By Jason Cunningham / Entertainment Editor
The International Film Club hasn’t been a club on campus for very long, but already they have big plans for how to help broaden students’ knowledge of world issues, cultures and events through film. First, however, they must survive this semester, their first as a club.
According to Ross Martowski, the president of the International Film Club, their function is tto provide screenings of foreign films for students, following the screenings with group discussions that analyze the film’s content and how it represents the attitudes and lifestyles of cultures from around the world.
“This club is mostly analytical, the critique of films. I don’t want our club to be restricted though; I’m open to new things, including film production. We still haven’t figured everything out,” said Martowski. “It’s difficult to screen films because the licensing is expensive. We’ll probably work with CAN a lot, viewing their screenings. In the long term we want to get celebrity speakers on campus and organize trips to film festivals.”
Though Martowski is the club’s founder, it was Chengiah Ragaven, a professor of International Studies, who prompted him to get it started this semester. Ragaven, who serves as the club’s advisor, believes the IFC can help answer questions students may have about international politics as well as clear up any misconceptions students may have about other cultures due to lack of exposure.
“The goal is to draw the various cultural communities on the campus, and this would be a tremendous medium, a phenomenal medium to bring together the students on campus to understand the diversity within the community, within our society and within the campus. There should be a catalyst for cultural diversity and awareness here,” Ragaven said.
Some of the more critical films that are being screened address the international conflicts we hear about. Ragaven said that after viewing a film on Palestine, many questions were answered for participants of the group discussion that followed in concerns to the region and its struggles.
“This will add another resource to create awareness for students here on campus. The issue will be, once films are shown, discussion will follow, which will contribute to the intellectual nature of the university, other than just sitting there and watching movies. The difference will be that we’ll be verbally addressing what’s in the film, not just thinking about it,” Ragaven said.
Though the club has good intentions, it doesn’t make the process of becoming one any easier Martowski said. In April the international Film Society will be presenting their club to the Student Senate for full-time club status, right now they’re only a temporary club.
“Currently, we haven’t had frequent meetings, it’s difficult to start a club here, but things are getting rolling. You’ll see me in the student center promoting the club until then,” Martowski said. “We’re trying to establish our constitution right now. We currently have around ten members signing up and showing interest, there are three other members who have had time in their schedules to help me out.”
In addition to this being the club’s first semester, this is the first semester Central Connecticut State University has offered an International Film Studies course, also taught by Ragaven. He said that though he would encourage people to take the course, it is not necessary in order for students to participate in the club.
“There’s an intellectual and academic component of films, which needs to be addressed, and this is by focusing on not only the ideas, but how these are translated into actual life experiences,” Ragaven said. “There is much to benefit from in intellectual conversations. The film society needs all the support it can get, we welcome all, whether they study film or not, to join us in understanding the issues of the world.