The University of Wisconsin is known for numerous reasons — its athletics, academics and social atmosphere being a few examples. But a notable topic that often gets overlooked is UW’s emphasis on film and its cultural significance.

With the closest movie theater being almost three miles away from campus, most students rarely go to the theater to see films, instead choosing to watch a movie either at home or somewhere else because of convenience.

What students are missing out on, however, is the experience of watching a movie on the big screen. There is something about it that just can’t be emulated by watching a film at home. There’s no smell of popcorn, phones are allowed and the viewer’s attention is never solely focused on the film in front of them.

UW recognizes this, and what many people don’t know is that there is actually a multitude of options for students who want to experience movies in a theater but don’t want to deal with the complications that come with it.

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That’s where Wisconsin Union Directorate Film and The Cinematheque come in. Both of these organizations are devoted to providing movies in theaters at no cost to students, bringing a cinematic atmosphere to the community where there would otherwise be none.

The WUD Film Committee is an organization of almost 100 students that focuses on bringing a wide range of films, varying in genre, length and period, to the UW community for free.

Most screenings occur at night and vary in location between Union South and the Wisconsin Union Theater. The list of upcoming viewings can be found on their website. In addition, WUD Film puts on two film festivals a year for students to present and discover a variety of films.

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The Cinematheque is similar to WUD Film but is not solely student-run, instead consisting of numerous UW academic departments in addition to students. They are dedicated to bringing less-common films to the Badger community in order to showcase the progression of cinema throughout time while also providing a classic cinema experience to viewers.

Screenings occur every Friday and Saturday at 4070 Vilas Hall, with the occasional Sunday screening at either Vilas Hall or the Chazen Museum of Art. The calendar for The Cinematheque can be found here.

For students looking to become a member of WUD Film, contact [email protected].