Upcoming Events

All events, unless otherwise noted, are free and open to the public and do not require advance registration.


Work-in-Progress Lecture: "Selling America Abroad: Tibor Hirsch and the United States Information Agency Film Program"

Brian Real, University of Maryland | Friday, April 18, 2013 | Hornbake Media Library Room H | Noon

Brian Real, a PhD candidate in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, will present a significantly updated and revised version of a paper he gave at the 2013 Northeast Historic Film Summer Symposium.

In the 1960s, during the height of the Cold War, the United States Information Agency was responsible for telling America's story around the world. These efforts included the agency's own film production program, as well as a massive distribution network for nontheatrical films that presented the United States in a positive light. Although millions of people around the world saw these films, these works and this distribution network are currently understudied in the film studies community. This is likely due, in large part, to the fact that federal law prevented the United States government from showing propaganda to its own citizens and, therefore, the films of the USIA could not be shown in the United States until legislation signed by George H. W. Bush allowed these films to be screened on American soil. Therefore, the work of the USIA went largely unnoticed by American scholars at the height of the agency's production and distribution activities.

This presentation will not only highlight the efforts of the Motion Picture division of the USIA, but it will also analyze the works of an exceptional filmmaker, Tibor Hirsch. Hirsch was a Holocaust survivor and, in the wake of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, a refugee finding a new life in the United States. Hirsch had previously gained experience as a photojournalist in his native Hungary, which allowed him to develop this career in the United States. Hirsch later moved on to documentary film production, and was a natural fit for the political goals of the USIA. While some of Hirsch's films may seem like frivolous fun on the surface, they contact sharply pointed political messages that show his disdain for Soviet oppression.



International Film Series

Please join us for our annual International Film Series. All films are free, open to the public, and will be followed by brief discussions and receptions.

  • Lech Majewski's The Mill and the Cross (2011)
    Thursday March 13th, 2014 | 4pm | Ulrich Recital Hall (Tawes 1121) | 96 min.

    As part of the Semester of the Essay Film, and in preparation for Timothy Corrigan's talk at the Filmmaker's Voice: The Essay Film and the Circulation of Ideas Symposium, The UMD International Film Series presents Lech Majewski's The Mill and the Cross (2011), which dramatizes characters and situations depicted in Pieter Bruegel the Elder's painting The Way to Calvary.

  • Orson Welles's F for Fake (1973)
    Date/Location TBD | 89 min.

    As part of the Semester of the Essay Film, The UMD International Film Series presents Orson Welles's F for Fake (1973), an oft-cited example of the essay film form. Ostensibly a documentary about the art forger Elmyr de Hory, Welles investigates larger assumptions about authorship, fabrication, and expectation in an anecdotal, almost conversational, mode.
    Selected and introduced by English Graduate Student Paul Cote.

Screenings will usually be held in Tawes Hall. Graduate students have selected the titles for the fall portion of this series.

The series is sponsored by the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the College of Arts and Humanities, the Center for Literature and Comparative Studies, the Department of English, and the Institute for International Programs.

A brief discussion and free pizza will follow each film.

See Past UMD Film Events