Like so many in the past year, the Sundance Film Festival has had to reinvent itself as a mostly virtual experience. Still, the 2021 Festival, which kicks off Thursday, could also prove to be a robust market for companies looking for content. More than 72 feature films are debuting over the seven days. It’s a slimmed-down lineup from the previous years’ 118. Some films already have ways to get to audiences, like Robin Wright’s “Land” and “Judas and the Black Messiah,” which will both be available to the masses in the coming weeks. But many this year are acquisition titles seeking distribution deals.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden is warning that riots in the Netherlands over coronavirus restrictions risk spreading across the border. The ministry said Wednesday that she’s instructed Belgian mayors about measures to take to limit the spread of the disease among protesters. The Netherlands has seen been rocked by three successive nights of rioting. Belgium on Wednesday introduced a new ban on nonessential travel until at least March. That’s on top of compulsory mask wearing and a nighttime curfew that have been in place since November. Some calls for protests this Sunday against the measures are circulating on social media in Belgium.
BOSTON (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III says he has no plans to run for office anytime soon and has launched a new project aimed in part at supporting political races considered “unwinnable” by the Democratic Party. Kennedy had opted not to seek reelection last year to pursue an unsuccessful challenge to his fellow Democrat, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey. Kennedy unveiled what he called the Groundwork Project in an email to supporters Wednesday. Kennedy said after he lost he weighed what to do with his network of supporters and decided to channel that energy toward people and causes that need it.
Students can access Notre Dame on iTunes U by visiting itunes.nd.edu and selecting the “Launch iTunes U” icon. Turner said several professors from the College of Science and the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT) have used iTunes U to supplement audio and video resources with in-class work. He cited chemistry professor James Johnson and FTT professor Ted Mandell as two consistent contributors to the database. While the initiative is still in the initial stages of its development, Flory said the response has been positive, and members of the campus community are interested in viewing the available materials and contributing to iTunes U. “I think this provides another channel for us to tell Notre Dame’s story and share the intellectual community that we have here,” said Julie Flory, associate director for the Office of News and Information. Cockerham said the public component of iTunes U is geared toward helping the University “broadcast its image outward” for alumni and prospective students, but that the private component to be accessed with a NetID and password is more student-oriented.“The hope is that this whole iTunes U project will give us a start towards an open courseware system,” Cockerham said. Universities such as Stanford and MIT have lectures and other course materials available online, he said, and iTunes U could be a helpful tool for students to use outside the classroom to catch up or review information. Cockerham said while student knowledge of the program is limited, he hopes to see it expand in the near future as the more “student-centered” aspects are developed. “Once the private side is established, we will especially be able to reach out to clubs and student groups so they can begin to use iTunes U,” he said. “The Last Lecture series that has been promoted by student government is something that I would like to watch,” Cockerham said. “Now I can go and find something on iTunes that I missed.” Launched in October 2009, the Notre Dame iTunes U database now provides students, faculty and alumni access to more than 1,000 video and audio files, said Paul Turner, academic technology services manager for the Office of Information Technologies (OIT).Apple engineered iTunes U to collect and distribute educational media to students and teachers at universities around the world, according to the Apple Web site. Turner said student work has been critical to the initiative and undergraduate projects contributed to about 50 percent of the development of iTunes U. Cockerham said the challenges in launching iTunes U mainly stem from the difficulty of assembling content from all over campus into a central location, as well as monitoring the content that will be presented on the site. “Professors like [iTunes U] because they can put all of their video and audio in one place in a way that is more efficient than Concourse,” Turner said. “And students like it because it is easy to sync up with iTunes for course material.” Popular downloads have included the Last Lecture series sponsored by student government and the videos from the Student Film Festival. “I think that the student body will appreciate having access to recordings of events on campus,” campus technology chair Casey Cockerham said. “I want to continue to challenge students to step up and be a part of the ownership of this project,” he said.
