole (University of Newcastle), director of Colours of the Alphabet.

Convened by:

Dr Carmen Herrero, Principal Lecturer in Spanish Studies and Director of the Film, Languages and Media Research group (FLAME)

Dr Carmen Herrero is a Principal Lecturer in Spanish at the Manchester Metropolitan University. She is also the Director of the Research group for Film, Languages and Media in Education (FLAME) at the Manchester Met University. Carmen teaches Hispanic cinema and culture. Her main research interests are contemporary Spanish cinema and film pedagogy and language education. She is also the co-director and co-founder of the Film in Language Teaching Association (FILTA).



Tongue Tied Films production company:

Event contact: Lucy Simpson · 0161 247 6740 ·

Event website:


About flameresearch

Film, Languages and Media in Education (FLAME) is a pioneering research group at Manchester Metropolitan University established in 2013 and dedicated to the development of research and knowledge exchange activity in the areas of Pedagogy, Languages, Film and Media.
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