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The University Star




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The University Star

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Texas State puts on international film fest

Professor+Louie+Dean+Valencia+presents+his+new+book%2C+Harry+Styles+and+the+Cult+of+Celebrity%2C+as+part+of+the+film+festival%2C+Thursday%2C+Feb.+22%2C+2024%2C+in+Taylor+Murphy.
Rosey Mendoza
Professor Louie Dean Valencia presents his new book, Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity, as part of the film festival, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Taylor Murphy.

Two courses from the honors college, “Harry Styles and the Cult of the Celebrity: Identity, the Internet and European Pop Culture” and “Iconic Figures of the French-Speaking World,” have put together an event titled “Between Fame and Infamy: An International Film Festival, Symposim, and Art Exhibition on Celebrity” The event is currently showing films and art until March 7. It will end with a symposium.

The film festival deals with issues regarding celebrity influencer culture showcasing films about gender and sexuality. Twenty-three films will be shown over three weeks at different locations on campus with free admission for everyone. The event also features an art exhibit which opened on Feb. 19 and ends on March 7.

Louie Valencia, the professor of the Harry Styles course, believes the festival is important to share this with students because these films show how people use the internet to shape their own identities.

“What I’m interested in out of this is the films that show the experiences of young people and how they live in the world that demands a lot of them,” Valencia said. “Either from expectations from the internet or also, what does it mean to try to have power or to use influence?”

Students in these classes were given the task of thinking about what fame meant to them and came up with some of the films that would be showcased throughout the film festival.

There will be lectures and discussions following the films that are shown. The topics of these discussions range from identity to gender and sexuality.

Soren Jespersen, a history senior who has helped out with promotion and publications, said the turnout at the opening for both events was great.

“I was able to see the fruits of everyone’s labor come together and see the culmination of the efforts,” Jespersen said. “That’s just a really good big payoff to see. All of [our] hard work [coming] to fruition that, and that’s a nice feeling.”

Jespersen will also be helping out with the moderation for the discussion on the film Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola.

“Now is a very critical time for people to be able to ask those kinds of questions critically about their relationship with celebrities,” Jespersen said.

Stephanie Morales, a photography sophomore, who attended the festival on Feb. 23 said it’s important for students to attend the festival because the films let students know that they are not alone.

“It just opens up our eyes and gives different perspectives on how we feel about different things,” Morales said.

For more information on the festival visit their Instagram @txstfilmfestival.

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