Cinema, With an Exotic Twist

Phillipe Van Houtte with International Film Festival Sign

PHOTO | Denzil Navolt

Tech has a movie theater, but only once a year, and it is only around for the last three weeks of March. There are no tickets, lines or waits and they only show one film a night. The 8th International Film Festival runs from March 1 to 16 and it’s a completely free way to get a complete cinema experience with an exotic twist.

The 8th International Film Festival is an annual event where anyone can enjoy screenings of foreign films curated by professors from the world language faculty. Each show begins at 7 p.m. and lasts for the movie’s duration. The event is in Doc Bryan for the last three weeks of March, every spring semester.

“These movies are not Hollywood movies, they don’t have the same plots or language, and they often explore subjects that may be avoided in America because of the controversy,” Phillipe Van Houtte, librarian, professor of French and event organizer, said.

To help facilitate a better understanding, before and after the movies, there’s a casual open discussion. Think of a book club but for films. Most topics focus on themes illustrated in each movie. Others are specifically designed to offer a window into other cultures and share timeless messages that college-age students should be able to relate to.

The film festival might boost your grade. Many courses offer extra credit for attending, including the world language courses and several English classes.

A small group of students that attended the showing of “Was tun, wenn’s brennt?” gave the film glowing reviews. Elsie Clark elaborated, saying, “I think it’s a great film.” Another student, Ivee Bryant, said the movie was a “solid 9.5 out of ten.”

A complete list of films being shown, their descriptions and themes can be found at For more information, contact Van Houtte at