15th Annual International Film Festival

Maria Elena Perez, Associate Editor

The 15th annual International Film Festival will offer Mercy College students an unforgettable and rare glimpse into different countries around the world from Tuesday, April 8 through Friday, April 11.

“The International Film Festival is a wonderful opportunity for Mercy students and faculty to come together with the surrounding communities to appreciate the art of filmmaking, learn about other cultures, and participate in interesting dialogue with one another,” stated Dr. Ellen Kreger, lecturer in Media Studies at Mercy College and coordinator of the International Film Festival.

Last year, over 300 people attended the festival, including Mercy students and faculty, local residents, and other college and high school students in the area. Those who attended said the festival was an “excellent program that was provocative, insightful and enlightening.”

The theme for this year’s festival is “exchange value,” which allows film-goers to view a different perspective of life in different countries. Although all of the movies have subtitles, attendees will find how enjoyable the movies really are. As one attendee from last year put it, “I wish I could’ve seen more.”

This year, the festival opens with the espionage thriller Farwell (L’Affaire Farewell). Released in 2009, the French film was the critics pick for New York Magazine. The true story takes place in the early 1980s and is about a Russian KGB officer who is disillusioned with the Soviet regime, who decides to pass Soviet secrets, including a list of Soviet spies, to the government of France.

The festival continues onto Wednesday with Shun Li and the Poet (Il Sono Li). The film, which was released in Italy in 2011 and is the winner of the London BFI Film Festival, is a drama about Shun Li, who has been working in a textile workshop in the outskirts of Rome for eight years trying to obtain the documents to bring her son to Italy. When she is suddenly transferred to a small island town situated in the Venetian lagoon to work as a bartender in a tavern, she meets “The poet.” Despite their different cultures, the two create a friendship that is certainly worth watching.

Academy award nominee Chico & Rita will air on Thursday. The animated film, which was released in Spain and the UK in 2010 is set in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The film is about a gifted song writer and a beautiful singer who chase their dreams, and each other, from Havana to New York and Los Angeles. Chico, a young piano player with big dreams and Rita, a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice, are brought together by their love of music and romance. Despite the odds that keep them apart, the two battle to be together through their passionate love for music and each other.

Empire of Silver (Baiyin Diguo), winner of the 10 Film Festivals will be the final film shown on Friday. Released in China in 2009, the movie tells the story about China’s ‘Wall Street” over a century ago. A young man must make a difficult decision to follow his father’s footsteps or find his own path, even though he is obligated to assume the role of heir to a banking empire.

The festival is free and open to the public. All films will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Lecture Hall in Main Hall. For more information, contact Dr. Ellen Kreger, program coordinator at [email protected].