Behind the scenes: AAD students bolster film festival

The University of Oregon Arts and Administration Program (AAD) is helping provide organizational leadership and staffing at the 2013 Cinema Pacific Film Festival, a week of films, exhibitions, receptions, and performances April 17-21 at venues in Eugene and Portland.

This is the fourth year the festival will give students and members of the public an in-depth exploration of international cinema and film culture from Pacific-bordering countries. The 2013 festival will highlight cinema and filmmakers from Singapore and Mexico.

“Cinema Pacific is a good example of an arts program that stems from the university but also bridges into the community,” says Mary Morgan, an AAD graduate student who is serving as the festival’s media manager and audience engagement coordinator this year. “It’s independently made, it’s international, it’s stuff that you wouldn’t normally have access to but that we have made available for an affordable price.”

Morgan is one of three graduate students serving in leadership roles for the festival, which is intended to give students hands-on experience in planning and managing a film festival. Students can join the festival staff while taking 2-8 credits of the AAD festival operations practicum, run by festival Director Richard Herskowitz and Operations Manager Larissa Ennis.

The UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts (A&AA) has been the academic home of Cinema Pacific since the festival began. The AAD program offers hands-on experience to graduate students who help staff the festival’s operations; this year, students from the Department of Art’s Digital Arts Program are also lending a hand by working on a video project.

Through its efforts on the festival, A&AA was instrumental in developing UO’s offerings in film studies, Herskowitz says. “Cinema Pacific was one of A&AA’s major contributions to the Cinema Studies Program.”

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