Independent Film Festival at Genesee Community College

Under a President’s Innovation Award Grant and as part of the Genesee Community College’s 40th Anniversary Celebration, the institution is hosting its first Independent Film Festival on Saturday, May 5, 2007 from 1-5 PM. Two PBS Wide Angle films featuring contemporary, world-wide topics of education and health care will be shown, the first at 1 PM followed by discussion and refreshments, the second at 3 PM followed by discussion.

The first film to be screened, Back to School, profiles seven children in seven countries – Afghanistan, Benin, Brazil, India, Japan, Kenya, and Romania – as they started their first year of school in 2003. Returning in 2006, the film shows that some of those children are already struggling, hanging onto their education by a thread. With more than 100 million children around the globe out of school, this 90-minute film puts a human face on an issue with profound consequences for global development.

The second film, H5N1: Killer Flu, stands as a warning about the next potential global human flu epidemic. The World Health Organization estimates that the first H5N1 virus – which already has jumped species from birds to humans – could kill tens of millions of people worldwide. The film travels to Vietnam to investigate the threat of a global pandemic, portraying Vietnam’s response to outbreaks where doctors and veterinarians are battling the virus. As the government tries to contain the disease and educate its people, there is growing evidence that the virus is evolving and already may have begun to spread via human-to-human contact for the first time, dramatically increasing the risk of a worldwide catastrophe.
The coordinating producer of Back to School, Tamara Rosenberg, and a panel of local experts will lead the discussion after the films. The film festival is free and open to the public. The President’s Innovation Award program provides funding for innovative activities and projects that promote community involvement in the life of the College, stimulate student and community pride in the College, and help establish pilot programs or initiatives with the potential for positive, long-term impact on the College.

For more information about the Independent Film Festival or for promotional materials such as logos and posters, please contact Barry Chow, Genesee Community College’s Director of Learning Technology at (585) 343-0055 x6252 or email