International Cinema Directors
Name: Scott Miller
Phone Number: 422-5225

Name: Dennis Packard
Phone Number: 422-6516

International Cinema Secretary
Phone Number: 422-3529
Office Location: 3182 JFSB

SWKT Theater (Projection Booth)
(For Emergencies Only!)

Phone Number: 422-5707

Recorded Show times
Phone Number: 422-5751

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Welcome to BYU International Cinema
“the world’s largest and longest-running university
foreign film program”

BYU International Cinema, sponsored by the BYU College of Humanities, is designed to meet the following three educational objectives:

1. To supplement the curriculum of BYU foreign language classes by providing frequent opportunities both to hear native speakers of such languages, and to experience the art and culture of the countries in which those languages are spoken;

2. To supplement the curriculum of BYU English, film and humanities classes by showing classic and quality films from the canon of world cinema, as well as cinematic adaptations of great English literature;

3. To provide BYU honors students with frequent and consistent opportunities to complete the film component of their Honors Great Works requirement.

International Cinema is a film lab which operates in conjunction with and serves as an extension of specific University courses providing a teacher-mediated setting to display multimedia which has been customized or edited in keeping with University standards as permitted under section 110(1) of the United States Copyright Act. Since International Cinema’s raison d’être is to educate in keeping with University standards rather than to entertain, unacceptable scenes in films – such as graphic violence, harsh or abundant profanity and explicit sex and nudity will be removed as much as is practicable to serve the educational objective. There are times, however, when is will be necessary to show films not intended for small children or films that contain mild profanity or minimal amounts of other material that some viewers might find slightly offensive or disturbing. We therefore encourage you to research the film in advance (see our review links) if you suspect you might be offended, and to contact BYUIC, Dr. Scott Miller or Dr. Dennis Packard, the current directors of BYUIC, if you have specific questions or concerns (call 422-3529 or e-mail or or

There is no special admission charge or fee for International Cinema films. We do ask you to be quiet and courteous, to turn off cell phones and beepers, to refrain from eating or drinking in the auditorium, and to preview films before you bring children.

A History of BYU International Cinema

International Cinema at BYU has a long and lively history. That history began in the 1950s and 60s, when once or twice a semester the French, German and Spanish programs would combine resources to screen a black and white film in one of their respective languages. The small audience for such shows was composed almost entirely of appreciative foreign language students and a few interested professors from other disciplines.

In 1968 Joseph Baker of the newly-formed German Department initiated a fledgling film program dubbed the International Film Festival. Dr. Baker also instituted a weekly lecture series to provide an introduction to what became a weekly film series. But while exhibition conditions had improved significantly, film selection techniques were still primitive by today’s standards. Few foreign films ever made it to Utah, and in the 1970s there were neither videotapes nor DVDs to preview. Dr. Baker relied upon the judgment of national film distributors, who would provide “suitable” films in the requested languages. Regular weekly screening times were established, and international films became a part of the BYU experience.

In 1975 Donald Marshall, a teacher in the Department of Humanities with a passion for film, agreed to direct the program that by then had become known simply as BYU International Cinema. Under his aggressive screening impetus, crowds grew large enough to justify a newer, larger venue and even more screening times, including matinees. From the mid-80s through the early 90s International Cinema offered screenings six days a week. Still primarily meant to serve as an extra-curricular resource for BYU’s foreign language classes, International Cinema issued to everyone enrolled in such a course an IC semester film card, which allowed free entry to the films (the regular charge was fifty cents).

As foreign film became more common fare in large US cities, more distribution companies followed, with proportionately larger offerings of foreign films. And as artistic and moral standards loosened across the country, it became common practice to seek (and receive) permission to edit films–both at International Cinema and at the new BYU Varsity Theater. (The Varsity showed English-language movies created and marketed expressly for entertainment–like James Bond movies, blockbuster action films, and popular romances–movies that had to be heavily edited at times for a BYU audience.) In the summer of 1998, amid complaints by producers and increasing worries over the legality of editing practices, BYU policy mandated that International Cinema no longer edit films, so International Cinema limited its fare to non R-rated films and films that met BYU and College of Humanities standards without any editing at all. IC continued to emphasize high quality foreign films, chosen primarily for their educational and artistic virtues, rather than their entertainment quotient. Since most of the films IC wanted to show had relatively little offensive material, the program continued to thrive as the largest university foreign film exhibition program in the country. The practice of sometimes charging a small admission to non-foreign language students was officially discontinued at the beginning of 1999, making BYU International Cinema the envy of foreign film buffs everywhere.

Don Marshall retired from BYU in the spring of 2000. In his wake, Travis Anderson, a teacher in the Philosophy Department with expertise in film history and theory, took the IC helm. During his tenure IC entered the electronic age, sending out flyers by email and making posters and calendars digitally. Some of the most popular features during Travis’ era came from Islamic countries, particularly Iran, since contemporary Muslim film makers were not only producing record numbers of critically acclaimed films, but films which met the criteria of a strict moral code similar to that of BYU.

Travis continued to frequent film libraries and travel the world in search of the best that foreign film had to offer–current releases and old classics. After six years of guiding IC along an edit-free path while maintaining the artistic quality that has become a trademark of IC, Travis stepped down as director, and it has taken two directors, Dennis Packard and Scott Miller, to fill his shoes.

We are now starting a new era with the intent of making IC a more integral part of the curriculum by providing more teacher mediation and direction in viewing the films selected. In the past we have supplemented our shows with lectures and faculty-led discussions, but now each film will be introduced or discussed by faculty. We will also offer “professor’s cut” screenings of select DVDs, some with running commentary that will expand the curricular offerings of International Cinema while adhering to College of Humanities media standards. And we will still show films completely free of charge. One would need to live in New York or Los Angeles, and have abundant financial resources and time, to see the number and quality of foreign films that BYU offers every week.

So, come and discover film as art, films like Iran’s The Color of Paradise, China’s Not One Less, and Italy’s Il Postino. We promise that once you break free of tepid and formulaic Hollywood productions, and learn what world cinema has to offer, you will never see films the same way again.

Brigham Young University’s International Cinema is perhaps the best-kept secret on campus, but a secret we encourage you to share.

All films shown in 250 SWKT on the Provo, Utah campus of Brigham Young University.


Sponsored by the College of Humanities | 801-422-3529 | 250 SWKT

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