Hoping to create opportunities for low-income and underserved prospective students, Notre Dame Upward Bound hopes that many will run this Sunday in order to help local students attend college. The third annual Father Ted’s Fun Run/Walk will take place Sunday at the Jordan Hall of Science at 3:30 p.m. Participants can either take part in a one-mile walk or a five- or 10- kilometer run.All proceeds from the event will go to Notre Dame Upward Bound, a program from the University’s Department of Education whose mission is to help local students from low-income backgrounds be the first in their family to attend college.“Upward Bound provides support and resources to students who have the potential to go to college but are often viewed as the least likely to succeed,” Alyssia Coates, director of Notre Dame Upward Bound, said. “We have a 100 percent success rate at graduating our students from high school and getting them into college.”Upward Bound is part of the Federal TRIO Programs that were established under President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society in the 60s. Notre Dame President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh was a member of the committee that created TRIO and Upward Bound.“Fr. Ted was instrumental in creating the Upward Bound program and bringing it to campus. That’s why the Fun Run is named after him,” Coates said. “He has always had a great interest in the program and in making sure these students from low-income families have the opportunity to obtain higher education.”“We wanted to honor Fr. Ted’s dedication to the program by naming this event after him,” Upward Bound administrative assistant Deb Wisler said.The program enrolls students during their freshman year of high school and continues to support them throughout their high school years by “keeping them on track, providing tutoring from Notre Dame students, academic advising and having enrichment programming,” Wisler said.The program is completely free of cost for students and then helps to provide them scholarships once they are enrolled in college.The students, however, struggle to afford books and other items that are not covered by tuition one they’re enrolled in college. The Fun Run was developed three years ago to specifically address this issue. Fifteen students will benefit from its proceeds this year.“This fundraiser is geared solely to our graduating high school seniors,” Wisler said. “The students are very involved in the event. They go to friends and family to get sponsorships and they will walk or run at the event.”The students that are members of the program value the opportunity that has been presented to them courtesy of Upward Bound.“I work with these kids and they are incredibly bright and so motivated — a lot more than a lot of the kids that I went to high school with,” senior Erin Robey, a Fun Run organizer, said. “I think that it’s really good that they’re really trying to get involved in their futures and it’s a pleasure to help them out.”The Fun Run has grown and developed since it began two years ago and organizers are hoping for a larger turnout this year as more and more community members have become aware of the event.“Last year we had 200 participants and raised almost $9000 for our students,” Wisler said. “We’re hoping to increase by 100 participants this year.”The event aims to facilitate the relationship between Notre Dame and the South Bend community, especially since “there is such a disparity between the Notre Dame community and the community that is two minutes away,” Robey said.Wisler said Upward Bound and the Fun Run help to “serve as a bridge” between Notre Dame and South Bend and Coates believes both communities are trying to achieve the same goal.“We’re all looking to find out what resources are available so we can work together and be a collaborative community,” Coates said. “We need to unite and make sure the citizens in our community are developing into the citizens that we all want them to be.”
