CAS Faculty and Student Help Produce 'The Dialogue'

Posted on: November 6, 2013

The Dialogue Film PosterMark your calendars to attend the advanced screening of a new documentary, "The Dialogue," which was created by Crossing Borders Education and co-produced by Michigan State University.

In recognition of the nationwide International Education Week, there will be a pre-screening on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. The event is in the auditorium and Lincoln Room and is free and open to the public, but space is limited.

This 70-minute film follows four American and four Chinese university students as they travel together through Hong Kong and Southwest China. Together they explore elements of meaningful dialogue and cultural identity while sharing travel adventures, culture shock, confrontations and discoveries about each other.

"As MSU and CBE conceptualized the content of 'The Dialogue,' we used MSU's global competencies in developing the film," said project coordinator Dawn Pysarchik, who is also an Advertising + Public Relations Professor and former Associate Dean for International Studies. "The film allows audiences to watch real relationships develop between eight people from different cultures as they become more comfortable with each other, more accepting and respectful."

Pysarchik enlisted Troy Hale, Media and Information(TISM) and Media Sandbox instructor, to oversee production of the filming. TISM student Colin Marshall also was a part of the film crew in Hong Kong and Southwest China.

"The film teaches us that often when communicating with people from different backgrounds, we must remain empathetic to communication styles and adapt our own to exist in the same space," Marshall said. "The topics opened my eyes to what real intercultural communication can look like.

"Students and educators will find a place to relate to the characters on-screen, hopefully in a way that reflects their own fears, questions, and yearning for greater global understanding of the human condition."

International Education Week (IEW) is Nov. 11-15. This week is recognized not only at MSU, but also by institutions across the country and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. IEW was created to, "promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the United States."

In addition to the film, MSU created a web-based intercultural toolkit, co-produced by CBE, that includes resources for event facilitators, faculty and students

The documentary will be submitted to international film festivals within the next few weeks and is expected to do well. The film will not be released to general audiences until 2014, following the completion of the festivals.

Watch the trailer for "The Dialogue" on the International Studies and Programs website. MSU faculty interested in bringing their class should contact Judy Osbun.

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