World Cinema and the European Film Festival
Professor of Cinema and Digital Studies
Professor of German
Learn more about Professor Fisher at his Cinema and Digital Media bio page.
My “World Cinema and the European Film Festival” program, based in Locarno, Switzerland and in La Napoule, France, grows out of two related passions: I am an unrepentant cinephile and I love film festivals. When I attended the Berlin Film Festival for the first time, an entire world of art and cinema opened up to me; now I can also appreciate how important festivals are for the film industry as a whole. At film festivals, one gets to see films one would never see otherwise in an exciting environment in which filmgoers vie to be the first ones to see a future hit or spot a momentous artistic achievement. The course attends the Locarno Film Festival (with full festival passes), the most important A-level festival of the summer that takes place in the incredibly lovely lake region of southern Switzerland/northern Italy (two lakes over from Lake Como, featured in many films, and about an hour and a half from Milan). Before the festival, we prepare for its program with two weeks right on the Mediterranean coast in lovely La Napoule, staying just 10 minutes from the center of the world’s most important festival in Cannes (held in February). The French Riviera is one of the most sought after summer destinations, and for good reason – our program will tour nearby Cannes, Nice, and Monaco. In terms of my personal background, I studied at Stanford (BA) and Cornell Universities (MA, PhD) as well as at the Free University in Berlin and focus my research on film and media studies, German literature, and European intellectual history. I have attended a number of film festivals (Sundance, Berlin, Hong Kong, Munich, New York, and, of course, Locarno as well as worked at the Munich and San Francisco Film Festivals).
A Message to Students and Parents
I have been involved with study abroad as a student, a teacher/professor, and as an administrator for decades. It does not surprise me that researchers consistently find that studying abroad has the biggest impact of any experience in an undergraduate’s education. I love to introduce students to life in Europe, and this program manages both to bring students to three wonderful places (French Riviera, Locarno/the lake region, and Milan, so introducing highlights of both northern and southern Europe); it also, very unusually for summer abroad programs, allows students to participate in a major European cultural event, an A-level film festival, that changes every year in fascinating ways.
- "Going to the film festival and screenings really expanded my film knowledge and made me more of a cinophile."
- "Exposed me to an entire industry/world that I had a vague knowledge of in the beginning and has truly opened my eyes to the enormous impact film has on a global scale."
- "I gained a greater understanding of how film festivals are programmed and how they contribute to global cinema."
- "I really loved the program, especially seeing a world famous film festival in such a beautiful country and meeting new friends."
- "I was expecting the incredible and got so much more."