International Film Festival makes films accessible

Courtsey photo

Actors work on a scene for the film 'Wolaya," a Spanish and Algerian production in the upcoming festival to begin Oct. 15 in Herrick Auditorium

“International” is a buzzword around campus these days and the upcoming film festival is driving home that point further.

After a successful French Film Festival last spring, film studies professor Michael Talbott, with the help of a grant from Spanish and Latin American film distribution company Pragda, will bring five more international films to campus as part of the Castleton International Film Festival.

The festival will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30, beginning on Oct. 15, with all screenings free and open to the public.

All of the films are in Spanish, but have been made in many different counties including Paraguay, Uruguay, Germany and Spain.

“Most are co-productions. It’s very international this time, despite that the films are unified by a common Spanish dialogue,” Talbott said.

The last festival was popular among community members with the word being spread through mediums including Front Porch Forum.

“Community members said how grateful they are. They had felt the lack of cinema in the area,” Talbott said, adding that the response he received from people off-campus was the most gratifying part of bringing the festival to campus.

Students also responded positively and a handful who were interested in seeing things from different countries attended multiple screenings. Most students, however, were encouraged to go for a class or Soundings, according to Talbott.

“The films are about issues that are definitely coming up in classes,” he said. “There are an endless number of ways to incorporate these films into class.”

Freshman Martin VanBuren is interested in film and sees the benefits to having a festival on campus.

“Bringing the film festival to Castleton gives students easier access versus having to drive a group of people to one,” he said. “Secondly, it is important for students who may or may not be studying communication to be exposed to a variety of content that they would not normally go out of their way to watch. It’s exposure that allows the individual to process everything they are seeing and spark questions they may have about media they otherwise would have never seen.”

After each film, Talbott hopes to have a professor lead a discussion on a particular topic, another professor act as a mediator and ask questions and then he will speak from the perspective of someone who has studied film.

“It will also be a model of discourse for students to see how intelligent adults discuss things,” he said.  

Although the festival is already making great progress, he hopes to make it a more permanent part of the university.

“I would like it to get to a place where the college can financially support the festival. I would like a filmmaker to come and talk, but that takes a greater financial commitment,” he said.

Anyone interested in the festival can visit for more information.


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