This course will introduce students to the history and culture of the mainstream film industry in Los Angeles, California and independent global film markets through the Sundance Film Festival. This course is about the art and business of mainstream and independent global cinema. Students will study the culture of the mainstream American film industry and its global influences in Los Angeles, and then the cultures of global independent filmmaking by attending the Sundance Film Festival. The Sundance Film Festival is the premiere showcase of films by independent filmmakers from across the world. Along with experiencing premieres of international films, students will monitor media coverage of the event, and attend Q&As with filmmakers and producers. At the film festival, students will have an insider view of the top international independent film market, including tracking the independent film distribution business model through the release, market, and distribution of various international films.


4 sh


2.0 or higher cumulative GPA.  GBL 1015

Course Types

Experiential Learning


  • Winter



  1. • Global Engagement Goal #4: Problem-solve and function within an unfamiliar context (Los Angeles, CA and Park City, Utah)
    o Student Learning Objective: Students will be traveling for 10 days in Los Angeles, CA and participating in mainstream film industry-driven activities. Students will then travel for 10 days to Park City, Utah to attend the Sundance Film Festival.
    o Assessment: Students will have a Reflection paper due a week after they return from Park City, Utah. Below is a description of participation expectations:
    - Hollywood & Sundance Reflection (50 points) Study Abroad: Reflection Paper Guidelines
    - I hope that your time in Hollywood and Park City has been enriching at a social, academic, professional, and cultural level. Part of a successful Study USA experience is the ability to critically reflect on that experience and articulate it well to yourself and others.
    - Although there is no page limit on this paper, in order to adequately reflect on the cultural aspects of your experience a minimum of three double-spaced page reflection paper is required. Professional, university-level writing that has been spell-checked and proofread is expected.
    - How do I best prepare to write this reflection rather than saving it until the night before it’s due? Great question:
    1. Plan in advance for this paper by keeping a journal/posts on social media, take pictures, or written correspondence of your travels with friends/family.
    2. Spend some time brainstorming: review specific events/screenings, striking conversations, sights/sites, sounds, smells, feelings, and etc.
    3. Try to sum up your experience in a sentence or two. Is there a word, phrase, or theme that captures each experience? Write it down (I suggest keeping a notes app of thoughts on your phone)
    - How do I write my reflection? What do I specifically write about? Great question, think about the following questions:
    - In what ways is the culture where you studied (think about both Los Angeles and Park City) different from your own?
    - How is this culture similar to your own?
    - What, if anything, shocked you?
    - How does this culture define “learning”, “knowledge”, “experience”, and “growth”?
    - How have cultural differences made you more aware of your own culture---of its benefits, limitations, strengths, or biases?
    - In what ways might your own culture/society benefit by learning from that of others, specifically from the one in which you studied?
    - How do cultural differences allow others to view you differently than you view yourself?
    - You must address the following question: How might this experience in Los Angeles and Park City affect your future --- with regard to academic, social, career, and/or personal choices?
  2. • Global Engagement Goal #3: Develop self-awareness and self-confidence through exposure to and reflection of different cultures
    o Student Learning Objective: Critically evaluate one’s own viewing habits, preferred culture, and biases by reflecting on films and television they watch.
  3. • Global Engagement Goal #7: Understand the multiple dimensions of human experience within and across cultures and environments
    o Student Learning Objective: Reflect on how film is a tool of communication and can facilitate the understanding of global cultures and histories.
  4. • Demonstrate knowledge of the history and role of independent films vs. mainstream films and the impact on the film industries across the world
    o Student Learning Objective: Apply critical evaluation to an understanding of selected independent films and global film markets

Powered by SmartCatalog IQ