Film festival celebrates student artistry

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Following rain, wind and hail, eager friends and family gathered at Norris Cinema Theatre to celebrate their peers’ creative work. Attended by cinema and media studies students, alumni and faculty, CAMS Fest, a film festival hosted by the division of Cinema and Media Studies, screened 12 films made by students from the major.

“People within cinema media studies don’t really have a lot of opportunities to showcase their films,” said Anna Polin, a sophomore majoring in cinema and media studies. “We’re typically stereotyped as people who write about films, but not necessarily make films.”

The volunteers and attendees of this film festival highlighted how they felt that the film festival added to the opportunities for CAMS students.

“As a CAMS student, it was really cool to see other CAMS students show incredible work,” said Claire Ernandes, a freshman majoring in cinema and media studies.

They particularly emphasized the community building that CAMS Fest offers to students and how it showcases the best of CAMS students’ creativity.

“CAMS fest is really important because it displays to this very large student community and this even larger alumni network that films can be made and they can be good without necessarily that technical rigor [of other SCA majors],” said Micah Slater, a junior majoring in cinema and media studies and a member of the screening committee for CAMS Fest.

After a brief introduction from Lan Duong, an associate professor of cinema and media studies, the first set of six films were screened. They ranged from 2D hand-drawn animations to documentary-style narrative pieces. The first film, “Walk With The Devil” by ZuYe “Joey” Liu, follows a young boy to the afterlife and his encounter with the Grim Reaper.

The second film of the night was “Roses” by Lydia Acevedo. The short film uses overlays and voiceovers to communicate generational pain and love between a mother and her daughter as they both grow older.

“I just really loved the visual overlays that [Acevedo] did. I thought it was really moving. And that was one, even though it was shown second. It really stuck with me throughout the program. And I just love archival footage,” said Quinn Jennings, a freshman majoring in cinema and media studies.

Other films, such as “We Were Girls Together” by Valentina Navarro-Marsili and “Paper UFOs” by Stanley Lin, deal with sensitive topics such as OCD and the loss of a parent in a beautiful way through narrative media.

“This was a really great way to see the work that CAMS students get to do outside of their classes,” Jennings said. “I really enjoyed seeing the spectrum of emotions that was on display tonight.”

During the brief intermission, all of the attendees participated in a trivia quiz about popular film facts as well as some very obscure movies — leading to a very reactive crowd as they cheered or groaned at the questions.

Each film highlighted a unique and memorable topic. The film “EMETOPHILE” by Colin Kerekes, a film about a man with a vomit fetish, raised bouts of laughter and gasps. Other films such as “Watch College Sophomores Disappear (In Real Time)” by Matthew Chan and “Here’s What I Can Remember” by Avana Wang commented on social norms and themes of perseverance.

The screening committee selection nominated “EMETOPHILE” by Colin Kerekes, “Todo a Su Tiempo” by Daze Cornejo and “Here is What I Can Remember” by Avana Wang for Screening Committee’s pick for the best film. Kerekes’ “EMETOPHILE” was awarded by the Screening Committee as the best film of the night.

“Our thinking was that the film that was the most interesting and performs the best in the sort of critical capacity of a screening committee,” Slater said. “The way we watch these films is we spend time with them, you know, we’re not just sitting in a theater, watching them once and then moving on to the next film.”

Both the Faculty Favorite Award and the Audience Choice Award was “Todo a Su Tiempo” by Daze Cornejo. Cornejo emphasized how their journey with mental health inspired this film.

“So, I started with voice memos. Because I needed the space to, when I was going to start therapy [I] didn’t really want to reach out to friends,” said Cornejo on the initial inspiration for the creation of the film. “And then it just kind of evolved into this thing where I just intentionally was revisiting the past to get to know myself better and to love myself.”

The audience loved the creativity and variety of the films that were screened on Friday night, each one being an inspiration for CAMS students to create their own films in the near future.

“Just watching the different forms of films and they were all so intricate and distinct,” Ernandes said. “CAMS festival is one of the main opportunities for CAMS students to show their films.”…Read more by Alia Yee Noll

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