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9 posts categorized "Extracurricular"

01/10/2018

FALL 2017 ISSUE III

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Film Studies and Global Architecture and Design semester activities

It might seem that film and architecture are only remotely connected, however, the same cannot be said about students of CIEE Film Studies program, and students of CIEE Global Architecture and Design. Since the very beginning of the program, students have been invited to attend extra-curricular activities that would help them to understand to the Czech culture.

One group of the organized events have been Cultural Workshops. Through these three workshops, students were able to learn how to observe and interpret a new culture and apply this knowledge to the Czech traditions. Furthermore, they have been learning about Czech historical figures and also how to market their experience abroad.

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Students were observing their personal development through the “Czech-in session”, during which they have set their goals and expectations, reviewed them and in the end of the semester evaluated their growth for themselves.

Fun activities included visiting a home hockey game of Sparta, ice-skating, screening of the Czech movies, laser-tagging or events organized by flat buddies. Those have been for example visits of Czech museums, cooking lessons or escape games.

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Extra-curricular activities organized for these two programs are inseparable part of the stay of students. The aim is to help to students to immerse in the Czech culture and feel like home.

Fall 2017 ISSUE II

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TRIP TO SOUTH BOHEMIA

In order to get away from a daily rush in Prague, students of CIEE Film Studies have left Prague in October for one weekend. They spent the whole weekend in South Bohemia, visiting historic town Pisek and castle Zvikov.

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The main reason for going to Pisek was International Student Film Festival which is happening each year and attracts attention of not only student from the Czech Republic but the whole world. CIEE students had a chance to attend several blocks of festival films and also meet students from a local film academy (Filmova Akademie Miroslava Ondricka).

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Diving deeper into the South Bohemian culture, students have visited a traditional and famous restaurant U Reineru that has been founded in 19th century and represent the local food.

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On Sunday, before returning back to Prague, our little travelers have visited a castle Zvikov, its nature and also Zvikov’s brewery. This visit helped students to understand better the history of the Czech Republic and also the important of the cold beverage in the Czech culture. Overall trip broaden horizons of students and showed them life outside of Prague.

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10/10/2017

Fall 2017 ISSUE I

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A FRESH START IN PRAGUE!

The last August Monday has started the exciting one-semester-ride for students of the Film Studies and Global Architecture and Design Programs. Coming from great distances, all students were greeted at the airport, accommodated and the first week full of activities could commence! Although each program had its own Orientation week, some of the parts were interconnected between the two programs so that students could get to know each other.

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Besides the usual information on academics, student life and living in Prague, our students were also invited to the Welcome Get Together in the center of Prague. During this event, they had the opportunity to get to know each other better and hear the welcome speecch from the Center Director Jana Čemusová.

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Another fun activity was the weekend trip to the Karlštejn Castle for participants of both programs. A part of this weekend activity was a visit of the historic castle of Karlštejn, which is an important element in Czech history. In addition to that, our students could also taste the authentic Czech food and later on participate in the first Czech-in session in order to set their goals for the semester.

04/06/2017

Spring 2017, Issue I

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Discovering the Czech Republic

Film Studies students not only spend their time in Prague, but also outside of it. During this semester, CIEE organized two academic trips and students had the opportunity to discover places such as Karlštejn, Český Krumlov or Písek.

On one of the Saturdays, Film Studies students together with the Program Coordinator visited the Karlštejn Castle. Located only thirty minutes away from Prague, the Karlštejn gothic Castle is a great part of Czech history as it served as the place for safekeeping the Imperial Regalia. Students had to climb up the hill in order to visit the castle and its surroundings. Even despite the cold weather and the fog, everyone has enjoyed the trip!


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Another trip took place in the middle of March when students travelled to South Bohemia. Besides the historical tour, the visit of the Seidel Photo Studio Museum or the mirror labyrinth, students also had the chance to visit One World Film Festival (human rights film festival). What did students think about the trip?

"For most of our time in the Czech Republic, we stay within the beautiful confines of Prague. That is why, when we travelled to Cesky Krumlov, I felt incredibly happy to explore other regions of the Czech Republic. These were places that we wouldn't have otherwise seen."

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"I loved exploring the city of Cesky Krumlov. We toured and explored the Krumlov Castle, as well as the St. Vitus church.  Musicians played Bohemian melodies on the bridges. Spring was just around the corner, so we even saw the infamous bears, Kateřina and Vok, strolling about the castle’s moat. The coats-of-arms of the lords of Rosenberg, bearing the sign of the five-petalled rose, embellished the sides of the buildings around us."

