The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) has named Marie-Castille Mention Schaar’s “Once In A Lifetime” the Audience Award winner at this year’s third annual Wave Film Festival, which highlighted 11 French films. The film depicts the true story of an inner city school teacher who embarks on a life-changing project with the rest of her students to discover what it means to be a teenager living in a Nazi concentration camp. Against all odds, they come together and succeed to astonish not only themselves, but everyone around them.
Written by Mention-Schaar and Ahmed Dramé, the timely film takes aim at the flawed education system in France, while simultaneously praising the teachers who strive to make a difference in their student’s lives. Dramé, the feature’s 21-year-old cowriter, was a student in the class the film is based on, and pitched the idea to writer/director Mention-Schaar.
The dates and subject of films for the fourth Wave Film Festival will be announced shortly.