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Summer Abroad Europe

World Cinema and the European Film Festival

Switzerland, France

  • DatesJuly 31–August 27, 2023
  • Max Enrollment – 26
  • Taught In – English
  • Prerequisites – No
  • Academic Area – Cinema and Digital Media; German

Program Overview

Starting in Zurich, Switzerland, then proceeding to the Locarno Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland, this program examines contemporary cinema and television by considering how film festivals help in producing and distributing media around the world. The highlight of our time is the Locarno Film Festival, set in the lovely lake region of southern Switzerland/northern Italy (near Lake Como and Milan). Perched between Cannes (in spring) and Venice (in fall), Locarno is the most important summer festival. We have a full festival pass and much of our work concerns the films/media at the festival. The class considers the relationship between national filmmaking and transnational festivals as well as that between Hollywood and independent/smaller productions. We examine a series of contemporary filmmakers who established themselves at film festivals (Wong, Haneke, Dolan et al.).

Program Contacts

Program Highlights

  • Visit two countries: Switzerland and France, including the major city, Zurich, 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 in the Italian-Swiss Lake region (near Lake Como/Bellagio/Milan).
  • Stay and study in one of the most beautiful summer resort areas in the world: Cannes on the French Riviera.
  • Tour sites associated with the one of the world’s most famous film festival, the Cannes film festival, as well as Nice and Monaco.
  • Visit Swiss mountain peaks, take a ferry on a Swiss mountain lake and visit Switzerland’s third largest banking city, Lugano.

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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