International Film Festival Reaches Out to Maryland Community

Bridges to the World

A poster providing details about the International Film Festival hangs in the Media Center at Towson University. The festival takes place this February in Van Bokkelen Hall Auditorium. (Photo by: Gabrielle LePore/TU Student)

World Artists Experiences and Maryland’s Office of the Secretary of State International Division are hosting their fourth annual Bridges to the World International Film Festival this month.

Towson is one of five venues in Maryland featuring films from different producers and directors from around the globe.

Mary “Mendy” Nitsch, director of international affairs of Maryland’s Office of the Secretary of State International Division said the goal is to reach out to the people of Maryland.

“Our hope is that the audiences will gain the spirit of each of the countries represented in the films,” Nitsch said. “The theme, Building Bridges, is a recognition of the state’s global reach, and a reflection of those connections here in Maryland.”

Dr. Alan Marcus, an assistant professor in the department of geography and environmental planning is from Brazil. He said this event is “a great opportunity for students, faculty and the Towson community to be exposed to international films.”

Marcus connected the most with the first film of the month from Brazil titled House of Sand. The film is set in Lencois Maranhenses, a desert landscape in northern Brazil.

“As a geographer and a Brazilian, I could certainly speak more about the physical features in this film – a unique ecological wonder of sand dune formations and lagoons,” Marcus said. “But this film expands into far more than mere long shots of Brazilian physical geographies.”

House of Sand follows three generations of a family of women. It focuses on the metaphoric relationship between the landscape, time and the lives of the three women, according to World Artists Experiences.

“The natural elements become poetic landscapes, metaphors for emotions,” Marcus said. “[They tell] us more about life and love, and perhaps, about something intangibly human about the struggle to love and to be loved.”

Marcus plans on attending the other films that will be shown every Friday at 7 p.m. in Van Bokkelen Hall Auditorium at Towson University.

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