Archaeology Film Fest: 'Understanding ourselves by looking into the past'

EUGENE, Ore. -- This year's TAC International Film Festival at the Shedd Institute featured 18 hand-selected films that showcase human cultures from around the globe.

"The language of film is a language we can all understand, both sides can understand. In the process, we discover that those people are real people just like us," said Rick Pettigrew, a producer for festival host The Archaeology Channel.

He said the subject matter for the nearly 100 films entered into the festival cover a broad scope of humanity through history.

"Not specifically about gathering data by digging in the dirt. Rather, the true definition of archaeology. Understanding ourselves by looking into the past at how people have lived," Pettigrew said.

Malaysian filmmaker Sashmar Omar said another draw to watching films from across the world is learning how other cultures tell their stories.

"(I'm) exploring how people make documentaries from other places across the world," he said.

Omar entered two pieces into The Archaeology Channel's Film and Video Fest titled "The Royal Press" and "Perahu With A Silent Soul", which show traditional businesses and artistic practices in Malaysia.

The 113 films entered will be judged on everything from production to acting. Each shows what's happening around the world through the eye of a lens.

"We have an archaeological point of view, but these films cover a wide array of cultural heritage topics," said Pettigrew.

The festival continues at The Shedd Institute through Sunday until 7 p.m.