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"On the second day, we even went to the Seidel Photo Studio Museum. There, we developed our own pictures, and got the chance to recreate an early 20th century photograph of our whole group! There was also an international documentary film festival happening in the town. There, we loved not only watching the films, but afterwards skyping the director! The live-music event at the cinema’s cafe also was a beautiful end to the day. The atmosphere, the people, the food, the history and the sights made this trip one of the best I ever experienced“ wrote Anna, a student from the Film Studies Program.

12/01/2016

FALL 2016, ISSUE II (FILM STUDIES)

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Greetings from Praha!

The second half of the CIEE Film Studies semester at FAMU has started and while our students are busy with developing their screenplays before the pitch (Screenwriting track) and shooting their 16mm feature film projects (Production track), we are back with some updates on their academic trips in Fall 2016.

Screenwriting track's Intensive Czech & Bonding trip

 

As a part of their Intensive Beginning Czech Language course, our Screenwriting track enrollees had a unique opportunity of joining their Czech teacher for a trip to Bohemia (as we mentioned in our first semester newsletter). During their 5 days in the beautiful nature of Stráž nad Nežárkou, they did not only spend 3 hours each day intensively learning Czech, but also bonding with each other and immersing themselves into the local culture (among others by spending time with their peers from Charles University) and the Czech concept of "turistika" (tourism)... they also got their own hands-on production experience! You can enjoy the results here:

Courtesy of Luděk Brouček (CIEE Czech professor), Adam Turkel, Clayton Davis, Joey Lieberman, Max Nelson, Liam Driscoll, and Melissa Heineman.

Academic overnight trip to Bohemia (Písek and Zvíkov)

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For the weekend of October 21-23, Film Studies Resident Director Ivana Skenderija planned an overnight trip to Písek and Zvíkov. The first two days were focused on the academic aspect while day 3 was dedicated to immersion. Since 1996, this beautiful bohemian town with second oldest stone bridge in Central Europe, has been hosting an International Student Film Festival (MFSF) annually and we had the pleasure of attending the 16th round. CIEE's Global Architecture and Design Program Coordinator (Film Studies interim) Olga Pexídrová was born in Písek, so she provided a guided tour of the city (including and old power plant which gave the city public lighting as early as in 1888!). We tasted local dishes and met with local film students (who joined us for dinner and showed our students around). We also visited FAMO film school, so students had a chance to compare the differences between two major film schools in the Czech Republic. Of course that the students were also given a fair share of free time to be able to explore independently. On Sunday, we continued with a short hike to the beautiful castle of Zvíkov with mysterious Hliza tower (connected with many myths and legends). Students took some amazing pictures inside the castle as well as in the gorgeous park/forrest surrounding it. The trip was ended by a guided tour of a small brewery in Zvíkov - the founder and current owner showed us around and students appreciated his passion. 

04/26/2015

INSERT SARAH MCLACHLAN SONG HERE

by Emmy Weiner (Kenyon College)

April 5th, 2015

 

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Preterminal nostalgia has begun. This phrase (which I coined. And doesn’t actually make sense with an exact definition.) perfectly describes how I’ve been starting to feel recently. I know that technically there’s still a lot of time left…but I keep finding myself looking back fondly on this abroad experience as if it’s already over. As hard as I try to look forward to what’s still to come, it definitely makes me sad to know that my time here is dwindling. So, it’s time to make the most of these next six weeks.

It is here that I would like to give my sincerest apologies to all (both?) of my loyal blog followers (shout out: Hi, Mom and Dad!). Apparently I overestimated my blog posting abilities…which would explain why I’ve only posted two things while I’ve been here. Oops. So I think for the rest of this post, I’ll just give you some brief descriptions of notable things that have happened in the past month.

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We spent an entire day at the Hafan Animation Studios and animated a (very bizarre) movie about a man and his love affair with a horse. It was about as deep and emotionally riveting as a thirteen second movie about beastiality could be.

 

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I spent a weekend in Italy. The food was amazing (how are Italians not fat?), and Venice and Florence are both beautiful cities. We rented a car to drive from Venice to Florence and began our journey by driving for two hours…the complete wrong way. We learned that north and south are, apparently, not interchangeable directions. Who knew?

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In case you didn’t know (by the way, I have no idea who I’m talking to when I say “you.” For all I know, these blog posts are actually just being addressed to my parents.), I was an extra in House of Cards, season three (top left of this picture!). My debut was sensational, and I’m now constantly being harassed by Hollywood executives in response to my incredible talent of, what I like to call, “standing in the background for less than a second.”

