Students Watching BellaThe English Language Institute, ELI, and the Center for Student Life came together to screen the award-winning movie, Bella, for over fifty English-learners, mainly Becalos students, here at Skyline College. The students enjoyed the mid-day movie that won the top prize at Toronto’s International Film Festival and was honored by the Smithsonian, The Mexican Embassy and the White House for its contribution to the Arts and Hispanic Culture.

English Language Institute’s Christopher Rico, ESOL Professor Leigh Anne Shaw and John Saenz from the Center for Student Life and Leadership Development organized the successful event. Christopher Rico led a discussion after the screening as a way to engage students’ language learning skills and social skills.

One student said: “Since arriving here at Skyline College, my experience with people from different cultures and backgrounds has been great! People have been very welcoming and friendly. I’ve also learned that we are not so different from one another, and it does not matter whether you’re French, Chinese, Arabic or Mexican.”

Another student said: I really enjoyed the movie, Bella! It’s only a movie but it can happen in real life. It’s a reminder that your life can change forever in a second.

In director Alejandro Monteverde’s emotional tale of self-discovery, two people whose lives are changed forever discover that sometimes it takes losing it all to finally appreciate the things that truly matter. Starring Mexican superstar Eduardo Verastegui (Chasing Papi) and Emmy award winning Tammy Blanchard (The Good Shepherd), Bella is a heartwarming love story about life, relationships and our capacity for love in the face of the unexpected.

Another student said: “When I was a young boy in Mexico, I dreamed of coming to California. My parents are old but I always wanted to go to college. Now I am here in California studying at Skyline College. Dreams do come true!”