ICYMI: International Film Festival promotes cultural diversity
Before this week, psychology freshman Jershayla Johnson never had an opportunity to watch an international film, let alone for three consecutive days and for free on campus.
As a way to promote diversity and obtain more knowledge on different cultures, the International Students Organization held a three-day international film festival in the Student Center Theater Monday through Wednesday.
“I like that I got the chance to watch international films for the first time,” Johnson said.
Industrial engineering sophomore and ISO Vice President Viviana Linares said screening different international films promotes diversity.
“We found out that there’s a lot of opportunities to communicate the ideas about respect of other cultures through different films,” Linares said.
Four different films from countries all over the world were shown each day. The films consisted of three that were regular length and one short film. Students who attended the event were able to watch the films and get a glimpse of what the people in these countries might be experiencing in their own cultures.
“This is the fourth film I’ve seen from attending the event,” Johnson said. “I like that I can learn outside of my.. American culture and experience others.”
The organization chose films from Tanzania, France, India, China, Korea and other countries. Although some of the featured films weren’t in English, students still enjoyed watching and were able to understand the films by reading the subtitles.
“It was nice to learn about other cultures,” psychology junior Nohal Hussain said. “Even if you don’t understand the language there’s subtitles so it’s fun to watch and it’s a little bit of every culture so it’s really nice to see that.”
Although this is the first year the International Film Festival has been on campus, it has been in the making for a year. To find the films, the organization teamed up with the Language Acquisitions Center and the Korean Council.
Once they narrowed it down to ten movies, they reached out to other councils and embassies from different countries to get help with obtaining the rights for the movies so showing them would be free and legal.
The planning for next year’s International Film Festival has already begun.
“Our sponsorship for next year is already ratified and some organizations have reached out to us that they want to help,” Linares said. “Next year is going to be bigger and it’s going to be better. We’re going to have more people participating and different organizations that we want to collaborate with.”