I visited Ireland. Dublin is pretty cool, but I was actually a bigger fan of the Cliffs of Moher and Irish countryside, which is really as green and awesome as it looks in movies. It was also very nice to spend some time in an English-speaking location.

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I travelled to London (and spent a day in Paris with my family. And it was amazing. All six of us have such big personalities, and I honestly can’t think of a point in that trip when I wasn’t entertained. I’m still convinced that someone should make a reality show about us just interacting. That show could probably be at least as popular as my blog. Zach, Jake, and I learned that our southern accents were convincing enough to make random British people believe that we were from Texas.

I had about eight hours of turnaround time between my family trip and our program trip to Brno. We went to a clowning workshop and a wine tasting, which were both really fun. We also watched a movie about Pedophiles. That was less fun.

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And my last trip explanation: I went to Český Krumlov…a little town in the Czech countryside, and it was awesome. I went with three DoPs (Directors of Production. AKA camera guys), so fortunately, that meant I got to spend a lot of time modeling (and/or standing in front of a camera awkwardly). We were also reminded of the importance of turning off your car lights.

Our program went to the “Invisible Exhibition,” a really cool interactive museum where we were guided around for an hour in complete darkness. I’m already a pretty jumpy person when I have all of my senses…so hearing a lot of sudden noises without having my sight took some getting used to. And I may or may not have screamed in my tour guide’s face multiple times.

Final fun fact: Yesterday, I saw a man walking around with a mountain lion on a leash. I kid you not. Apparently it’s not an uncommon thing here, and the locals were confused by our confusion.

And that’s all I have for you. Tomorrow (AKA Easter Monday) is the day when the boys are supposed to whip the girls of Prague (something about fertility…?), so wish me luck!

11/12/2014

Fall 2014, Issue II

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Extracurricular programs

One of the goals of CIEE Study Center in Prague is to provide its students with as many opportunities as possible to get immersed in the Czech society. These immersion projects are organized in cooperation with local students and families who have a strong interest in the American culture. Two examples of these successful projects are Tandems and Meet Czech Families.

Tandems

One of the extracurricular programs that our students can join is Tandems. This program started in Fall 2011 and it grew out of one of our programs One on One Teaching.

For tandems, students of all programs can sign up during orientation or at the Expo. (Expo is an extracurricular fair that is held during one afternoon of the second week of the intensive Czech language. This afternoon is dedicated to all extracurricular opportunities that students can join.)

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How does it work?

 At the “tandem gathering”, held at a local pub, CIEE invites local people interested in tandems. The tandem gathering is a lot of fun! It is done in the style of speed dating so everyone gets to talk to each person for a couple of minutes. Students then turn in a sheet at the end with a few preferences for tandem partners listed. CIEE then matches students up based on this and they receive their partner contact information by email.

It is expected that students spend about 30 percent of the meeting talking/practicing Czech, the rest can be done in English.

If students would like to receive up to 10% extra credit towards their Czech language grade, they meet at least 4x during the semester with their tandem partner and turn in a JOURNAL or ESSAY to CIEE by the end of semester. If not, they can just enjoy the tandem.

What do our students say?

“I gained a really close Czech friend. She is my closest Czech friend. I also got to see cool places that are actually where Czech people go. She helped me avoid tourist traps. She was great! I feel like we had a lot in common and we got along extremely well. This was one of my favorite parts about CIEE.”

“I gained a new Czech friend! I learned a lot about the differences in teenage culture and also about differences in what our families do for holidays.”

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Meet Czech Families

Another program that we offer for our students is Meet Czech Families. CIEE cooperates with several Czech families who are interested in meeting people from other cultures! Meeting local people is an important part of our students´ stay if they want to be more than just a tourist but may be too difficult to do on their own. Family plays an important part in the lives of Czech people and it is quite hard to penetrate the Czech culture without experiencing the family life. Family visits are a great opportunity for Czech kids to meet someone from a different culture and for the adults to show you a piece of their culture. Entering a Czech household and being part of a Czech family is an opportunity that many non-Czechs wish to have.

Students can sign up during orientation or at the Expo. Students who are interested in this program fill in a motivation letter, so do all the families. Then, they are matched up by CIEE based on their preferences.

 What do our students say?

