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Brewer ’17 sees Prague film opportunities

Charlie Brewer '17 with Jim Lane

Faculty member Jim Lane with Charlie Brewer '17 at Emerson's Prague Summer Film Program. (Courtesy Photo)

A passionate filmmaker, Charlie Brewer ’17 says her study abroad experience in Prague, Czech Republic, this summer has her considering the city as a launching point for her career.

“There is a bustling industry there,” said Brewer, from Duxbury, Massachusetts. “I have good connections there. It’s a cheap city. I could develop my professional reel because everything is so beautiful and you can shoot so many different kinds of movies there.”

Global Spotlight SeriesBrewer designed her own major at Emerson, Directing for Film and Theatre, under the Individually Designed Interdisciplinary Program (IDIP) for students.

“This was probably the best experience I’ve ever had in my life,” Brewer said of the one-month, 8-credit Prague Summer Film Program, which was her first experience studying abroad.

Brewer attended the program with 21 other students and Senior Scholar-in-Residence Jim Lane of the Visual and Media Arts Department, who is based at Emerson College Los Angeles.

The Prague program is one of several summer study abroad programs offered this year through Emerson’s Office of Internationalization and Global Engagement, which is increasing the number of global opportunities for students.

Under the Global Pathways initiative, students this summer also studied in Greece, Mexico, Ireland, Austria, and the Emerson-owned Kasteel Well in the Netherlands.

Prague 2015

Charlie Brewer '17 (center) takes a selfie with her fellow Emerson students in Prague, Czech Republic: Lucie McCormick '18, Kenzie Woodrow '17, and Emma Walrath '17. (Courtesy Photo)

In Prague, students spent two days attending the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which Brewer said was a favorite moment of the trip.

“As a film student, I don’t say this a lot, but [I watched] probably the best movie I’ve ever seen,” she said. “I laughed; I cried. It was wonderful.”

The film, Where Do We Go Now?, is a story about the women of a Lebanese village who try to quell animosities between Christian and Muslim men.  

Leading up to the festival, the students spent their first two weeks in classes, learning everything from Czech film history to lighting to screenwriting.

“They were good about giving us breaks,” Brewer said. “The days were long because we had to cram three months of courses into a month.”

In the second half of the program, students developed short films with a partner and received assistance from faculty at FAMU, the film and television school where the program was based. The students even worked with local actors recruited by FAMU.

“We had three full days of shooting and three 12-hour days of editing,” Brewer said. “The time constraints were more intense. [The experience] definitely made me more aware of what I was doing and made you prioritize things for sure.”

Brewer and her film partner, Pilar Duralde ’17, produced The Captain, which examined survivor’s guilt through the main character, whose daughters died in a car crash when she was behind the wheel.

Reflecting on her Prague experience, Brewer said that being immersed in different cultures was a major highlight.

“I definitely had a bunch of different cultures thrown at me in a month, which was very cool,” she said. “It was because I got to live there and really immerse myself.”

Editor's Note: This article is part of the twice-weekly Global Spotlight Series that examines the experiences of Emerson College students who worked or studied abroad this summer. New articles will appear Mondays and Wednesdays in August on Emerson College Today.

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