As part of International Celebrations Week, Feds will host the International Film Festival March 20, to showcase UW’s cultural diversity. </p>
Victoria Harkes, one of the co-ordinators of the Feds Diversity team, is in charge of the event.
“We plan a lot of events revolving around knowledge and awareness, highlighting the differences on and off our campus. Each semester has a different focus and this semester it’s cultural diversity,” she said.
Harkes is also responsible for choosing what films to showcase at the festival and tried to pick films that were representative of a variety of different cultures.
Harkes chose the films by taking recommendations from students: films that either meant something to them or that they thought were representative of their background.
“I think most of [the films] are significant films in some way,” she said. “They all bring something different to the table, but I think that each one is still of equal importance to students, especially at Waterloo where we are such a diverse community.”
The festival showcases movies and TV shows from different parts of the world. It commences with the Hong Kong-Chinese action film Chinese Zodiac by Jackie Chan, followed by Intresseklubben, a Swedish panel show based on the British QI format. Guillermo del Toro’s critically acclaimed Pan’s Labyrinth is next on the agenda, as a Spanish/Mexican feature. Fruits Basket, a part-comedy, part-drama anime from Japan then serves as an interlude between movies. An Indian romantic drama film named Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, the longest-running film in the history of Indian cinema, comes next. The day finally draws to a close with an episode of Doctor Who, a classic piece of British television history.
“A lot of these TV shows and movies are in different languages so a lot of them are going to be subtitled. This will help double the exposure so you’re not just experiencing the entertainment of a different culture but also their language,” said Harkes. According to Harkes, film is a universal medium; it transcends physical and temporal barriers and can be appreciated by anyone despite the cultural context and place in the world they come from. Even though its content might vary greatly, a shared understanding of a film can transport you to a different land and time.
When asked what the festival hopes to achieve, Harkes said, “It would be nice to even just overhear people discussing things about the movies, language or something they hadn’t heard of before.
“When people talk about diversity, they always think that everyone is a different individual who likes different things, but we’re trying to celebrate the fact that in spite of all these differences, we’re all people; we’re all humans connected to one another and we’re all UW students. We want to help people recognize not just the differences, but also the similarities between cultures.”
The week runs March 16-21, with the film festival occuring March 20.