The impact one student made on the Notre Dame community was tangible Saturday, as thousands of people in the Notre Dame Stadium raised their arms in an “X” to honor his life and memory. Each time the marching band played the Celtic Chant during the first quarter of Notre Dame’s victory over Navy, cheerleaders led the student body in forming an “X” with their arms to honor Xavier Murphy, a fifth-year student and former resident of Zahm Hall who died Oct. 11 after a short battle with cancer. Corry Colonna, rector of Zahm and organizer of the Raise an X for X Campaign, said more people formed the “X” than he could have hoped for. The “X” not only continued throughout the game, but spread from the student section into the rest of the Stadium. “I just sort of looked up to the sky and thought, ‘He knows, he sees us,’” Colonna said. Colonna watched the game from around the 50-yard line with Murphy’s family. He said they were clearly touched by the showing of solidarity for their son and brother. Saturday would have been Murphy’s 23rd birthday. Senior Steve LaBrecque, a resident assistant in Zahm, said showing Murphy’s family just how much he meant to Notre Dame was one of the foremost goals of Raise an X for X. “The fact that his family was there, for them to be able to see the whole student body come together and realize that [Xavier] meant something to this community, and ND as a whole, for me that was the biggest takeaway,” he said. Senior Charlie Harig, Zahm Hall president, agreed. “The big thing for me afterwards was less about selling stuff, but more about [Murphy’s family] seeing ‘Wow, our son made an impact on a lot of people’s lives,’” he said. Senior Daniel Duffey, a resident assistant in Zahm, said “raising an X for X” during the game was the perfect way to remember Murphy, who was passionate about Notre Dame — and especially Notre Dame football. “It was a really fitting memorial for who Xave was — his love of Notre Dame football and Zahm,” Duffey said. Planning for the Raise an X for X Campaign began in September, when Murphy was first diagnosed with leukemia. The goal was that Murphy would see a number of people with their hands in the air for him while he watched the game from Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, where he was receiving treatment. After Murphy passed, Colonna said the Zahm and larger Notre Dame communities pulled together to bring the campaign to fruition. Colonna said the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, Student Activities Office (SAO), cheerleaders and leprechaun and football administration all went to great lengths to help make Raise an X for X a reality. “I’m humbled and immensely grateful for everything everyone did for Xavier and his family,” Colonna said. “It was such a good cause but so many people were willing to help out. [That] speaks a lot to who Notre Dame is.” Duffey said it was great to have the support of the student body in “sending the message about who Xave was.” “We definitely got the word out there,” he said. “We know he was looking down, we were definitely proud to have done it for him.” In addition to last Saturday’s events, the Raise an X for X Campaign also involves T-shirt and bandana sales, a Basilica mass and a blood drive. Colonna said T-shirts and bandanas were almost entirely sold out by the end of Saturday, but a few can still be purchased online at Student Shop ND. Proceeds from the T-shirt sales and other regular donations will go to the Xavier Murphy Student Scholarship Fund through the Office of Development at Guerin Catholic High School, Colonna said. Proceeds from bandana sales will go toward Relay for Life. On Nov. 4 at 5:15 p.m., Zahm will host a mass in the Basilica to honor those currently battling cancer and those who have died from the disease. Zahm priest-in-residence Fr. Jim Gallagher will celebrate the mass. Zahm will also hold a blood drive Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the LaFortune Ballroom to benefit the Indiana Blood Center.
New Year’s resolutions can be notoriously difficult to maintain throughout the full 365 days of the year, especially when the goals involve personal fitness and exercise. Although she lacked success in keeping up with past resolutions, junior Colleen Bailey said this year would be different. “I make similar resolutions to be better about exercising and to improve my fitness every year, but I’m really serious about it this year,” she said. “My most tangible goal right now is to run the Holy Half Marathon, so I’ll do whatever it takes to get myself to that point.” Jennie Phillips, RecSports Assistant Director of Fitness and Fitness Facilities, said students like Bailey with New Year’s fitness resolutions need look no further than RecSports for assistance in meeting their health and exercise goals. She said RecSports offers students free consultations with RecSports staff for fitness equipment orientation, body composition and blood pressure exams. She said students could also participate in fitness classes, cross-country skiing and various special events sponsored by RecSports throughout the year. According to the RecSports annual facility usage report, 94 percent of the undergraduate student body used the Rolfs Aquatic Center (RAC), the Rolfs Sports Recreation Center (RSRC) or the Rockne