At William Woods University, exposing students to different people and cultures is a way of life. The most prominent example of this phenomenon has been the University’s unique Woods Around The World (WATW) program, which has taken hundreds of students and other travelers from The Woods on a series of international trips to all seven of the world’s continents since the program began in 2008.
And when WWU students aren’t traveling to see the world, William Woods brings the world to them, through Dulany Library’s International Film Series.
For two Wednesdays every month during the academic year, The International Film Series provides another opportunity for students of The Woods to gain knowledge and understanding about how the world functions. The popular LEAD event has been going on for ten years and has been a staple for the university’s students.
According to Library Director Erlene Dudley, the film series started as a way to broaden horizons with an international approach, and to present films that are not typically screened at the local theatres.
“Through the film series, our students get an idea of what other people their age are seeing in other countries around the world,” Dudley said. “I think that one of the things I hope they recognize is that people are the same in lots of ways all over the world and yet, there are cultural differences that I hope they become attuned to through this experience.”
Thus far during the current academic year, the International Film Series has screened films from China, France, Sweden, Poland, Spain, Norway, Chile, Ireland, Iran, Brazil and Germany, presenting a well-rounded exploration of international films for WWU students like Abigail Bennett ’22.
She went to the film Semi Blood because a friend suggested it to her, and ended up enjoying the film because she got to learn about the many differences between Swedish culture and that of the United States.
“It was interesting to see how conflicting the old world and new world is among different cultures,” Bennett said. “Students should go to the film series because it allows them to build multiculturalism. Since we are in the middle of America, it is hard to really experience other places. The films allow students to learn new things”
Another student that went to watch a film from the film series was Schuyler Ogden ’21. He saw In the Fade, and thought the film was shocking. He went for the LEAD point because he is learning German and thought the film would help him understand the language and culture better.
“In a way, it makes people better understand international relations,” Ogden said. “The film series gives another perspective of what those countries are like.”
Students interested in the film series can check out the next scheduled film, the United Kingdom production My Cousin Rachel, on March 20 at 4 P.M. and 7 P.M. To learn more about Dulany Library’s International Film Series, please visit: https://www.williamwoods.edu/current_students/library/docs/international_films.pdf.