International film fest begins

By: Christine LaFrancesca, Staff Writer

Last Friday, with the help of College of Fine Arts and Communication Associate Dean Greg Faller and family studies and community development professor Hana Bor, Towson began its Bridges to the World International Film Festival series.

The festival features a different international film each Friday and offers a post-screening discussion for viewers.

Bor, who currently possesses dual citizenship in American and Israel, stressed the importance of absorbing different cultures through art.

Their showing of “Cupcakes,” a Semitic film set in Tel Aviv, is about six best friends who get randomly selected to compete in the Universong contest after submitting a video they made on a cell phone.

The film stresses both diversity and the importance of working outside of your comfort zone.

“‘Cupcakes’ is about being who you are. It’s about accepting yourself,” Bor said. “Efrat Dor and Ofer Shechter both play gay roles and do an amazing job of showing that you should never change yourself for others. Always be you.”

Sophomore Latin American Studies major Jonathan Gallo believes that showing international films will expand his interest in not only Latin American studies, but also demonstrate how film is an innovative way of exploring other cultures through both the positive and the negative aspects.

“I want to motivate other Latinos to become interested in film,” Gallo said. “Seeing work from around the world will only broaden my scope and experiences.”

Not only does “Cupcakes” explore homosexuality through campy and colorful characters, but it also delves into the idea of positivity and the importance of following one’s desires to live a fulfilled and happy life.

“Dana Ivgy’s character is reluctant to join the rest of her friends in following through with the Universong competition because she doesn’t think she can sing,” Bor said. “With her friends telling her that she is more than good enough, she decides to join them. That’s how support works: she was doubtful and with some reassurance, she prevailed.”

The Bridges to the World International Film Festival continues screenings each Friday in the Van Bokkelen Auditorium through March 4.

As each film was hand-selected by the embassy of origin, students can be introduced to a variety of ideologies and cultures.

“We want students to be interested in international affairs and also see how film can impact us from nation to nation,” Faller said. “These films represent pieces of these countries. They tell their story and, by using film as their platform, they are able to reach thousands of people.”

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