Chiac anti-bullying student film gets French subtitles
School district originally banned 2 Faces to protect French language
The makers of an anti-bullying film in New Brunswick have reached an agreement with the school district that banned the movie because the dialogue was in Chiac — the Acadian fusion of English and French.
The Francophone South school district said it banned the student-made film called 2 Faces to protect the French language.
That move sparked debate in recent weeks.
But now, the filmmakers and the district have reached a compromise.
The film — which has been viewed more than 7,000 times on YouTube — will now be screened with standard French subtitles added by students at Memramcook's Abbey-Landry School.
"I thought it was a reasonable compromise, even if it did go against some of my principles, because I think it's a bit odd to subtitle a French movie for other French people," said Chris LeBlanc, the film's director.
Madeleine Boudreau, the school district's superintendent applauds the student's anti-bullying initiative, but said it's the role of education professionals to protect and promote the French language.
"Our students perform really good in science and math, but not in French. That's always our big battle," said Boudreau.
"That's why, if the students want to subtitle it … it's a great product and the film is really wonderful. The quality of the film is really good too."
French-speaking author France Daigle, who has used Chiac extensively in her work, agrees that, while in school, students should focus on mastering the language.
"The young people should know, going to school that they're there for learning French and we must encourage all the French that we can," she said.
The film is being screened next week with English subtitles at Fredericton's Silver Wave Film Festival.
LeBlanc hopes stories about the controversy will continue to attract some new viewers.