“Meeting with a Czech family was one of the most worthwhile experiences I had in Prague. Getting to know a family from a different background (cultural, political, socioeconomic, spiritual) gave me a real idea what the „Czech“ perspective is. Not to mention IT WAS A BLAST! It was like having younger brothers all over again. The best part of spending time with my family was that they walked me home, with their dog, after every visit. They also cooked dinner for me every time I visited. I would like to give everyone one piece of advice, DON’T BE AFRAID TO CALL THE FAMILIES. These families are waiting for your call and are filled to the brim with excitement to meet you.”

“Well, my start of Czech family program was same as everyone: I called and made appointment and then Zuzana gave me a map and directions. I brought flower, and felt a bit nervous before ringing the bell, but the fear soon disappeared after huge smile & cookies welcomed me:). We talked general things such as "why you chose Czech Republic" "what is the population of Tokyo" "What Czech food did you eat ", etc. and it was so much fun because they (mother and 10years old boy) can’t speak English well therefore we used a lot of body language, guessing, simple words such as 'good' or 'bad' which I knew in Czech, so no matter what topic we were talking, it became an "achievement" and we felt satisfied when we reached conclusion.”

“My family visited them when they came to Prague, it was amazing to see my mom talking with my Czech mother, dad with Czech grandpa, and all of the people ate my grandma's special dishes.”

Experience of a Czech family:

Dear CIEE,

Meeting with CIEE students is a very pleasent and useful activity. I have welcomed the possibility to hear native speakers again and to be able to improve my verbal skills. My student spoke slower taking into consideration my ability to understand each word. Through discussion with her, I also found out many things from life of Americans, quite a bit of American facts and, I believe, that she also found out some details about life in the Czech Republic. I was not bored at any of our activities. Both sided exchange of experiences was very interesting. I would like to thank CIEE for this chance.

I am again interested in this program next semester. I consider meeting of people from other countries beneficial. Thank you for everything.

This is translation from feedback email to CIEE on the Czech Families program….

12/23/2013

Fall 2013, Issue III

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Photo courtesy of EJ Kennelly

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM PRAGUE!

Fall 2013 Film Studies semester is over and students are on their way home to reunite with their friends and families. The upcoming holidays are making their process of leaving the city of Prague and their wonderful study abroad experiences a little bit more bearable. It needs to be said that we had a very good group that stuck together at all times this semester - and their screenplays and final films reflected that. But how did they spend their last weeks in Prague?

Production and post-production

Production track dedicated their last weeks primarily to production and postproduction. Film Program Coordinator Ivana occasionally paid a visit to their sets to make sure everything was in order. Production managers Pavla Klimešová and Filip Teller and Camera Supervisor Tomáš Daliman made sure that all 5 shoots went smoothly. A couple of shooting days needed to be rescheduled due to weather, but students and their crews were flexible and everything ended well. 

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Photo courtesy of EJ Kennelly

We already shared Laurel Schwartz's (Scripps College) video about her shoot on CIEE FS blog, however, we want to make sure you don't miss it:

 

Screenwriting track: presentation rehearsals

All students enrolled in the Screenwriting track helped on the Production track film sets (as grips, caterers and actors), but of course they have been busy with their screenplays as well. All 4 students are quite ambitious, so during their regular Tuesday sessions with their FAMU Academic Advisor Mary, they came up with their screenplays introductions as well as short dialogues presented by actors. Therefore they experienced directing real actors during these meetings.

Last CIEE Cultural Workshop

Our last cultural workshop took place at the CIEE Study Center. Students started part of their orientation there and we thought it would be a nice wrap up for them. Over a late lunch, students, Ivana and Eva discussed reverse culture shock and ended the workshop with Greatest Czechs matching game which became quite competitive. Just before the sunset, we took a group picture together:

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CIEE Christmas party

Just like every Fall semester, CIEE Study Center hosted all programs get-together Christmas party. Students had a chance to taste traditional Czech Christmas specialities (fish soup, fried carp, potato salad, baked groats with mushroom "Kuba", sweat bread "Vánočka" and indispensable Christmas cookies)! They also experienced local Christmas customs, such as gingerbread baking and decorating, Christmas decorations creating, nutshell mini-boats creating, and much more. Of course not even a Christmas tree wasn't missing and all students found a small gift from Baby Jesus underneath it (CIEE got them Christmas ceramic decorations created in workshops for people with disabilities so local NGO Jedlička Institute - where CIEE Prague CES students volunteer - was supported). All students had a blast!

