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Free movies at M State

Hoping to share more than just a blockbuster of a show with the public, the World Cinema class at M State in Detroit Lakes is hosting three free movies on Dec. 3.

The public is welcome to come see "Wall-E" from 10 to 11:40 a.m., "White Christmas" from noon to 2:05 p.m. and "The Avengers" from 2:30 to 5 p.m. All of the movies are free to watch, and concession will be available for purchase.

"The reasoning behind putting the day on was to enrich and inform the campus (students and faculty) and community on different aspects of film," Genevieve Perry said of how Cinema Day started last year. "(It's) to help people realize that there is so much more to film than just the popular blockbusters that are so common in today's society."

Though the World Cinema class focuses on non-English speaking movies, the class chose more popular American films for the free cinema day in the conference room at M State.

The planning committee -- made up of M State students Perry, Hannah Halbekken, Jaret Crissinger and Gregory Englund -- chose the films, while trying to have something interesting for all age groups, Perry said.

"We want to not only entertain people, but inform them as well."

Professor Laurel Nielson said the idea for the free cinema day in Detroit Lakes came from the summer film series shown at Minnesota State University Moorhead and its founder, the late Rusty Casselton, who was also a friend of Nielson's.

"I wanted the students to be engaged in what they were learning about. You can stand up and talk about this is what goes behind film, and this is what goes behind putting something on, but for them to actually do it, where they have to pick the films, help with the projectionist, research, advertise -- they planned the whole event," she said.

"I've got a great group. They are so ambitious and so wonderfully organized."

She said she will introduce the students to the audience at the movies on Dec. 3 and show it's not all about just sitting in a classroom.

She said she had more involvement in last year's event, but this year wanted to hand the event over to the students. She said it's more like a final project that they are all engaged in this way.

She said she was kind of hoping they would pick at least one foreign film to show.

"But that's OK," she said with a laugh. "You've got to get the people to come, and not everyone wants to watch subtitles.

But, subtitles are not lost on her students either.

"Film is an expression of thoughts, emotions and imagination. It is an art form in itself that has unfortunately been lost in American society," Perry said. "But around the world, in foreign films, this expression comes through so much more clearly. If only American's could get over the subtitles to truly see how beautiful some of these films really are."

The class is hoping this will become a yearly event, bringing people together for movies around Christmas time.

"The event is meant to not only bring attention to the film classes offered here on campus, but also bring more interest and attention to the campus and college itself," Perry said.

Nielson's son, Isaiah, will be running the projection, and he will also be showing war shorts and cartoons between the films.

She said she will have three different students introduce the films as well, giving a little tidbit about the film that the audience may not know.

The money raised from the concessions sold -- pop, water, hot cocoa, coffee and popcorn -- bill pay for the rental of the films.

Daycares and elementary classes are welcome.

Film classes at M State

Nielson started the film program at M State based on the program at Minnesota State University Moorhead. While there isn't a film degree offered through M State, students get credit under the Humanities category.

She started with Introduction to Film three years ago, and then added World Cinema this year, although she did not create the World Cinema class.

"Students have certain goal areas they have to complete, and one of them is a global perspective. The World Cinema class completes that goal perspective," she said.

While she has had about 12-15 students signing up for the Intro to Film classes, the World Cinema class has 25 students.

The World Cinema class at M State was created to introduce students to films from non-English speaking countries around the globe.

"I took this class, and Introduction to Film as well, to fulfill requirements for my Liberal Arts AAS degree, but also because I myself am interested in the arts, all forms," Perry said.

She said that the class has watched films from all over the world: Egypt, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, England and Mexico so far.

"It has been very interesting and enriching. I've really enjoyed seeing different cultures and beliefs from around the world, and how other societies, governments and religions function from what I myself have been accustomed to," she said.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.