Memorial at least once during the 2010-2011 school year. Phillips said this percentage remained relatively consistent, although RSRC fitness room usage tended to peak in the winter months. “February is typically our busiest month throughout the year,” Phillips said. “I assume some of it is due to New Year’s resolutions and spring break preparation, but it’s also partly due to the winter weather.” She also recommended writing down goals and scheduling ahead for exercise sessions, in addition to participating in enjoyable activities. “Play basketball, ice skate, cross-country ski, take a fitness class — whatever works best for you. I would recommend cross-training, or doing different activities, over the course of a week or even a day,” she said. Junior Mike Butler said he and a group of friends were making a collective effort to be more active this year. “I just want to make an effort to get some physical exercise on a more consistent basis, even if it’s just going to play basketball with some friends,” he said. “We want to have some fun while staying active.” Although the New Year inspires students to improve personal health at the beginning of each year, Phillips said fitness goals should be made year-round. “If you need to make a resolution for the motivation, that’s great, but hopefully you’ll be motivated for other reasons as well, such as overall health, improved sleep, better immune system functioning, stress management and improved concentration,” she said. Students with questions about fitness can contact Phillips at [email protected], while general RecSports information is available at recsports.nd.edu
ROME – Pope Francis, the first South American pope in Catholic Church history, celebrated his first Holy Week last week by challenging the faithful to serve one another and calling for global peace. On Holy Thursday, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, former archbishop of Buenos Aires, washed the feet of 12 young detainees in the Casal del Marmo, one of Rome’s juvenile prisons, according to the BBC. “Help one another. This is what Jesus teaches us,” the pope said Thursday, according to the BBC. “I do this with my heart because it is my duty, as a priest and bishop I must be at your service. But it is a duty that comes from my heart and a duty I love.” “I love doing it because this is what the Lord has taught me.” Pope Francis led a Good Friday service in Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Stations of the Cross at the Coliseum. He read aloud meditations composed by young Lebanese members of the Church, calling for peace in a region “torn apart by injustice and conflicts,” according to the BBC. Pope Francis has brought a new sense of simplicity to the Vatican, according to BBC’s David Willey in Rome. He wears plain vestments and has not taken up residence in the lavish papal apartments. Saturday night was the Easter Vigil held in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Capuchin friar Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa delivered the homily, referencing Franz Kafka’s “An Imperial Message” to illustrate the difficulty of spreading the Word of Christ to the worldly, according to the BBC. “We must do everything to prevent the Church from becoming Kafka’s castle, where it is impossible for the messenger to get word out to the world,” Cantalamessa said. “So, we must have the courage to knock them down and return the building to the simplicity and linearity of its origins.” Pope Francis delivered his “Urbi et Orbi” message to the city of Rome and to the world after the Mass. He emphasized the importance of love and peace for communities that are needy and war-torn. “What a joy it is for me to announce this message: Christ is risen! I would like it to go out to every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest, in hospitals, in prisons,” the pope said, according to the English translation offered by the Holy See Press Office. The pontiff said Jesus Christ’s triumph over death should transform Christians’ lives. “What does it mean that Jesus is risen? It means that the love of God is stronger than evil and death itself,” he said. “It means that the love of God can transform our lives and let those desert places in our hearts bloom.” Pope Francis invited everyone to “accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection” and “become agents of this mercy.” He prayed specifically that the conflicts in the Middle East, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, the Congo, Central Africa and Korea would be resolved. “Peace in the whole world, still divided by greed looking for easy gain, wounded by the selfishness which threatens human life and family, selfishness that continues in human trafficking, the most extensive form of slavery in this twenty-first century,” he said. “Peace to the whole world, torn apart by violence linked to drug trafficking and by the iniquitous exploitation of natural resources!” To conclude his address, Pope Francis quoted a passage from Psalm 117:1-2. “Dear brothers and sisters, to all of you who are listening to me, from Rome and from all over … the world, I address the invitation of the Psalm: ‘Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever,” he said. “Let Israel say: ‘His steadfast love endures for ever.’”
