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Bentley College Senior Doug Desmond Selected to Attend Prestigious Cannes Student Filmmaker Program

May 23, 2007

Bentley College senior Doug Desmond is attending the Cannes International Film Festival in France as one of approximately 140 students in the highly competitive American Pavilion/Adobe Student Filmmaker Program from May 12 through May 28. This year's participants hail from 66 different schools in the United States and seven other countries. The opportunity underscores Bentley's commitment to provide students with an education that integrates liberal arts and business.

"I knew that Doug had a great passion for filmmaking that would separate him from other applicants," says Bentley Lecturer in English Liz LeDoux, who recommended Desmond for the program. "The combination of his business major in economics and finance and his many courses in media arts has really shaped what he wants to do with his life -- to be a film producer. With his Bentley education and the contacts he will now make during the Cannes Film Festival, he is surely on his way to fulfilling that goal."

For 19 years, the American Pavilion has offered selected students the chance to participate in its unique work-study program which takes place at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Students who are accepted stay in Cannes for the duration of the festival, completing a work placement and participating in educational workshops, seminars, pitch sessions, roundtable discussions and screenings. Students are accepted based on a written essay and personal phone interview.

While program applicants are typically from liberal arts schools, more business students are entering the mix. "We are hoping to develop a program devoted to business students since we feel very strongly that the Cannes market and the business practice that takes place during the festival offer incredible opportunities to business students with an eye on the entertainment industry," says Walter Harris, director of Student Programs for the American Pavilion.

Harris visited the Bentley campus in fall 2006 to deliver an information session to students and was impressed by the college's commitment to stress a synergy between business and media and culture, says LeDoux. "Considerations for financing, marketing, distribution and technology play significant roles during the pre-production, production and post-production stages of film, and Walter felt that Bentley student Doug Desmond could represent the best of both worlds as an intern because of his Bentley education."

Recent Bentley graduate Matthew Catanzano '06 -- the only U.S. business student to attend the festival in 2005 -- opened the door for Bentley students to be considered for this highly competitive student program, LeDoux adds.

Other local colleges sending students to the film festival include Boston College, Boston University, UMass Amherst, and Wellesley College.

The American Pavilion has been the focus of the U.S. film industry's presence at the Cannes International Film Festival since 1989. Serving as a communications and hospitality center for filmmakers and motion picture executives, journalists, publicists, celebrities, the Pavilion is centrally located on the beach beside the Palais des Festivals (the main festival venue for screenings and special events) and the Marché du Film, the Cannes Film Market, which boasts 2,612 companies from 74 countries.


BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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