By Sara Lettie
The first ever Darden International Film Festival kicked off on April 21st at 5PM. The event hosted a variety of international films including Les Intouchables, Dor, A Simple Life, and Asu Mare. The Film Festival had a food truck, drinks, and great movies at the Pepsico Forum.
The Darden International Film Festival started as an idea by Professor Marc Lipson and Saranya Sundararajan (Class of 2016), VP International Darden Student Association in the professor’s office for ways to get people together. Saranya really wanted an event that would bring all the students, faculty and staff together at Darden connecting them through something common. She felt that Darden has a rich diversity that could be showcased through movies, food, drinks etc. She said “Could you imagine French, Chinese, Hindi, and Spanish movies all being played at the same time? This was my dream for Darden! The team behind the festival was instrumental in making it happen. Arturo Urueta, Clark Wang, Suramya Munshi, Graeme Birrell, and Roshini Rajan. The event couldn’t have happened without these people. Special shout out to Arturo Urueta who played multiple roles for this event.”
The movies shown were internationally acclaimed and provided insight into diverse perspectives through their storyline and cinematography. The movies were screened simultaneously from 5-7 PM with food and drinks after. All the movies screens were nominated by students who also served as the movie hosts. These movies were picked by the students because they highlighted a certain aspect of each of their cultures.
Les Intouchables highlights social problems in France by following the lives of two men from very different backgrounds who form a friendship against all odds. This film effectively addresses deep cultural issues within France with a light humor to keep it upbeat. The Hindi drama, Dor, portrays life in India for a woman and the relationships that are formed and ultimately tested for by societal restraints. This movie offers character depth that helps to capture the emotions and realities of single or widowed women in India. The final film playing is “A Simple Life” was directed by Abb Hui and follows the life of a family caretaker after she suffers a stroke. Ah Toa, the caretaker, makes life changing decisions after this near death experience leading to several realizations. Asu Mare is a 2013 Peruvian comedy motion picture. It’s a movie adaptation of the stand-up comedy that follows the adventures of Carlos Alcántara on his way to fame from his childhood in the “Unidad Vecinal Mirones”. It is a recreation of his youth and experiences with his mother.
Following the film screening were the food and drinks. Saranya explained, “A Food truck from Blue Ridge Pizza offered wood fire pizza and drinks were served. Many insightful discussions happened during that time. The movie hosts were all around speaking more in depth about the underlying themes in the movies. Overall this was a great way to end the Spring term!”