By Melissa Estelle '11
This year, film major and western Massachusetts native Emily Coggins ’13 got to spend her second consecutive summer at an international film festival. In early May, while most other students were finishing finals and preparing to leave campus, Coggins was flying to France to begin an internship at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.
After participating in the Venice Film Festival internship program last summer, Coggins--with the support of associate dean of faculty and Film Studies chair Robin Blaetz and Nexus program director Marie Troppe--decided to apply for the American Pavilion’s Cannes Film Program. She was accepted and assigned to work for DDA, the same public relations company she had interned for in Venice.
“It was so wonderful to be placed with them again. They were the most amazing company to work for,” she said.
Interns at DDA are often tasked with running press interview sessions for both TV and print. As a result, Coggins was able to meet a number of Academy Award-winning directors and actors, as well as world-renowned journalists and TV personalities.
“DDA made sure the interns were able to work in all of the different departments, from the press office, to the events management, to the consulting division. We were able to actually do what the people who worked there did,” she said.
Film has been a passion for Coggins her entire life, and working for DDA confirmed her commitment to the genre.
“I participated in an acting for film program one summer, and I found that I enjoyed the film business classes more than the acting classes,” she said. “That was the moment I realized I wanted to be a film studies major.”
An Introduction to Film course at Mount Holyoke two years ago also confirmed her interest in film.
“I fell in love,” she said of the course. “It was the first time in my life that a class inspired me to really want to read every book, do every assignment, and then go even further than that on my own time.”
Coggins recommends the international internship experience to other Mount Holyoke students.
“Working in France was a wonderful way to get to know the area and the language--fast,” she said, noting the experience has inspired her to take French classes. “The festival was so international that I met people from many different countries, and I still remain in contact with them.”
After graduating from Mount Holyoke, Coggins hopes to pursue a career in public relations or casting.
“I am in the midst of deciding which path I want to follow,” she said.