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International Film Festival promotes foreign language classes

By Bianca Tate
Staff Reporter

An International Film Festival is being held on Harold Washington College's campus through the spring semester as a means to garner interest in foreign language classes.

The “world languages requirement was removed due to low volume in-class requirement…There isn’t one language professor that is happy with it,” said Andrew Aquino-Cutcher, creator of thefilm festival and HWC French professor.

“We’re not serving our students best interest by trying to have them graduate quickly,” he said.

He noticed that some students who transferred to four-year universities would return to fulfill the bachelor-level language requirement.

Last year, Aquino-Cutcher made crepes with his own funds and played French music all day on the second floor of HWC as a way to increase interest in French classes.

“What can I do to get students excited about foreign language?,” he said. “I had the idea of a film festival to garner interest amongst all hwc students.”

“If I was a student, I don’t understand why you wouldn’t come watch a movie for free,” said Aquino-Cutcher.

Andrew chose one film for every language offered at HWC: French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Chinese.

“It’s really interesting for me because I never watched a Japanese movie before,” said Jie Chen, an ESL student from China.

Aquino-Cutcher worked at Olive Harvey before coming to HWC. In 2005 he tried to establish a study abroad program and made it to the final stages, but the idea was nixed by District, according to Aquino-Cutcher.

Aquino-Cutcher worked with Scott Brigham, City Colleges’ PR representative, to market and promote the film festival.

The program is held biweekly on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. On Feb. 14, the program held their first film festival in French, in two weeks the program will be filming a Japanese anime,” according to Aquino-Cutcher.

On Monday Feb. 28 in Room 1115 the school will be hosting a film called “The Cat Returns” (2002). March 14th in room 102 will be playing an Italian film called “Life is Beautiful,” March 28 in room 1115 will be “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) and lastly in Room 102 the program will be playing their last film of the semester a Chinese film called “Eat Drink Man Woman” (1994).

HWC hosted a film, “Cat Returns,” as part of the international film festival and plans on hosting more films as the semester continues.

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