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I applaud the students in professor Paul Messaris’ class; their original film “Orientation” sounds like a very provocative project and it’s great to hear about students engaged in filmmaking (“Students find film niche on campus,” 2/24/2011).

As for a community of film enthusiasts at Penn, I do want to point out that there are actually five residential programs within the College Houses that focus on media, communications and film. They are housed in DuBois, Fisher Hassenfeld, Gregory and Harrison. Collectively, they examine everything from black film and theater to world cinema and visual arts/contemporary culture. In Gregory, residents can even earn course credit for participating in the Film Culture program.

Finally, the College Houses also support student filmmakers by running the annual College House Film Festival which carries a $500 first prize and screenings at the Rave. This year’s festival (our seventh) will be held from March 21-24. There are in-House screenings for 3 days leading up to the Rave competition — open and free to all.

Most importantly, all Penn students are eligible to submit films, including graduate students. This year’s deadline of March 4 has been extended. We’d love to receive a multitude of submissions and to see a big audience on March 24. For details see or contact Nicola Gentili, associate director of the Cinema Studies Program and Harrison College House fellow, at

--Sue Smith The author is a spokeswoman for the Office of College Houses & Academic Services.

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