Michael is the president and founder of GFC at Mason, and he worked hard to make an International Film Festival happen this year during iWeek, from April 11 through 13. In fact, the Mason International Film Festival by GFC has been a dream for the club from the very beginning.
“This is something that we’ve been wanting to do since our conception,” says Michael. “It’s a long time coming, and with an organization that focuses on international film, it’s important to have a film festival. Global Film Club needs to have a major event once or twice a year because it’s something people can look forward to, and the Mason International Film Festival during iWeek is the perfect opportunity.”
In addition to Global Film Club, Kamel is a film and video studies student as well as a Head Resident Advisor for Housing & Residence Life at Whitetop.
It didn’t take long for international film to become one of his greatest passions.
“My freshman year of college, I volunteered with the DC Independent Film Festival,” Michael says. “The films there, especially the international films, inspired me to create this club at Mason because I knew we could bring films to campus. With GFC, not only can we have discussions about the films themselves, but also the culture behind the films.”
“We have films from Spain, India, Italy, and Iran,” says Michael. “‘Travel the world in three days through film’ was our thought process in organizing the festival. Since we only have four films, we wanted to make sure each film had very different cultural backgrounds.
“On The Bride’s Side is a very serious yet educational film,” he continues, “and there will be a discussion afterwards on the refugee crisis. Bollywood films are critically acclaimed by audiences across the board, so we chose English Vinglish for our Bollywood feature film. There will be a reception beforehand with food from Bollywood Bistro.”
When asked about the differences between American film and foreign film, Michael believed there were certainly significant differences that can’t be overlooked.
“A lot of international cinema industries don’t have to follow the formulas that are set in Hollywood,” Michael claims. “The standards in international cinema are not as defined as the standards in Hollywood. Filmmakers have a lot more freedom to stretch their creative imagination.”
So when you explore the events that iWeek offers this year, stop by the JC Cinema (Monday and Wednesday) and the JC Gold Room (Tuesday) to watch incredible films like Pan’s Labyrinth, On the Bride’s Side, About Elly, and English Vinglish.
Global Film Club guarantees you won’t be disappointed.
“I think it’s important for people to seek out alternative cinemas compared to American cinema because you’ll be open to a whole new intellectual world,” Michael notes. And that’s all the more reason to go out and see a global film during iWeek.
I would like to thank Michael Kamel and the Global Film Club for allowing me to conduct this interview for The Rival Student Profile Week. Happy International Week!