Films on the Green: Truffaut’s the Wild Child Selected by Director James Ivory

Films on the Green: Truffaut’s the Wild Child Selected by Director James Ivory

NEW YORK, August 17, 2017— On September 7th, 2017, the free outdoor French film festival Films on the Green will screen François Truffaut’s 1970 drama The Wild Child (L’Enfant sauvage). The Wild Child was selected for the festival by guest curator James Ivory. The screening will take place at 7:30 PM at Columbia University at 116th Street, and is presented in partnership with the Columbia Maison Française. James Ivory will be present to introduce the film.

In the film, a scantily clothed and dirty young boy is admitted to the National Institute for the Deaf and Dumb in Paris. Having been found in the forest, the child is unable to speak, communicate or function in society. His case is taken up by Doctor Itard, a lone physician who has unyielding dedication to re-integrating the lad into society. But the road to tame the beast is a rocky one.

Starring Jean-Pierre Cargol and François Truffaut himself, the film is based on the true story of a feral child named Victor of Aveyron, found in the woods near Saint-Sernin-sur-Rance, France in 1800. In 1971, the film received awards from the National Board of Review, the National Society of Film Critics, and the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics.

James Ivory on his selected film, The Wild Child:

“This film is a favorite of mine, and its subject—the story of a wild child discovered in a forest, then coaxed out and ‘civilized’—is a favorite in many cultures. But one might think of how Post-War French cinema was perceived by Truffaut and his fellow directors of the New Wave—as being a kind of wild child, out of control and disordered, and of Truffaut, playing the patient teacher in the film, who in time masters the wild child of French cinema.”

James Ivory is a celebrated American director and writer who made twenty-four feature films over his forty-four-year partnership with the late Ismail Merchant, best known for a trio of English films, A Room With a ViewHowards End, and The Remains of the Day, winner of thirty-one Academy Award® nominations, including three for Best Picture and Best Director.

Ivory marks his seventh produced screenplay with Call Me By Your Name (directed by Luca Guadagnino), following five films with two-time Oscar winner Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (Shakespeare WallahThe GuruBombay TalkieA Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries, and The Divorce); and one with Kit Hesketh-Harvey (Maurice).

Ivory began his filmmaking career in India with Merchant and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, his long-time screenwriter, in 1962 when they made classics Shakespeare Wallah and Heat and Dust.  In 1995, Ivory received the D.W. Griffith Award from the Directors Guild of America, their highest lifetime achievement prize.

The screening of The Wild Child (1h23) is free and open to the public and will take place on the steps of Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library at 116th Street on Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at 7:30 p.m in presence of James Ivory. The film will be shown in French with English subtitles.

Films on the Green is a free outdoor French film festival produced annually in New York City parks since 2008, presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, FACE Foundation and NYC Parks.
In its landmark 10th year, Films on the Green has invited 10 guest curators—some of the most creative and compelling filmmakers, actors, and artists of our time–to select one film each for the summer program. The guest curators include: Wes Anderson, Jim Jarmusch, James Ivory, Saul Williams, Isabella Rossellini, Wanda Sykes, Laurie Anderson, Matthew Weiner, Matías Piñeiro, and Amy Hargreaves.



The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, intellectuals and innovators to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts.

FACE Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE promotes artistic, literary and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries. With additional corporate, foundation, and individual support, FACE administers grant programs in the performing and visual arts, cinema, translation, and secondary and higher education, while providing financial sponsorship to French-American festivals and other cultural initiatives. FACE focuses on new and recent work of living artists and the promotion of bilingualism and the French language. FACE Foundation (French-American Cultural Exchange) is a 501(c)(3) organization chartered by the state of New York.

NYC Parks is the steward of approximately 29,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens  and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 550 tennis courts, 66 public pools, 48 recreational facilities, 17 nature centers, 13 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. We care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. We look after 650,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. We are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.

The Columbia Maison Française, founded in 1913, organizes a variety of events and activities at Columbia for the university community and members of the general public interested in learning more about France, Europe, and the French-speaking world. More information at



Media Contact:

Camille Desprez – + 1 (212) 439-1417, – @franceinnyc –

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