By PRISCILLA LOEBENBERG
Carroll County Times
WESTMINSTER, Md. (AP) — For more than a decade, members of Film Lovers in Carroll County have made it their mission to celebrate the art of film. On Friday, FLICC will roll out its annual month-long Foreign Film Festival with the mission to expand the world view of film lovers.
Each Friday in February, a different foreign language film will be screened at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Carroll Arts Center in Westminster. The first film presented at the Foreign Film Festival is traditionally the previous year’s Oscar winner in the foreign film category, said FLICC spokesman Frank Baylor.
“Amour” took home the Academy Award and will be the first festival film on screen. Baylor said it’s a serious film about old-age issues, and some people might not give it a chance because they think it’s too dark. However, he said the film is exceptional and shouldn’t be missed.
A committee chose the remaining films in the festival, Baylor said.
“We try to find a good geographical mix and include at least one film that is a comedy,” he said.
He said this year’s Valentine’s Day movie is a good date night selection starring Pierce Brosnan, and the following week’s selection is a thriller. The final week’s feature is another highly acclaimed drama.
FLICC puts more films on the big screen in Westminster than any other group, Baylor said. Without the club, people wishing to see art house or foreign films would typically have to drive to Baltimore or Gettysburg, Pa., he said.
The films screened at Carroll Arts Center seem to be getting more popular each year, Baylor said. The films selected throughout the year are meant to inspire, inform and entertain. He said it is not unheard of for the club to select a foreign film for screening outside of February’s festival.
Baylor said foreign films often get overlooked in the United States because people are reluctant to read subtitles. However, he said, most find the subtitles effectively disappear after the first few minutes as viewers become engaged in the story. They find the subtitles to be very little effort in the end.
“I love watching foreign films,” Baylor said. “If you only watch American films, you are cutting yourself off from 80 percent of the films made in the world. You are really limiting your film experience.”
He said among those who enjoy good movies, once they give foreign films a chance, they often want to see more.
McDaniel College is sponsoring the festival for the 11th year in row, Baylor said. The cost of acquiring royalties and screening a movie would be prohibitive, he said, if the group did not have generous sponsors. McDaniel students and staff are admitted free with identification.
Information from: Carroll County Times of Westminster, Md., http://www.carrollcounty.com/
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