This semester, current release contemporary films, many fresh from the festival circuit, will be available for student screenings through a virtual platform called Theatrical Video on Demand, and Bossard will be virtually attending a class session to talk with students about the world of independent film distribution and exhibition.
“As an alum, it's always a great opportunity to keep in touch with current students and share my experiences as somebody who walked the same halls,” Bossard said.
Considering the course has been in existence for more than half a century, it’s no surprise that its impact extends beyond students, and even the IC campus.
Zimmermann’s method of teaching the course as a heterogeneous combustion across nations, genres and modes has inspired faculty at several other institutions, which she calls an honor. In addition to holding a strong international reputation as an innovative media course, the course has been used as a model in graduate Ph.D. programs for how to program films and teach film analysis in introductory level courses.
In particular, the team-teaching approach allows for newer faculty to hone their teaching skills in collaboration with more experienced colleagues.
“What we've done over the decades is to create a place that functions as a think tank to train future faculty how to teach cinema — and how to teach cinema in a way that is inclusive, diverse, international across all modes,” said Zimmermann.
“Dr. Zimmermann has succeeded in developing a team-taught approach to the course that takes advantage of the excellent faculty resources in the Park School. In doing so, she has nurtured the early careers of countless film scholars who have gone on to successful careers at other colleges and universities across the country and internationally,” said Thomas Bohn, former Dean of the Park School of Communications. “Her approach has been widely adopted at film programs across the country and stands as a model for the discipline.”