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Celebrating cultural diversity through cinema

The QUIC World Link-SGPS Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival promotes intercultural awareness on campus.

[Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival]
The most recent installment of the Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival (DIFF) brought together more than 60 members of the Queen's community to watch the film Coco. (University Communications)

More than 60 students, faculty and community members gathered to watch Coco, one of six movies that comprise this year’s Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival (DIFF), on Friday, Nov. 16.

DIFF is organized by the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) in collaboration with the World Link program at the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC), that work together to promote intercultural communication, diversity and inclusion through film.

The festival started in March 2018, and has grown into a successful series of events that educate and entertain. Screened films highlight a specific culture and are complemented by discussion, music, and food from the region.

“DIFF is a one-of-a-kind event, weaving stories from various places around the world, right here at Queen's,” says Atul Jaiswal, International Commissioner at the SGPS, and one of the festival’s organizers. “We intend to use movies as a tool to showcase the culture unique to the specific region, so people can appreciate each other’s cultures.”

[Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival]
On Friday, Nov. 16 the Diversity and Inclusion Film Festival (DIFF) highlighted the culture of Mexico. (University Communications)

DIFF has featured films from Ireland, India, Japan and Mexico. The final festival event takes place on Friday, Nov 30, with a screening of Indian Horse, an Indigenous coming-of-age story set in Canada.

All are welcome to attend the final screening or check out one of the numerous programs and events offered at QUIC. Inclusivity is a key factor in QUIC’s mission to promote strong communities and create lasting bonds among domestic and international students.  

QUIC has experienced a very successful fall term, helping to welcome more than 900 international students at the centre. QUIC provides a home away from home for these students and creates a comfortable environment to meet new people, learn about life in Canada and develop academic skills.

"Since my very first day at Queen's, I felt the most comfortable at QUIC and it has really become my second home here,” says Herman Kaur, a first-year master’s student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Queen’s. “It is always so amazing to talk to the students and staff at QUIC and be part of various activities and workshops being organized."

With 25-30 part-time student staff, and up to 100 student volunteers, QUIC offers a variety of opportunities for students to get involved and help develop intercultural awareness on campus. By working together as a community, QUIC supports diversity and inclusion at Queen’s and beyond.

In mid-December, QUIC is moving from the JDUC to the second floor of Mitchell Hall, the university’s new Wellness and Innovation Centre in the heart of campus.

Check out QUIC’s website to learn more about upcoming events and how to get involved.