Success Stories

Film organization gives global view

Zulema Moret

Professor Zulema Moret's interest in both cultures and film contributed to her involvement in developing Chiaroscuro, an international film organization in Grand Rapids. Starting out as a humble idea by two people passionate about film and cultures, the organization now brings a series of international films to West Michigan.

Moret serves as vice president of the organization, which she co-founded with current president Gretchen Minhaar. Grand Valley French professor Carol Wilson is now the secretary of the organization.

“We wanted to offer something for the community that would show movies that are not distributed here,” said Moret. “This organization was a way to open a little bit of a scope to film culture in West Michigan.” 
Each year the organization offers a series of international films based on a specific theme.  This year’s theme is called, “Finding Home.”  The films are shown at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, and are first introduced by a short film created by a local director.  After the international film is shown, there is an opportunity for audience members to ask questions of a panel of experts.

“We invite international speakers and speakers from the community to talk about the film,” said Moret. “Sometimes one speaker will talk about the film, and the other speaker will talk about the culture that is present in the film.”        

The films are chosen by the members of Chiaroscuro.  Each film matches the theme, but introduces a different perspective.    

“I am very proud of Chiaroscuro’s success,” said Moret, “It was our dream to develop an organization like this to not only appreciate film and culture, but to increase awareness of the diversity in West Michigan.”



by Leah Burns

This story was filed with the tags: Film, First-Rate Faculty, Helping the Community, International