Graduate to Show Argentina Documentary to Campus
October 12, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Joe Williams of Arlington Heights, Ill., a 2005 graduate of Illinois
Wesleyan University, will return to campus October 13 to present The Porteno Passage, a documentary film he made while studying abroad in Argentina during the fall semester
of 2004. The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. in room C101 of IWU’s Center
for Natural Science (201 Beecher St., Bloomington).
As a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which awarded
him $3,000 toward his semester abroad, Williams was required to complete a project
that would support study abroad opportunities at his home university upon his return
to the United States. An avid movie fan who has considered attending film school,
he elected to film a documentary of his semester in South America in order to give
potential study abroad students an insider’s perspective on life as an American student
“Before I left, I tried to talk to people who had been to Argentina and all they would
say was that it was ‘great’ or ‘awesome,’” said WIlliams. “I wanted to create something
that would show every aspect of my experience, the changes I saw within myself before,
during and afterwards.” From his anxiety before leaving home to going out at night
in Argentina to the reverse culture shock when he returned, Williams made every effort
to speak honestly while entertaining and educating his audience.
With over 20 hours of footage to work with, Williams spent the summer editing the
film and writing a script so as to present his experience in a concise, engaging and
coherent way. “To edit one minute of film the way I want takes about an hour,” he
said of the time required to complete the project.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, established in 2000 by
the International Academic Opportunity Act and sponsored by the Bureau of Educational
and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, offers grants to undergraduate
students who might otherwise be financially unable to study abroad.
Applicants for the program must be eligible for the federal Pell Grant and are encouraged
to study outside of popular destinations such as Western Europe and Australia. Williams,
too, hopes his film will give students the information and insight they need to broaden
their horizons. Last fall, “I was the only Illinois Wesleyan student in Argentina,”
he said. “I’d like to encourage more students to go to South America.”
Contact: Rebecca Welzenbach, (309) 556-3181