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Film society kicks off season

By Staff | Sep 2, 2011

The Shepherdstown Film Society will kick off its fall season today, Sept. 2 with a screening of “My Life as a Dog.”

The film was chosen by society members as a part of this year’s “foreign films” theme.

According to Lex Miller, a member of the society, the group meets each season to toss around ideas about a theme.

Miller said that over the years the society has featured both foreign and domestic movies ranging in subject matter.

Last season’s theme coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Shepherdstown Train Station featured films about trains.

“Some of those films were very popular,” he said.

This year the selection of films will take viewers “around the world in four films” and back to Appalachia.

One of the films in this fall’s series is a documentary about the history and people of Appalachia, set to coincide with the Appalachian Heritage Festival in late September.

As in seasons past, each film in the series this fall will be accompanied by a discussion led a by a member of the film society or a faculty member from Shepherd University.

Professor of modern languages and film studies Rachel Ritterbusch will lead the first discussion for “My Life as a Dog.”

Ritterbusch, who is founding member of the film society, said she suggested the film because she found it unique.

Ritterbusch, who is a fan of foreign films, said she’s excited about this season’s theme because it gives viewers an opportunity to try something new.

“It gives insight into another culture and can make for interesting discussion,” she said.

According to Lisa Welch, film society coordinator, the group has always been able to add to Shepherdstown’s film culture.

“We want to bring more quality films to Shepherdstown,” she said.

Welch said that the society kicked off its first season in 2004 during a brief period when the Shepherdstown Opera House stopped showing films.

Having used university facilities to show movies year after year, the society sought a partnership in 2008 with the Scarborough Society as a way to gain financial backing for the free films.

According to Welch, the film society and university have worked together to show films related to university programs such as SU’s Common Reading and the Multicultural Students Affairs Black History Month programs.

“It’s something really positive, bringing the town and the university together,” Welch said.

“My life as a Dog” will premiere at 7 p.m. at Reynolds Hall and will be preceded by a reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the War Memorial building on German Street.