Course Spotlight: Global Peace Film Festival

Before the annual Global Peace Film Festival kicked off this fall, Rollins College students worked behind-the-scenes to make the event a success—all while studying the films’ social messages.

Associate Professor of Critical Media and Cultural Studies Denise K. Cummings (center) and her students convene next to the student-created display for the campus kick-off of the 2015 Global Peace Film Festival. (Photo by Scott Cook) Associate Professor of Critical Media and Cultural Studies Denise K. Cummings (center) and her students convene next to the student-created display for the campus kick-off of the 2015 Global Peace Film Festival. (Photo by Scott Cook)

The Central Florida-based Global Peace Film Festival is more than just movies. It’s an event to inspire filmgoers to leave the world a more peaceful place than they found it. That’s a lofty goal, but one that’s aligned with Rollins College’s mission and values.

Title
Global Peace Film Festival: 10 Years at Rollins

Instructor
Denise K. Cummings, associate professor of critical media and cultural studies and film studies

About the Course
Rollins has partnered with the annual film festival for 10 years, sponsoring the efforts and offering a place to screen back-to-back films for public viewing. And in honor of the 10-year partnership, Rollins students worked with the festival’s staff and volunteers for the fall event’s planning, promotion, implementation, and post-production processes—all while studying the films and receiving community engagement (CE) course credit. The course is for students of all majors.

What Students Think
Miola Aganovic ’17 decided to take the course because she wanted to learn more about the festival and its films. “It’s one thing to hear people in a normal cinema clap at the end of a screening—and a completely other thing to hear people gasp, sob, squeal, and cheer throughout the entire film,” she says. “These films encourage people to make our world a better place. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing that kind of impact happen in a theater.”

Hamilton Holt School student Michelle Savoie attended the film festival previously and decided she wanted to learn more about films that show how our world is connected. She soon learned more goes on behind-the-scenes of the film festival than meets the eye. “The most rewarding thing so far has been the opportunity to work closely with a community partner and the filmmakers,” she says. “I heard a guest say that he thought attendance was up from the previous year and that made me proud, since increasing attendance was a class objective.”

Psychology major and Holt student Sydney Barcelona registered without knowing exactly what a film course would be like. “[We] cover so many topics it would be interesting no matter what your major is,” she says.

Snapshot
On September 29 – October 4, Rollins hosted the festival on campus. We caught up with the students preparing to welcome filmgoers to the opening night film, Landfill Harmonic, at the Bush Science Center.

Students carry boxes of refreshments for the party. (Photo by Scott Cook) Students carry boxes of refreshments for the party. (Photo by Scott Cook)

Students prepare the drink table display for the guests. (Photo by Scott Cook) Students prepare the drink table display for the guests. (Photo by Scott Cook)

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook)

Kayla Salyer ’17 markets a festival film to festival attendees in Bush Auditorium. (Photo by Scott Cook) Kayla Salyer ’17 markets a festival film to festival attendees in Bush Auditorium. (Photo by Scott Cook)

The first film of the festival is screened in Bush Auditorium. (Photo by Scott Cook) The first film of the festival is screened in Bush Auditorium. (Photo by Scott Cook)

Students strategize with Cummings about their festival activities and working with their community partner. (Photo by Scott Cook) Students strategize with Cummings about their festival activities and working with their community partner. (Photo by Scott Cook)