On April 2, Saint Mary’s announced the Four-Year Promise, which guarantees students will either graduate in four years or the College will pay for their extra courses. Students must follow certain guidelines to be eligible for the promise, which will start with the incoming class of 2017, College President Carol Ann Mooney said. “This isn’t a recruitment strategy for us or a new initiative on campus,” Mooney said. “Our students have always worked closely with their advisers and professors to stay on track and achieve their goals. We offer the courses they need, when they need them, led by exceptional faculty who are dedicated to teaching.” Mona Bowe, vice president for enrollment engagement, said 93 percent of all students graduate within the four years already. “This promise is really just putting our money where our mouth is,” Bowe said. Bowe said the major guidelines for this promise include maintaining good academic standing, registering for courses at the assigned times, completing an average of 32 semester hours each year and being accepted into a major by the end of spring semester of sophomore year. “These are things that our students are already doing,” Bowe said. In this time of economic hardship, Bowe said the College would like future students and their families to know the College cares about their investment. “We want people to know that we know how huge of an investment a college education is,” Bowe said. Professor of communications Colleen Fitzpatrick said more and more research has been done on the expense of a college education. “If you look at the research, more and more quality degrees are taking more than four years to finish,” Fitzpatrick said. “Those extra years are lost money.” Bowe said the College has already received positive feedback on the new promise. “Other colleges referred to this new program as a contract,” Bowe said. “We wanted to call it a promise and we have received very positive feedback about this new promise. I gave a presentation in Grand Rapids a couple of weeks ago and the parents of incoming freshman were more than excited to hear about this guarantee.” Contact Kaitlyn Rabach at [email protected]
On Friday, Laura Briggs, a professor of women, gender and sexuality studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, delivered a lecture titled “Imperialism as a Way of Life: Thinking Sex and Gender in American Empire,” in which she argued for the necessity of feminism in scholarship and activism.The lecture was the keynote address of the two-day American Empire conference, which was sponsored by several Notre Dame departments within the College of Arts and Letters.Briggs framed her argument within the field of U.S. empire studies, which was the focus of the conference and said the scholarship within the field is influential, though it is hard often difficult to see the results.“We live and work in the belly of a great war-and-money-making machine and if we’re serious about challenging it, we’re going to feel the sting,” Briggs said. “No one is going to thank us for our services as intellectuals, calling to people’s conscious what they know or suspect about academic freedom or educational opportunities. … And even worse, I want to tell you this is what success looks like.“In all my years as an activist I have never found myself on the front page of the New York Times, nor cited by the Secretary of State. … What I have learned from all this is simply that academics have a great deal of power to affect change, particularly when we act collectively, but nobody is going to tell us that, and we are going to have to look hard for the evidence that we are being effective.”Briggs outlined the feminist, gender and sexual implications of torture, microcredit lending and environmental issues, and ultimately said academics must remember feminism’s importance in empire studies.“As much fun as it is to complain about all of this, I’m more interested in actually making a case to those who, like me, are generally inclined to view feminism and issues of sexuality and reproduction generously, to think with more consistency about these issues,” she said. “A few years ago I found myself struggling to think of ways feminism still seemed important to me.“I want to suggest that feminism is not old nor passé nor liberal. On the contrary, I want to address the possibility that our work on empire will never be as good as it could be if we don’t attend to feminism and to gender and sexuality. Feminism … provides us with powerful intellectual tools and an important activist tradition in which to engage the study of empire.”Briggs concluded with her “manifesto for the continued urgency of our need for a feminist and queer politics that makes race and empire central,” and said scholars and the general public alike must keep feminism front and center when considering the issues of the American empire.“We cannot effectively contest torture without speaking of its sexualization,” she said. “We cannot push back against neoliberalism without recognizing how crucial its understanding of women and gender is to the work it is doing. We can’t resist extractive industries, climate change and the enclosure of the global commons … without feminist fiction or indigenous movements grounded in feminism.“We can’t make sense of how enemies are being produced without an analysis of the narratives of rescuing women and gays. We cannot, finally, do the scholarly or activist work that we want to contest U.S. empire without feminism.”Tags: American Empire