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College of the Desert offers a World Film class where students attend the Palm Springs International Film Festival

College of the Desert World Film class

Here’s a cool opportunity for students in the desert. You can attend the Palm Springs International Film Festival for free if you sign up for the World Film Class at College of the Desert.

Eye on the Desert’s Caitlin Thropay met up with some of the students taking the class right now and tells us more about it.

How about getting class credit to watch movies for a semester… sounds too good to be true, right?

That’s what these students at College of the Desert are doing!

“We meet an hour before the movie starts to talk about what we are going to see and then after the movie we talk for another hour about our reactions and how we feel about it compared to other movies,” Alex Sexton, a student in the class told News Channel 3.

Thanks to a grant, this class allows 15 students to attend the Palm Springs International Film Festival for free.

“Not only do we get to watch the films but we get to do Q & A sessions with the film directors,” Keanna Garcia, a student in the class and also one of the student trustees on the board of trustees said.

They get to learn the art of how to watch films from around the world.

“I’ve learned to appreciate cinema way more than I did before," Sexton said. "Just capturing moments in films can be rather difficult and hearing others who are professionals of the matter talk about it really made me feel connected with it or at least movies more so than I possibly could have ever imagined,” he added.

Some of these students are interested in pursuing a career in cinematography. One student shared how the class has opened her eyes to the possibilities in her own backyard.

“I really didn’t know there was anything for me in Palm Springs," Kayla Wadwa said. "I knew the Palm Springs Film Festival was here but I don’t think I was ever as willing to throw myself into it or embrace the actual resources I have here as I am now after listening to programmers speak and people who are working here at the festival I’m way more open to exploring my options here in Palm Springs,” she said.

We also met with Zack Solomon, a former film student from College of the Desert who now works as the manager of education and membership for the film festival.

“This class was really the springboard of a lot of great things to come with a collaboration with College of the Desert," Solomon said. "This is the only college in the area that’s offering substantial film classes and college of the desert’s film program has grown so much that it only makes sense to involve them in this way in the festival," he added.

The film professor of this class, Michael Gladych was also a big part of helping make this class possible.

“This class is really more like a seminar-style and it depends on the responsibility of the students and I am so proud of these students showing up," Gladych said. "It’s a lot of work to go to 15 films and two more events and show up early on time and discuss it afterward. It takes a lot of responsibility. I’m very proud of my students,” he said.

The class is first come first serve and is called: CONTEMPORARY WORLD FILM: FILM 021

Please contact Michael Gladych for more information about the class:

You can also learn more on their website:

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Caitlin Thropay

Caitlin Thropay is the Weekend Morning Anchor and Lifestyle Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News Leader. Learn more about Caitlin here.


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