There has been a buzz in the Communications department regarding a new class addition to the curriculum for the Fall 2013 semester. The Vanguard Sundance Program will be an opportunity for upper class Communications students to experience the Sundance Film Festival and partake in several discussions in association with the Windrider Institute.
The Sundance Film Festival is one of the largest American film festivals in the United States held annually in Park City, Utah. Independent filmmakers from around the world are able to showcase their work, whether it is a feature length film or a short film.
Students will be able to travel to Utah as a group and experience the festival first-hand.
The class will be offered this upcoming fall semester to junior and senior students majoring in either Cinema Arts or Communication Studies. Students who are interested are required to fill out an application comprised of essay questions.
Professor Aaron Annas, head of the Sundance program, was able to explain his ideal applicant during a recent interview.
“I want students that are willing to take part in discussion and ask questions and to talk. I also want students that aren’t afraid to be challenged,” stated Annas.
A panel of full time Communication professors will decide on eight students that exhibit the desired qualifications including meeting the GPA requirement. These eight students will have their trip funded by the Communications department minus the cost of transportation and food while at the Festival.
In addition to the eight, up to four additional students may be accepted to participate in the program, although funding for the trip will not be included. These additional four may be alumni or current students.
Graduating senior Jeremy Carroll expressed his interest in the upcoming program.
“This sounds like a wonderful opportunity to be able to meet and network with people in the industry, especially because I will be a recent graduate and looking for a job,” said Carroll.
The program will be worth three units that will go towards the fall 2013 semester. The group will only meet once during the semester to discuss the reading material as well as information for the trip. The actual festival and trip will take place the last week of January.
During the trip, the group will be able to intersect faith and the film industry while taking part in Windrider Forums.
The Windrider institute began to incorporate a conversational relationship between members of the film industry with Christian film lovers. It is comprised of Christian universities and seminaries with students interested in the movie making industry.
Windrider Forums will meet every morning to discuss movies and movie making with filmmakers participating in the festival. Students are able to ask questions and network while learning about the industry.
“It’s going to be a really cool way for students to learn how to engage the culture of the industry they are going into from a Christian perspective,” stated Annas.
In addition to taking part in the forums, the students will be able to watch about ten films. Five of the films watched will be by the filmmakers involved in the Windrider forums, as well as a few selected by the students requests.
The students will have a series of assignments while on the trip such as keeping a journal of their thoughts on the festival. In addition, a paper will be due a week after returning to school after the trip.
An email will be sent out discussing specifics on the class as well as where the applications will be available.