Katherine Fugate

American screenwriter, WGAW Board Member, FACF Board Member

Katerine Fugate

My introduction to film happened when I was in my early twenties. I was studying at a small town university and working as a waitress. I was having a terrible day —I had dropped a chef salad with blue cheese dressing all over someone, nearly got fired, and I had a run in my stockings.

On my way home, I walked through the university campus and saw a flyer pasted on a tree advertising a French film called Entre Nous by Diane Kurys showing that night. I had never seen a French movie before so I decided to go.

When the movie was over I couldn’t leave my seat. I had never seen such sensitivity and complexity expressed that way in a film; it opened up a door to me, it changed my life. I got up and the next day I switched my major from criminal law to writing and theater, which had always been my dream.
It was Diane Kurys’ childhood story, and she just had to write it, but she had no idea who might be affected by it. Here was this woman who was from a different country, speaking to me in a different language but I understood her, and I felt understood.

When I became a member of the FACF I made an impassioned speech about the Tournée Festival idea, to introduce French films to the American university system. I argued that smaller towns and universities should be our target, not the larger ones, which have greater access. Smaller towns have far less opportunity to be exposed to French films. Our goal should be getting students who have never seen a foreign film before (like I had been) and exposing them to a different culture so they can understand both the similarities and the differences in our ways of life.

Through film you can change people, you can open minds; you can make the unfamiliar familiar. Foreign films can make the world a smaller place, one in which you can find comfort.
Not everyone can travel the world, but a film can transport you. It can also turn a lonely place into a lovely place.It did for me. My goal is to get people to see a French film, period.

Katherine Fugate

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