Thurston Middle School students' love of the French language has landed them some tickets to an advance screening of "The Adventures of Tintin," Steven Spielberg's latest film.
It all started when French teacher Randi Beckley reached out to Paramount Pictures, all the while simply hoping for permission to air the "Tintin" trailer at the school's sixth annual French Festival on Nov. 18.
Beckley got more than that. Paramount not only sent along posters and prize packs, but the company reserved 100 tickets for a group of students, accompanied by chaperones, to a screening in Burbank next month.
Although the "Tintin" comic by Georges Rémi is Belgian, Beckley said the film is the perfect way for the students to connect with the French-speaking culture at large through its Francophone character Tintin. The students are familiar with the comic and read it regularly in class.
The thought of traveling up to L.A. is also pretty exciting for the students, who took a break from making crepes and croque-monsieur at the festival to chat.
Lauren Thunen, an eighth-grader and French Club member, said she was happy that the studio noticed them.
"I was humbled that the people at Paramount invited us to come," she said. "It's nice they expressed interest, and they're helping kids learn about other cultures."
Skye Hendricks, 13, was also looking forward to the trip. She's a connoisseur of all things French, from fashion to architecture. She hopes to move to France one day.
"I'm really impressed by the Eiffel Tower," she said.
The French Festival included culinary staples, such as croissants, crepes and bonbons, with proceeds benefiting the French Club.
Admission was free, and all were invited for a screening of the film "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec." A preview for "Tintin" was shown afterward.
Lauren said she was glad to see the festival was going well, because a lot of the programs are dependent on fundraising.
"It helps pay for a lot of things we do," the 13-year-old said.
She mentioned trips and special dinners at French 75.
"It helps kids that can't afford it," she said. "It supports kids to do stuff outside of school and it supports the French community."
The students had early dismissal Nov. 18 and spent the majority of the afternoon prepping for the festival. Nonetheless, they were energized.
"I think what got us through the day was our love of French and French culture," Skye said.