BridgeEnglish Denver executive students joined members from 15 countries to explore trends in global cinema at an International Business Circle (IBC) event in February.
Jim Palmer, University of Colorado (CU) Professor of Film Studies and Director of the CU Conference on World Affairs, spearheaded the event which was hosted by IBC members Jack and Sophie Walker at their private home in Boulder, 30 miles northwest of Denver.
Brazilian BridgeEnglish Denver student, Onivaldo Roncatti, CEO of software company BStation, said the evening was a perfect extension of his classes at the school. “I learned a lot about movies, including problems with production and financing, and I met new and interesting people,” he said. “I also put into practice all the improvements I have made in the English language in the past three weeks. After talking to Jim Palmer and members of the film industry, I could write twenty suggestions for good movies. Congratulations to Bridge for giving me this opportunity.”
Other Bridge participants included Carlos Castejon, Gema Vale and Maria Victoria Iribarren Torres of Venezuela and Junia Gontijo from Brazil.
The IBC is an invitation-only organization of Colorado-based people engaged in international business, in which BridgeEnglish Denver is a corporate partner. The group hosts business forums and peer-to-peer learning opportunities and members include executives and consultants in international marketing, sales, investment, manufacturing, transportation, oil and gas, tourism and education.
CU’s Palmer highlighted a new wave of documentaries making powerful social and political commentaries recently, including Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room and Detropia. Commercial films Moneyball, Margin Call, and Casino Jack were also highlighted for their perspective on social issues. “Film is an international culture that crosses cultural divides, and one should never underestimate the power of an image,” Palmer said.
Palmer, widely known for his commentaries on film, psychology and literature, reflected on his three top film choices: The Third Man, a classic based on the novel by Graham Greene, about an innocent American abroad in Vienna post-World War II; The Lives of Others, a German film set at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall about a Stasi agent of the East German secret police spying on a university couple’s private life and being transformed by the experience; and, more recently , a movie Palmer cited for its “perfect casting and superb direction,” The King’s Speech, about a man without a persona who was about to become the King of England.
Rakhi Panjabi, an Indian who grew up in Hong Kong and now works for Graebel, an international relocation service based in Aurora and also partners with the IBC, reflected on the history of India’s Bollywood. She commented on the evolution of the Indian film industry, which has gained world-wide popularity, from Africa to the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia, as its subjects have broadened from romance to social themes including life in the slums, Indian widows, and AIDS.
BridgeEnglish Denver is striving to enrich the cultural and professional experience of executive students while they are studying in Denver by introducing them to the international business community. Networking and educational events at local universities and international organizations are scheduled for students throughout the year in the Greater Denver area.