East Central University’s seventh annual Foreign Film Festival begins on Friday, Feb. 3 with "Across the Himalayas: A Journey through Fiction, Film, and Food.”
This past fall, more than 230 Nepalese students enrolled at ECU, and "Across the Himalayas" will give audiences an opportunity to learn more about the region of the world these students call home.
The event begins at noon with “A Taste of Nepal,” featuring food, posters, and conversations with Nepalese students. ECU's Asian Student Association will serve plates of homemade momos (traditional Nepalese dumplings) for $5 until the food runs out.
At 3 p.m., audiences are invited to attend a panel discussion and Q&A about Kiran Desai’s Booker Prize-winning novel "The Inheritance of Loss," set in part in the foothills of the Himalayas. At 4 p.m., ECU SCREENS will present the Nepalese film "The Black Hen (Kalo Pothi)," which won the Best Film award at the Venice Film Festival in its International Critics’ Week section.
All festival films will screened on Fridays at 4 p.m. Admission is free. After each screening, lucky viewers will receive door prizes relevant to the featured film including books, works of art, DVDs, and food. Other viewers will win generous gift certificates donated by area businesses, including: Amber’s Sweet Shoppe, Cinemark Ada, Delicias Mexican restaurant, Misal’s Indian Bistro in Oklahoma City, Mojo’s, Nacho Biznez, and Truffles and Swirls at Brown’s Pharmacy.
After the final screening of the film festival, one viewer will win a “Grand Prix” door prize that will include one free night at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Ada, and a three-month subscription to “Try the World,” which will send the winner a box filled with authentic gourmet food and snacks curated by expert chefs and produced by local artisans. Each month’s box will feature food from a new country.
Dr. Sarah Peters, associate professor in the Department of English and Languages, will moderate Friday’s panel discussion of “The Inheritance of Loss,” which tells the story of Sai, a girl living with her grandfather in the mountainous city of Kalimpong, India, and Biju, an Indian immigrant living in New York. Panelists will include Drs. Joshua Grasso, Ken Hada, and Rebecca Nicholson-Weir of ECU’s English and Languages Department. After a Q&A about the novel and a 15-minute break, Pradip Poudel, General Secretary of ECU’s Asian Student Association, will introduce the day’s featured film, “The Black Hen,” which tells the story of Prakash and Kiran, two children of different castes who begin a search for their missing hen in the midst of the 2001 ceasefire during the Nepalese Civil War.
Other films to be featured in this years’ festival include:
- The “Labyrinth of Lies,” a German film, which will be screened on Feb. 10. Based on true events, the film follows an idealistic attorney, Johann Radmann, as he tries to bring a former Auschwitz commander to justice. In his pursuit of justice, he uncovers a governmental conspiracy that is working to hide crimes committed by Nazis during WWII. “Labyrinth of Lies” will be introduced by David Weir, director of ECU’s Ramadan Center for Undergraduate Research and Learning.
- Mexico’s “The Golden Dream,” which will be screened on Feb. 17. This film follows teenagers from Guatemala as they journey across Mexico in search of a better life in America. This powerful road story has won numerous awards, including two at the Cannes Film Festival, through its compassionate and honest portrayal of young immigrants. “The Golden Dream” will be introduced by Dr. Errol King, assistant professor of Spanish at ECU.
- “Where Do We Go Now?”, a comedy from Lebanon, which will be screened on Feb. 24. The film follows the antics of women in a small town where the mosque and church stand next to each other. The women, sick of the men’s religious squabbles, come together to keep the town from falling apart. “Where Do We Go Now?” will be introduced by Dr. Terrie Becerra, assistant professor in ECU’s Department of Political Science, Legal Studies, and Sociology.
ECU’s Seventh Annual Foreign Festival is presented by ECU SCREENS, which collaborates with Sigma Tau Delta and ECU’s Honors Student Association to bring memorable cinematic experiences to the community.
This year’s festival enjoys support from ECU’s Cultural Activities Committee and the ECU Foundation. “Across the Himalayas” is provided in part by a grant from Oklahoma Humanities (OH) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this event do not necessarily represent those of OH or NEH.
To learn more about ECU SCREENS, like the Facebook page or visit www.ecuscreens.blogspot.com. For more information about ECU’s Foreign Film Festival, contact Dr. Rebecca Nicholson-Weir, co-director of ECU SCREENS, at (580) 559-5929 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.