Business students Celina Bussiere and Thuy Doan ham it up on the red carpetBusiness students Celina Bussiere and Thuy Doan ham it up on the red carpet on their way into the Capitol Theatre for the opening of the Windsor International Film Festival.

Students behind the screens and the scenes at film festival

Helping to mount the Windsor International Film Festival has many benefits, but getting to watch the movies isn’t one of them, says Spencer Van Buskirk.

In a series of 16-hour days since the festival opened, he has watched no more than a few minutes here and there, says the fourth-year student at the Odette School of Business. As part of the group managing logistics for the event, he has more pressing obligations.

“Basically, if there are any problems of any kind, we handle it,” says Van Buskirk. “I want to go into sales as a career, so this is perfect for me.”

Van Buskirk is one of dozens of business students spending the week at the Capitol Theatre, ensuring the festival runs smoothly.

“We are getting patrons in and out of theatres on time, sending people to the right location, making sure they have the tickets they need,” he says. “It takes a lot of management skills.”

He says the experience will be valuable when he is ready to hit the workforce: “Everyone has heard of the Windsor International Film Festival. This is real-world experience.”

Professor Vincent Georgie says the students are invaluable to the festival’s success.

“Our students are on so many platforms here, from the short film festival to all WIFF Local 2013 films,” he says. “And especially my students from Odette who have been so involved in running this entire event.”

The festival continues through Sunday, November 10. Find a full schedule of screenings and other details on its website,

Among the highlights, film professor Min Bae will discuss his film about the 2012 festival in a free public talk entitled “Cinephilia and the Art of Making Short Films,” at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 9, in the Green Bean Café inside the Windsor Star building.