Student films express creativity and variety

Jamie Anderson

Jamie Anderson

The fourth annual SDSU Student Film Festival will showcase student-made films in a free show on April 30 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center (PAC).

The topics of the student films range from gut-busting comedy to tear-jerkers to dramatic stories, said Tim Guldan, a senior biology education major. Any student from any major is welcome to enter an original film into the Festival. However, most of the submissions are from media production or mass communication majors.

Alex Bethke, vice president of the Film Society and a senior media production major, said, “The Film Festival is a great opportunity for students, whether media-related majors or not, to showcase their work to fellow students and the community. I also hope it shows people you don’t have to be in Hollywood, New York or some fancy film school to tell a story through video.”

According to Bethke, the first year the Film Festival was held in the South Dakota Art Museum and was sponsored by alumnus Jason Fuccello. Due to a large turnout, the event has been held in the PAC ever since. Fuccello has revived the film society on campus. It was very inactive for a long time, but the SDSU Film Society now hosts the Film Festival.

Guldan has started a group with his friends called Philosophika Films. They are submitting two films this year. One is titled Witness, that will be shown at the Film Festival on April 30.

“In the past, one of our films received an Official Selection award. There is nothing like having your hard work pay off by seeing it on the big screen in front of hundreds of other students. We have had a great time making films,” said Guldan.

This year, animation classes can submit films as well. The animation program is fairly new, but as the years go on, students can look forward to seeing more films in this area, said Isaac Windham, a junior media production major and a third-year participant.

“I think the Student Film Festival is a great incentive for those in live action or animation. We can all work our 40 plus hours for that final project grade, but it’s really rewarding to see your piece on the big screen and hear the reaction from the audience,” said Windham.

Many of the participants from previous years have noticed how the audience responds to their films.

“When the audience responds well to your film, you feel that your work has been worth the effort. On the other hand, if the audience doesn’t respond well, you learn where you need to improve,” Windham said. “You can think that your video is funny or dramatic, but until you put it in front of a crowd, you’ll never know. It’s a great learning experience either way. Films just aren’t for yourself, they’re for everyone.”

Students interested in joining the SDSU Film Society can send an e-mail to [email protected].