Volume 93, Issue 87
Wednesday, March 15, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Festival showcases film talent
By Luke Rundle
Budding filmmakers from all over the Western spectrum will be showcasing their celluloid-based talents tonight during the Western Film Festival 2000 in the University Community Centre's McKellar Room.
A traditional staple for well over a decade, this year the festival changed for the better in comparison to past incarnations. For the first time in its history, the exhibition has been initiated, organized and judged solely by students in the film program.
Lynnette Gryseels, a fourth-year Media, Information and Technoculture and film student who is a representative from the Western Film organizing committee, emphasizes the festival's open-door policy towards those wanting to contribute. "The festival is a chance to showcase the talents of Western's budding filmmakers. You can be in any program and we'll accept your submission," she states. "This is the first time since the organization of the festival that things are fully in the students' hands we have more control over what's happening."
The festival's 17 films will be judged by five film, visual arts and MIT faculty professors who will keep several criteria in mind. "There will be prizes, not one main prize but several separate prizes, on the basis of technical aspects, originality and artistic value," Gryseels says.
The films chosen for the screening have been selected by students. "The admissions are going to be screened by a bunch of students, some of whom are on the organizing committee, some who have just volunteered for the job," Gryseels offers.
Jason Gray, a third-year English and film student, is one of the festival's contributors. "I've done a film called Alonliness, which is about forced isolation and coming to terms with oneself on an emotional level," he reveals.
Gray recognizes the festival's importance for student filmmakers, albeit on a much more personal level. "It's not about the competition aspect but more about the creative one," he states. "Something like this gets you motivated. It allows filmmakers to showcase their creativity and Western audiences to recognize the art, which isn't a common practice today.
"You get into this period where you just see the same things being done, so it's good for people to see these innovative short films where a lot gets done that's original," he says. "This is a time [where] we're free to experiment because we're not tied down by a big budget, which allows for a lot of creative leeway."
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