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Final Screenplays presentation and Final Screening

Thursday, December 19th was a big day. At 2pm, Screenwriting track students (Jamie, Nicole, Alex and Edan) started with their screenplays presentations. Their rehearsals truly paid off and full projection room appreciated their work. They also received feedback from the audience. The actors (DAMU and CIEE students) they managed to find were extraordinary and made their dialogues quite lively. We would like to congratulate them all for their progress!

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At 4pm, projection of Production track final films followed. The audience consisted of FAMU professors and staff, CIEE students and staff, actors and special guests got to enjoy 5 films plus a bonus - Hafan classic animation workshop outcome. Students were provided with feedback by their professors and a big (deserved) applause from everyone present.

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 CIEE FS Farewell Dinner

After the screening, everyone continued on to FAMU student club and pub Lažanských for the farewell ceremony and dinner. All students received their FAMU certificates and final films, CIEE added another CD with Prague Yearbook and a special Film Studies video with a slideshow from the whole semester. FS Academic Advisor Mary Angiollilo and FAMU dean Pavel Jech gave their final speeches, winners of the green game were announced, and most immersed and volunteering students were acknowledged.

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The yummy reception with traditional Czech dishes followed. Students said their goodbyes to their professors, crews and staff, and even a few tears had been shed. It has been a great semester!

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CIEE staff wishes you HAPPY HOLIDAYS and we will be back with CIEE Prague programs newsletter in Spring 2014!

11/18/2013

Fall 2013, Issue II

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IMG_6597GREETINGS FROM THE CITY OF A HUNDRED SPIRES - PRAGUE!

The Fall 2013 Film Studies semester is half way through and we are back with some updates on what CIEE students accomplished thus far.

Some of you may have read about their academic overnight trip to Bohemia in a student blog, but we want to make sure that the others won't miss it:

CIEE Academic Overnight trip to Bohemia

The weekend of October 4-6th, Film Studies students went to the Bohemia region to attend Písek International Student Film Festival and enjoy a nice hike to Castle Kašperk. We believe that pictures are often better than words, so now you will be able see for yourselves how much fun they had. Laurel Schwartz (Scripps College) was kind enough to share her videoblog with us:

 

CIEE Halloween party

On Wednesday, October 30th, CIEE Study Center Prague organized their first Halloween party. All Prague programs were invited and Czech buddies helped with the organization. And the evening was a blast - best student and Czech buddy Halloween costume was announced (and awarded), everyone got a chance to taste various kinds of trick or treat candy, jack 'o' lanterns made by students during the interest group activity decorated the premises and everyone had fun!

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Flat buddy organized activities

Flat buddies planned some more cool immersive activities since you got our last newsletter! Students are always excited for cooking lessons, art & film festivals and exhibitions, but one of the most interesting events was probably a tour of Prague given by local homeless men, Karim and Emil (see the picture below) which is organized by Pragulic Organization. Seeing the city through their eyes was truly interesting for all students.

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photo courtesy of Chelsea Steeb

CIEE Open mic night (all CIEE Prague programs get-together)

On Tuesday, November 12th, students from all three CIEE programs (FS, CES, CNMJ) enjoyed a get-together event with CIEE staff and buddies: the legendary OPEN MIC NIGHT! Participation was amazing (more than 70 people came) and we had 9 outstanding performances + free karaoke at the end. There was a good variety of performances, so we enjoyed singing, musical instruments playing, poetry and even folklore dance! One of the best performers was Edan Laniado from the Film Studies program who played the piano and sang few of his own songs. 

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Screenwriting track pitch

We have reached the second half of the semester, so on Wednesday, November 13th, FS Academic Advisor Mary invited FAMU screenwriting professors Jan Fleischer and Pavel Jech and directing professor Asmara Marek to the Screenwriting track pitch. CIEE FS Program coordinator and Production track students also joined this event. Nicole, Alex, Jamie, and Edan introduced their screenplays and received some useful feedback on how to make their characters livelier, along with other various tips for improvement. All stories pitched were quite interesting and FAMU mentors seemed happy with students' progress. We can't wait for the final screenplay presentations on the final day - it still remains to be decided whether authors introduce their screenplays or ask actors to rehearse a couple of their dialogues (and learn how to direct them in the meantime).

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Production track: preproduction

Students enrolled in the Production track have also been busy lately. The last two weeks were dedicated to locations scouting, casting, meetings with mentors and production managers and other preparations. Friday and Saturday, November 15-16, were dedicated to the camera orientation when students got their hands on the 16mm film equipment. And on Sunday, they started making their 7-10' films - so let's keep our fingers crossed for them!

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photo courtesy of EJ Kennelly