Department of World Languages to host international film festival

Samantha Weber, Editor in Chief

On Oct. 7 and 8, the Department of World Languages is hosting an international film festival. These films feature several languages that are offered in the department. This is a great way for students who are studying languages to be able to put their skills to practical use by watching a film in their secondary language. Professors in the department each picked a film that showcased their language of study and they will all introduce their selected film. “The international film festival is a chance to celebrate the variety of world languages and cultures represented in our department (Spanish, French, Arabic, Mandarin, Russian) and to experience some of the creative and thought-provoking cinema produced in countries that speak these languages,” said Alice Ed-wards, Ph.D. chair of the department and professor of Spanish. The professors who selected films are Edwards, professor of Spanish, Katie Duda, Ph.D., assistant professor of Russian Stud-ies, Seyma Akyol, Ph.D., assistant professor of Political Science, Douglass Boudreau, Ph.D., associate professor of French, Meng Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor of Mandarin, and Kris Gossett, Ph.D., associate dean of the Walker College of Business. The festival starts on Friday Oct. 7 at 7:00 p.m. with the showing of “Hacia el Sol – Towards the sun,” which is a movie in Spanish and English with English subtitles so everyone will be able to understand what is going on in the movie. Up next that night will be “The Earth is as Blue as an Orange.” It is a short film that takes place in Ukraine and is in Russian and Ukrainian with English subtitles. This will conclude the first night of the festival. On Saturday, Oct. 8 at 1 p.m.., the final day of the festival will commence with a film entitled “Theeb” which takes place in Jordan/UK/UAE/Qatar and is in Arabic with English subtitles. This film will be introduced by Akyol. Up next at 3 p.m. is “Petite Maman” which is set in France and is in French with English sub-titles. At 5 p.m., there is a short film that takes place in China named “Dying to Survive.” Wang will be introducing this film. The final short film that will be screened is called “Official Competition” and it is based in Spain so it is in Spanish with English subtitles. Gossett will be introducing this film. When asked about how she picked the short film she will be introducing, Edwards said, “We have two films in Spanish – one from the U.S. “Hacia el sol” that explores a young girl’s experience crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The other film is a feature-length film with some of Spain’s most famous actors (Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, for example). It is a 2022 release and it is very funny.” The hope from this event is that students will be able to learn more about cultures different from their own and the one they are studying. Students are not required to stay for all the movies, however it would be great if students could attend as many as possible. The films are not more than two hours long and there is a break in between each one so students can attend the ones they want. The festival will be held in the Taylor Little Theater. This event was made possible by the Department of World Languages and Cultures, the Hafenmaier College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and alumna Sara Jaecks. To conclude, Edwards said, “We have a documentary from Ukraine, ‘The Earth is as Blue as an Orange’; a 2022 French film that focuses on mothers and daughters; a Chinese comedy-drama ‘Dying to Survive’ and ‘Theeb’, a film about a Bedouin boy who helps a British soldier during WWI. There is something for everyone!” The language department hopes you will stop by to enjoy an amazing film or two. If you can-not attend however, there will be more events hosted by the department in the future. Be sure to stop by next week-end and learn more about other cultures that you might not have explored otherwise. For more information on the event be sure to ask any staff member in the Language department.