Volume 94, Issue 91

Wednesday, March 14, 2001


Students' films get a showcase

Film sends mixed message

TVO documnetary attempts to find Asian man

Buried Treasure

Students' films get a showcase

By Aaron St. John
Gazette Staff

Tonight in the University Community Centre McKellar Room, 16 films from aspiring student directors will receive a screening at the 2001 UWO Film Festival.

The seventh annual event is organized by the Western Undergraduate Film Society and is designed to give Western students an opportunity to display their talents.

"The main goal is to promote the film program and to give some recognition to the students who enjoy making films," said event organizer A. W. Morgan. "It's all about making sure that people are aware of the talented directors we have here on campus."

Morgan also said the event, which is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., will be judged by a panel of seven people; six of whom are from Western and a seventh judge from Fanshawe College. They will be grading the films based on both technical and artistic terms and the winners will be awarded a cash prize.

"The judges are from a wide range of departments. We've got people from English, film, [media, information and technoculture], modern languages and visual arts, so all the bases are covered," Morgan said.

Michael Zryd, an associate professor in Western's English department, said he is enthusiastic about the festival and its benefits. "It's an outlet for the incredible energy and passion that film and art students on campus have for filmmaking," Zryd said. "There are only a few courses that students can take that allows them to make movies for credit, but they still want to make them. This gives them a forum."

Zryd said he is also confident the profile of the event is increasing. "It's really encouraging that the number of submissions and the quality of those submissions keeps increasing. People want to do this, even with limited resources. I've been judging the festival for the last few years, and the inventiveness gets better every year."

Jenny Brown, a third-year Western history student, was one of the applicants whose film was selected from a pool of more than 40 entries. Brown said she was extremely pleased with the turnout. "It's awesome. [My film] is going to be shown on a big screen in a front of a huge crowd. It's really exciting," she said.

Brown also stressed the importance of the festival remaining an independent event, referring to the rumours that it might be sponsored by Coca Cola Limited next year. "It's like the last venue for independent, creative work. It's really vital that it stays that way."

Brown also said she felt that being selected to participate in the festival was a large boost of encouragement for her. "Having something I worked on get picked has given me a lot more confidence in terms of actually making movies for a living."

The UWO Film Festival takes place tonight in the McKellar Room. Tickets are $5.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000