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William Penn University Participates in Spello International Film Festival


The Division of New Media at William Penn University was proud to participate in the 2021 Spello International Film Festival. The Musco Technology Center sound stage was transformed to host members of the jury and University representatives during the live Italian broadcast of the event.

This unique opportunity to participate in the Spello International Film Festival was made possible by esteemed Filmmaker and Film Artist in Residence, Max Leonida’s connections with the Italian film industry. The partnership allowed William Penn University students, faculty, and staff to serve on the jury for this prestigious film festival. Categories juried by William Penn University were Documentary, Short Film, and Backstage.

Leonida came to William Penn University in late 2020. He says, “One of my main purposes, as a filmmaker here at William Penn, is to create more and more international connections between the University and other institutions (especially in Europe) faithfully following the amazing founding principles of this campus such as integrity, diversity and the love and nurturing for everything that make this place a uniquely wonderful one!”

This year’s Spello International Film Festival was especially important as it was one of the first official Italian events since the pandemic began. Mr. Leonida says, “I do strongly believe that, during the last year and half, the entire world reshaped itself: culturally, socially, politically and artistically. The pandemic simply showed us how huge distances can now be overcome in a second and how great inspirations and influences can come from any place around the globe. It was an honor to participate virtually in the live ceremony through the magic of technology.”

The Division of New Media was pleased to offer this opportunity to students who served on each of the juries for all three categories along with faculty and staff. This is one of the many real-world, hands-on experiences William Penn students can participate in.


Photo credit: Jeff Caplan

Pictured: (L to R) Paola Cipollina, Dany Chea, Melissa Daniels, Amanda DeVore, Markus Haala, Max Leonida, Dr. Noel Stahle, Jimmy Ott

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