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MSU Cinema International Closes Spring 2022 Season with Three Films for Earth and Philanthropy Week

Dianne Whelan/500 Days in the Wild
"500 Days in the Wild" is the first of three films presented by MSU Cinema International for its Spring 2022 season finale.

The MSY Cinema International Spring 2022 season closes with a triple-feature finale in celebration of Earth and Philanthropy Week. Tracy Ross previews the three films with Cinema International program director Dr. Thérèse St. Paul and program director of MSU's Nonprofit Leadership Studies, Dr. Elise Kieffer.

The first film to be featured this weekend is the 2018 Canadian documentary, 500 Days in the Wild. The film is sponsored by the Watershed Sustainability Institute and the Sierra Club in Murray.

From the MSU Cinema International website:

"500 Days in the Wild is an independent feature documentary about an artist’s attempt to do the longest trail in the world and make a film about it. Dianne is hiking, biking, paddling and snowshoeing the 24,000km Great Trail in all seasons… Her five-year journey combines with stories of the land, people, and communities she passes through.

Dropping out of society and reconnecting to nature is an old story: Dianne travels the ‘Old Way,’ seeking wisdom from those that live close to the land, asking the questions, “what have we forgotten?” “What do we need to know?” 500 Days in the Wild challenges us to revisit our past, our connection to the land and its people, to find our future."

500 Days in the Wild will be presented on Thursday, April 21st, at 7:30 pm, in the Barkley Room.

The next film to be featured on Friday is the 2016 American documentary What is Philanthropy?

From theMSU Cinema International website:

"What is Philanthropy? is a feature-length documentary that portrays and discusses the concept of giving within the American context through a critical lens and a variety of perspectives. A timely documentary!"

[What Is Philanthropy?] is a "thought-provoking documentary that talks about why people pursue philanthropy and what motivates us," Kieffer explains. The documentary explores "what ways we think we're doing good and maybe we weren't doing the good we thought and how we can be thoughtful philanthropists."

"[The film] is remedial in that there are definitions provided, but it's deeper in that I found the section where it was talking about the motivations of why people give to be really insightful," Kieffer continues.

What Is Philanthropy? will be presented on Friday, April 22nd, at 7:30 pm, in the Curris Center Theater.

The final featured film in MSU Cinema International's finale is Water's Way: Thinking Like a Watershed or Beavers Are Cool. This film is also sponsored by the Watershed Sustainability Institute and the Sierra Club in Murray as part of Earth Week events.

From the MSU Cinema International website:

"There is an ecological amnesia as to the role of beavers in the management of rain and stormwater. In pre-colonial days, wetlands were created by beavers which allowed water to be irrigated and land stabilized. Buffer zones retained and filtered water sludge slowly… The transformation of the land from wilderness to agriculture and concrete, has had catastrophic consequences for our land management: erosion, floods, and devastation.

Extensive cash crops have further damaged the land’s capacity to renew itself. The filmmakers challenge you to “think like a watershed”. How can we encourage water to move more naturally through the landscape, toward the clean water and the ecological diversity of times past? How can beavers be part of the solution?"

Water's Way will be presented at the Murray Rotary Amphitheater in Central Park on Saturday, April 22nd, immediately following the Watershed Studies "Beast Feast" Barbecue from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The barbecue and film screening are part of the WSI's Watershed Studies Festival.

MSU Cinema International will return to campus next fall. In the meantime, St. Paul encourages those willing and able to donate to help fund the program's hefty licensing fees. You can support Cinema International by visiting, clicking the "Other" designation box, and specifying Cinema International from the pop-up list.

You can also mail a check to the MSU Office of Development at 200 Heritage Hall, Murray, KY, 42071. Specify in the memo line and envelope that the donation is intended for Cinema International. Finally, you can send donations directly to Dr. Thérèse St. Paul of the MSU Department of Global Languages and Theatre Arts.

Listen to the full interview here:

Cinema International Earth Week films.mp3
Tracy Ross speaks with Dr. Therese St. Paul and Dr. Elise Kieffer about MSU Cinema International's final screenings of the season.

Tracy started working for WKMS in 1994 while attending Murray State University. After receiving his Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU he was hired as Operations/Web/Sports Director in 2000. Tracy hosted All Things Considered from 2004-2012 and has served as host/producer of several music shows including Cafe Jazz, and Jazz Horizons. In 2001, Tracy revived Beyond The Edge, a legacy alternative music program that had been on hiatus for several years. Tracy was named Program Director in 2011 and created the midday music and conversation program Sounds Good in 2012 which he hosts Monday-Thursday. Tracy lives in Murray with his wife, son and daughter.
Melanie Davis-McAfee graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a BA in Music Business. She has been working for WKMS as a Music and Operations Assistant since 2017. Melanie hosts the late-night alternative show Alien Lanes, Fridays at 11 pm with co-host Tim Peyton. She also produces Rick Nance's Kitchen Sink and Datebook and writes Sounds Good stories for the web.
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