Festival showcases uplifting films from across the globe

The Claremont School of Theology will host the 12th annual Whitehead International Film Festival January 18 through January 21.

The festival was created to reflect the doctrine of Alfred North Whitehead, a British mathematician and philosopher whose process philosophy emphasized the connectedness of everything in existence.

“Given this interdependence, we are each responsible for contributing as much as we can toward the common good,” event organizers note on the Whitehead film Festival website. “Intercultural appreciation and understanding is a component of the common good that can be fostered by viewing and discussing excellent films produced around the world.”

With this in mind, the lineup for this year’s festival includes 11 feature films from diverse countries such as Japan, Iran and Brazil as well as 10 short films hailing from France, Argentina, Mexico and beyond. The public is welcome to attend the screenings, each of which include a feature film preceded by a short film. Tickets are $5 at the door.

A full pass is also available for $100, featuring admittance to all Whitehead International Film Festival screenings plus a champagne reception set for Friday, January 18 at 6:45 p.m. At the reception, filmmakers Renée George and G. Melissa Graziano, film professor Dr. Margrit Frölich and Whitehead Festival director Dr. Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki will speak briefly on the winning films.

For those looking to immerse themselves even more deeply in the world of film, a class, titled “Faith & Film,” will be conducted concurrent with the festival. Taught by Dr. Suchocki with the help of Dr. Frölich, the class will feature a private screening of the 2010 Swedish film The Sound of Noise and a discussion of the featured films plus topics like “How Can We Use Film in Churches?”

Class participants will serve as a jury for the Whitehead International Film Festival, choosing which of the feature films best demonstrate the event’s theme, “Celebrating Films That Promote the Common Good.” The cost for the class, reception, 2 dinners and all films is $300. The last day to register for the class is Thursday, January 17.

The films are screened at the Claremont School of Theology, 1325 N. College Ave. in Claremont, in the Mudd Theater, which is located on the west side of campus next to the United Methodist Church.

Parking is free during the festival, with spaces available in the front and back of Mudd Theater and additional parking throughout the CST campus. Festival organizers advise against parking in covered areas as they are locked up each evening.

The following is a schedule of films to be screened during the Whitehead Film Festival. On Friday, January 8, the Japanese feature film Dearest (2011), will be screened, preceded by the French short film Little Cloud (2012) at 7:30 p.m.

On Saturday, January 19, the German film Almanya: Welcome to Germany (2011) will be screened at 10 a.m., Monsier Lazhar (French Canadian, 2011) will be shown at 2 p.m. and the Iranian film Facing Mirrors will be featured at 7 p.m. Those featured films will be paired with the short films Flamingo Pride (Germany, 2011), Macpherson (Canada) and Black Soul (Canada, 2009), respectively.

On Sunday, January 20, the Austrian film Your Beauty is Worth Nothing (2012) will be screened at 1 p.m., preceded by the short film Row (Argentina, 2011); Found Memories (Brazil, 2011) will be shown at 3 p.m., paired with the short film Songs My Mother Never Taught Me (US, 2012); and Coming of Age (Austria, 2011) will be screened at 7 p.m., preceded by the short film Age-Activated Attention Disorder (UK, 2004).

The festival will conclude on Monday, January 21 with a screening of The Sandman (Switzerland 2011) at 10 a.m., preceded by the short film The Banquet of the Concubine (Canda, 2012); a showing of the feature film Chinese Take-Away (Argentina, 2010) at 2 p.m., paired with the short film Ernest (France, 20110; and a screening of The Sound of Noise (Sweden, 2010) at 7 p.m., preceded by the short film Tintinco’s Afternoon (Mexico, 2012).

For more information on the Whitehead International Film Festival, visit www.whiteheadfilmfestival.org.

—Sarah Torribio



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