Film Society highlights cultural topics at weekly film screenings


Anne Virginia Koepp

College students spend $658 million on movie theater tickets and $600 million to buy and $326 million to rent DVDs, according to Gayla Martindale of However, SDSU students are lucky because the Film Society on campus offers movies for free. Yes, free. Put away that cash.

Each semester, the SDSU Film Society presents free screenings of engaging films to the public at the South Dakota Art Museum. Screenings are every Tuesday at 7 p.m.

A miniseries beginning in the first half of the semester, The Black American Experience in Film, is being presented with the help of the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, the Office of Diversity Enhancement and the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Films in the miniseries from Feb. 16 onward include “Prom Night in Mississippi,” “Trouble the Water” on Feb. 23, “More than a Game” on March 16 and “Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy” on April 27.

“It’s fun to bring movies to campus that are not usually screened at the local commercial movie theater or available at the local movie rental stores or libraries,” said Zack Vos, a junior media production major and president of the Film Society. “The attendance was great at our first two screenings, The Hurt Locker and Food, Inc., both of which were recently nominated for Oscars, and we have many good films yet to come this semester.”

Check out the complete Spring 2010 Film Schedule at

According to the student organization Web site, the SDSU Film Society was established to “provide leadership in presenting a cohesive course of action to advance the academic and social atmosphere on the SDSU campus through planning and exhibiting film screenings, festivals and special events,” such as speakers and travel to film festivals.

“Being part of the SDSU Film Society gives you the opportunity to meet and hang out with cool people that share your passion for movies,” said Vos. “We talk about all kinds of films, but our main concern is finding great, but often overlooked films that we can screen on campus.”

Brianna Wegner, a freshman agronomy major, said she is very interested in seeing free movies on campus.

“It gives me something to do that I’d enjoy when I’m not studying,” said Wegner.

“The SDSU Film Society tries to bring films that are not readily accessible on campus or the community,” said Jeff Heinle, adviser for the Film Society and associate professor of journalism and mass communications. “Generally, this tends to be documentaries, independent and international movies.