The doors open. There’s a table to the right with volunteers waiting to sell tickets to eager UNC students wanting to see the latest film for the International Film Series. The price is $3 for students, faculty and staff and $5 for guests. All patrons receive raffle tickets after paying. As the room fills up the volunteers introduce the film that is to be shown, and two winning tickets are drawn. One lucky viewer gets a bag of candy and another a free ticket for a future showing at the International Film Series. The lights dim, the room is silent, and the movie begins.
Director Evans Chan addresses a UNC audience after a viewing of his film "Bauhinia." Photo by Amber Kazmierski
Established in 1973, the University of Northern Colorado’s International Film Series has survived some struggles.
Each year the people behind the International Film Series work to make sure the events are noticed, and to get an audience to come and see the films that they have picked out for that semester. But with each year that comes new faces and new volunteers bring new ideas and ways to fill the auditorium. On the night of March 16, the room is full for the showing of “Bauhinia.”
For spring 2011, 13 films are being shown, ranging from “Twilight” to “The Map of Sex and Love.” The International Film Series allows for students and members of the Greeley community to watch films that they are either familiar with or may never even think to watch. The program is run by the lead faculty member, Kenneth Chan, plus other staff and faculty, as well as student volunteers from around campus.
“The film series helps present a whole new look at countries, cultures, civilizations and more and gives students a more personal, in-depth look into humanistic behaviors,” said Sarah Kirby, a first year English grad student at UNC. “It’s a perspective that you’re not likely going to find in the U.S. every day.”
The movies are shown in the Lindou Auditorium in the basement of the Michener Library. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and 7 and 9:15 p.m. on Thursdays. These showtimes are the same every week unless they are posted for a different time or day on their International Film Series handout or on their website on the UNC page.
Apart from the films shown there are other opportunities that come with the International Film Series. Free advertisements are shown for 15-20 minutes before each film. The ads are available to any academic program on campus, any student services-related programs and any organization or club.
This semester the International Film Series and the Schulze Speaker Series brought director Evans Chan, who resides in both New York and Hong Kong, to UNC. Two of his films were screened during his visit, “The Map of Sex and Love” on March 8 and “Bauhinia” on March 9.
Following the showing of the second film, Evans Chan gave a lecture called “Drama and Docu-drama: Reflections on Fact and Fiction in Film,” and immediately following there was Q&A.
One of the questions asked by first year English grad student Trevor Meyer pertained to the use of documentary and journalistic techniques in purely fictional film.
“If you are making a fictional film using a documentary approach, that is a different story, you deal with that all the time,” said Director Evans Chan.
English major Tim Carson is one of the student volunteers for the series.
“Getting it up and running has been work this year, but it’s rewarding seeing that we are getting more people coming to the events,” Carson said. “I think it’s one of those events that really needs to stay open because it’s such an experience to get all those international films that really are aesthetically so different from America and have so many different concepts that you can figure out.”
The International Film Series has its struggles, but in the end it’s all about the lights dimming and the movie beginning.
2011 International Film Series
Feb. 2-3 “A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop”
Feb. 9-10 “Uncle Boonmee who Can Recall His Past Lives”
Feb 16-17 “The Girl who Played with Fire”
Feb. 22 “The Cartel”
March 2-3 “Big Fish”
March 8-9 “The Map of Sex and Love”
March 23-24 “Twilight”
March 30-31 “A Prophet”
April 6-7 “Undertow”
April 13-14 “La Danse”
April 20-21 “The Red Shoes”
April 28 “The Last Days”