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SMC to host international film festival

| Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Saint Mary’s Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) will host the World Cinema Festival from Jan. 27-Jan. 29 in Vander Vennet Theatre.

Associate director of CWIL Mana Derakhshani said the College had offered a film festival to the community for over 10 years, beginning with a French film festival and transitioning to a variety of international films.

Derakhshani said the film festival complements the work of the College to internationalize the campus.

“[The festival] brings to campus major films from other countries that we don’t usually get to see in the U.S., particularly outside of a large metropolis such as New York or Chicago,” Derakhshani said. “In addition, screening foreign films on campus supports the larger college-wide learning outcomes of intercultural competence and global learning.”

The festival will feature three films in their original languages, with English subtitles, over the course of three nights. Each film will start at 7 p.m., beginning with the Arabic-language film “Wadjda”, directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour on Tuesday. On Wednesday, “Queen”, a Hindi-language film directed by Vikas Bahl, will be screened. The festival will conclude with “So Young”, a Mandarin-language film directed by Wei Zhao.

​Derakhshani said she hopes students will attend and learn something about the perspective of other cultures.

“Films are windows into particular cultures and allow us to gain some understanding of certain aspects of these cultures,” she said.

Derakhshani said viewing these films is a way to engage with the larger world and prepare oneself to interact with different cultures.

She said there would be much in the films that differ from the realities of Saint Mary’s students, though there may be some experiences that are similar.

“These three films specifically portray young women or girls’ quest for agency and voice in three different cultures and in three different contexts,” she said. “Noting both differences and similarities will increase the audience’s ability to encounter difference with an ethnorelative perspective rather than a judgmental ethnocentric attitude.

“Seeing the world through someone else’s cultural lens helps us understand our own culture and norms better.”

Two of the films are in languages taught at the College, Arabic and Mandarin, Derakhshani said.

“I hope students learning these languages — or wanting to learn them — will come to hear the language in an authentic context,” she said.

Derakhshani said she hopes many students will take advantage of the opportunity to watch the films. The event is free and open to the public.

For the complete schedule and more information on the films, visit https://www.saintmarys.edu/news-events/news-releases/world-cinema-festival-2015.

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About Haleigh Ehmsen

A senior at Saint Mary's, Haleigh is majoring in Communication Studies and English Literature & Writing. She serves as the Saint Mary's editor and enjoys coffee, guacamole and good books.

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