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University of Wisconsin–Madison
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The Wisconsin Idea in Action

World Cinema Day

World Cinema Day is a free, annual event held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Film Festival that brings high-school and middle-school students and teachers to Madison for the screening of an age-appropriate, high-quality, international film along with an introduction and discussion led by a UW faculty member or guest. In 2019, two films were shown: "Tito and the Birds" (Brazil, 2018), for middle schoolers; and "Midnight Traveler" (Canada, Qatar, UK, USA, 2019), for high schoolers. World Cinema Day is a joint venture of the Wisconsin Film Festival and UW-Madison's Institute for Regional and International Studies. It was founded in 2004.


World Cinema Day regularly draws 200-700 high school students to Madison to view and then discuss a topical international film. Teachers report that they find World Cinema Day a great way to learn about other cultures, draw connections between life here in Wisconsin and abroad, use foreign language skills outside the classroom, as well as more generally broaden students' horizons.

Focus Areas

Project Leader

Nancy Heingartner

Institute for Regional and International Studies
School or College
International Division

This project was last updated on May 2, 2019. Do you have an update for this project? Find out how to contribute.