Annual international film festival begins its run

The annual International Film Festival gives students the opportunity to escape campus for an evening and forget about their everyday stresses, transporting them to far off places.

The film festival has been an Allegheny tradition for more than 20 years.

“I came to Allegheny in 2000 and the festival had been brought in before I came here,” said Wilfredo Hernández, associate professor of spanish.

Allegheny’s department of modern and classical languages has recently announced its schedule of films for the year. The schedule includes a variety of different international films, including a Chilean film and a Lebanese film.

The department of modern and classical languages is divided into a handful of different sections, including spanish, french, arabic, chinese and german. Every section chooses two or three movies among themselves that they would like to present at the festival. From there, a list is sent to the manager at the Movies at Meadville. Finally, based on the availability of the films to the theater, the movies are selected.

“The department of modern languages provides the money that pays for the rental of the movie and the rental of the theater,” Hernandez said.

Each Wednesday evening, a different international film will be shown at 7 p.m. at The Movies at Meadville. There is no admission cost and all films are open to the public.

“In the past, it wasn’t like that,” Hernandez said.

The free admission into the Movies at Meadville is a new development for the festival. Previously, the festival was held at the academy theater in downtown Meadville, and both students and community members had to pay to attend.

“We came up with this new model where basically everyone is welcome,” Hernandez said.

Allegheny sponsors two shuttles that run from campus to the movie theater each Wednesday, both departing from Brooks Walk on North Main Street. The first is set to leave at 6 p.m. and the second at 6:35 p.m.

The festival was set to begin Wednesday, Jan. 30. However, due to the extreme cold, the start date was pushed back to Feb. 6.

“The Insult,” a Lebanese film directed by Ziad Doueiri, was set to be the opener for the festival, but the viewing of this film will be pushed back to March 6.

“The Island” is the next movie in the lineup. “The Island” is a Chinese film directed by Huang Bo, that chronicles a shipwreck that deserts a group of misfit coworkers on a secluded island, and one worker may just find himself with a winning lottery ticket in his pocket.

The third film on the schedule is “BPM,” a French film directed by Robin Campillo. The film showcases the struggle with AIDS and the battle to fight the indifference that plagued the country in the early 1990s.

On Feb. 20, “Transit,” a German film by Christian Petzold will be shown. The movie is about a man who flees France after the Nazi invasion and steals the identity of a deceased author.

The final movie in the lineup is “A Fantastic Woman” and is set to premier on Feb. 27. “A Fantastic Woman” is a Chilean film that chronicles the life of an up-and-coming singer when her character is brought into question following the sudden death of her partner, a wealthy textile company owner.

The variety of films aim to help expose students and community members to different cultures.

“I’m excited to see movies that aren’t produced just for an American and Western audience,” said Melanie Torres Cabrera, ’2l.

The festival is not only a way to educate people about different cultures, but it is also a way to connect the college back to the town of Meadville, according to Hernandez.

“This is one of the few opportunities when you are going to see the college and the town together,” Hernandez said.