NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University students will have the opportunity to study abroad and participate in the Cannes International Film Festival in France this May.

During May 7-23, students enrolled in HMS 426: Field Experience in Human Sciences will work at the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival in various capacities. Dr. Gina Causin, SFA hospitality administration professor who is coordinating the trip and teaching the course, said this hands-on opportunity is perfect for film, video, communications, fashion, media studies, business, culinary, hospitality and event-planning majors.

"This class is the opportunity of a lifetime. Attending the Cannes Film Festival helps students broaden their horizons, network with industry professionals and expand on concepts they are taught in class," Causin said. "At the end of this course, students will have a greater understanding of the production of a global event and have gained hands-on experience in event planning, catering and set-up."

Prior to the start of the festival, students participate in a two-day festival orientation and tour of Cannes. They attend workshops and seminars designed to help them gain a greater understanding of the history of the event and the business side of the film industry.

Once the festival begins, students work six hours a day at the American Pavilion, which includes a restaurant, coffee bar, conference center and business center.

The students have the opportunity to meet and interact with industry professionals while observing the fast-paced nature of the festival and market.

During the festival, students participate in the Roundtable Series, which allows them to have small-group discussions with noted individuals from both the creative and business side of the film industry.

This programming is available only to students participating in the American Pavilion Worldwide Student programs. Past guests in the Roundtable Series include Tim Roth, Jude Law, Charlie Kaufman and Michael Moore.

Participants also receive membership to the American Pavilion, which provides them access to programming in the Roger Ebert Conference Center. The center hosts panel discussions on topics ranging from film financing to the future of independent film.

The In Conversation Series pairs leading journalists with industry thought leaders. Past participants in this series include Francis Ford Coppola, Malcolm McDowell, Wong Kar-wai, Terry Gilliam, Andie MacDowell, Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Jessica Chastain, Michael Madsen, Josh Charles and James Franco.

In addition, students will have the opportunity to attend red carpet film premieres, watch films and work in other pavilions.

For more information concerning the course, trip and its costs, contact Causin at (936) 468-1411 or