That’s a wrap: Campus preps for Global Film Festival

It’s that time of year again. The William and Mary Global Film Festival will soon premiere a series of pre-festival screenings introducing its theme: “Journeys and Passages.”

The films will be shown at the Williamsburg Regional Library on Scotland Street and are intended to “provide a rich array of alternatives to the standard multiplex offerings,” according to festival director and professor Timothy Barnard.

“We’re doing two different series of screenings,” the festival’s public relations representative Elyse Endick ’14 said. “One is our pre-festival series — Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m.. Those are films appropriate for college-age individuals.”

Chief of public relations Lizzy Pelletier ’14 described the Saturday series, held at  at 1:00 p.m., as showings for local families.

Pelletier expressed satisfaction in the screenings’ venue.

“The fact that these screenings are at the public library means that a lot of people that we don’t usually see at College events will come to them,” Pelletier said.

Both sets of screenings are free and open to the public, and each screening will feature a raffle for a DVD copy of the shown movie. The series is part of a one-credit College of William and Mary Film Studies course which was, according to the website, “designed in conjunction with the festival.”

Nathaniel Chen ‘16 participated in the Pre-Festival Series course. The class prepared for this event with readings, lectures and discussions that focused on the “history of film festivals and how they contribute to film as a whole,” Chen said in an email.

At the beginning of the course, students were challenged to produce a program of films that fit the “Journeys and Passages” theme.

“The atmosphere of the class is very unique because it is heavily discussion driven; the class provides an atmosphere where students are able to work with each other and really get to know each other,” Chen said in an email.

The series will feature films from around the world, and each Wednesday film will be introduced with a brief presentation by a College faculty member. However, films shown on Saturday will be screened without an introduction.

Endick was also quick to quell rumors of fantastic guests for question and answer sessions.

“It’s very up in the air,” Endick said. “And the guests for the film festival itself are also up in the air [until] the last minute. The question and answer sessions with guests are mostly going to be for the Wednesday screenings.”

While Endick acknowledged that last year’s festival featured Moonrise Kingdom star Jared Gilman in person and Bones Brigade documentary subject Tony Hawk via Skype, she cautioned potential filmgoers against too much speculation.

“We never were going to have [“Back to the Future” director] Robert Zemeckis on Skype,” Endick said.

One of the few confirmed guests is Ecuadorian filmmaker Tania Hermida, who will introduce her film “How Much Further” at its screening Wednesday, Feb. 12. She will also stay to assist in judging a student film competition.

Barnard emphasized the variety of films shown in these pre-festival screenings.

“We’ve got films from Japan, Mongolia, Germany, the Ukraine, Ecuador. …” Barnard said. “We’ve really got a wide array of countries covered.”

Flat Hat Associate Variety Editor Haley Arata contributed to this article.


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