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GSU Students Participate in the Chicago International Film Festival

By Nesreen Ballut
On October 18, 2013

Governors State University students have the opportunity to view screenings of films at the Chicago International Film Festival for class credit from October 10-24.

With over 100 feature films, the Chicago International Film Festival gives students the unique experience of attending question and answer sessions after the screenings, as well as in-depth analysis of the composition of the films.

GSU students have the opportunity to watch these films as part of a media workshop course named Film Festival Experiences, taught by Professor Daniel Nearing. This course allows students to have an understanding of what a film consists of, while picking apart films to critique the making of it rather than the message alone. The course focuses on the development, composition, production, photography, cinematography, directing, lighting and many more components featured in films. 

"The goal of 'Film Festival Experiences' is to get our students out to international film festivals," Professor Nearing says. "We've had students at the Toronto International, Sundance, New York and Chicago, and at a range of smaller festivals so that they can see challenging, culturally diverse films they might never otherwise see, but also to give them an understanding that this is where film distribution begins."

This year, the screenings at the Chicago International Film Festival are diverse, with several foreign films and many first-time screen writers in the fold. The festival is known to encourage better understanding between cultures.

Within the Communications major at GSU, a Filmmaking and Multimedia concentration is offered for all students interested in the field. Nearing suggests students who are really interested in filmmaking pay attention to independent releases.

"Spend less time at mainstream multiplexes and more time in cinemas that celebrate a braver form of filmmaking," Nearing says. "Great films, like great novels, have ways of broadening our perspectives.  That's one of the primary goals of one's academic career - to form a better world view and to become more sensitive, eclectic, and discerning in all areas of life."

The Chicago International Film Festival was started 49 years ago to introduce new filmmakers to the world and new perspectives that have been kept in the dark. The festival features well-known directors from the U.S.A., Australia, the U.K., France, Germany, Sweden, Taiwan, and much more.

Tickets for the Chicago International Film Festival may be bought as a package or on an individual basis. Passes may be purchased online at Individual tickets may be purchased online via Ticketmaster at or via phone at 312-332-FILM. Waiting until the day of the film is not recommended due to the films selling out quickly.

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