CMU International Film Festival: Guest Speakers
Currently entering our ninth year, the CMU International Film Festival is the only student-run film festival that seeks to bring internationally acclaimed films to a college campus. Every year, the IFF members want to create the best experience for the student audience by making it an educational experience. One of the major ways we create these opportunities is by bringing the world-class filmmakers from the films to the academic environment here at CMU. Through this, we hope to create educational conversations and experiences that goes beyond traditional film screenings and make the festival truly memorable and unique for each audience member.
Crowdfunding enables us to expand the reach of the festival on Carnegie Mellon’s campus. This year, we will be screening 18 international films to CMU and the Pittsburgh community, providing visibility to otherwise inaccessible films. It allows us to maximize educational opportunities, extending beyond traditional film screenings by producing workshops and live panel discussions for audiences. Bringing the filmmakers to the Carnegie Mellon campus is a great educational opportunity to create dialogue amongst students regarding the social and international topics embedded within the selected films. We also are organizing filmmaker workshops within the Carnegie Mellon academic setting so students can have a formalized conversation with the filmmakers and gain insight into a professional industry. Overall, our goal is to not only bring the films to CMU, but to create opportunities to discuss the social and global issues surrounding these films within an academic setting.
This year, we will be screening films from countries including India, Egypt, Belarus, Scotland, Korea, France, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Every year, we not only strive to provide accessibility of foreign films to the Pittsburgh community but also make efforts to bring the filmmakers to discuss their films with the audience through Q&A sessions and panel discussions with notable guests from the selected films. In the past, we have been able to have guests such as the first lady of Poland Danuta Walesa and Oscar-nominated directors such as Scott Hamilton Kennedy and Emad Burnat.
This year, we will be opening the festival on March 19, 2015 with Jonathan Demme’s newest feature film, A Master Builder. Demme is a world renowned filmmaker who won Academy Award nominated director for his film The Silence of the Lambs, which was actually filmed here in Pittsburgh. When we decided to screen his A Master Builder, we also worked to have Demme return to Pittsburgh and conduct a master class with the CMU School of Drama. He not only excited about the festival, but supports our mission to bring together a community through the wonderful art of film.
With your support, we hope to raise $5000 to cover the closing night event on April 11 with our screening of the film Court. The crowdfunding efforts will be directed towards bringing in the director and the post-screening events, which will include a live panel session and reception for the audience. Ultimately, your contribution will not only support our closing night event but also strengthen our presence in the CMU community and raise visibility about the incredible films that we work to bring every year and in the future as well.