Summer Abroad Europe

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World Cinema and the European Film Festival

Program Overview

Starting in Milan, Italy, then proceeding to the Locarno Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland and finishing on the French Riviera in Cannes, France, this program examines contemporary cinema by considering the role of film festivals in producing and distributing films globally. The highlight of our time is the Locarno Film Festival, an A-level event in the lovely lake region of southern Switzerland/northern Italy (near Lake Como). Perched between Cannes (in spring) and Venice (in fall), Locarno is the most important festival of the summer. With a full festival pass, the class considers national filmmaking in relation to transnational festivals. We examine a series of contemporary filmmakers who established themselves at film festivals (Wong, Haneke, Dolan et al.).

Program Contacts

Program Highlights

  • Program visits three countries: Italy, Switzerland, and France—including a major city, Milan, and two resort towns: Locarno in the Italian-Swiss lake region and Cannes, France.
  • Attend, as a full participant, an entire A-level film festival on Lake Maggiore (near Lake Como/Bellagio/Milan); the Locarno festival is the most important of the summer season.
  • Tour sites associated with the one of the world’s most famous film festivals, the Cannes film festival, as well as Nice and Monaco.
  • Visit Swiss mountain peaks, take a ferry on Swiss a mountain lake, visit Switzerland’s third largest banking city, Lugano, and Milan, one of Italy’s biggest and most dynamic cities.

What Students Are Saying

  • "Exposed me to an entire industry/world that I had a vague knowledge of in the beginning and has truly opened my eyes to the enormous impact film has on a global scale."
  • “It made me absolutely love festivals and gave me opportunities to be in a place to talk to and get advice from real-world directors.”
  • “Being exposed to other students passionate about film and being in Locarno was incredible. I feel more confident about my film career path.”

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