Volume 96, Issue 6
Friday September 6, 2002

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Movie buffs, unite! WUFS kicks off second year

By Brian Wong
Gazette Staff

Movie lovers are everywhere these days, but you can't tell who they are by simply looking at them. They eat in the same restaurants you do, take the same classes, drink in the same bars – they even sleep with the same people you do.

But, now there's a place where celluloid freaks can unite! The Western Undergraduate Film Society is operating in its second official year and hopes to create a community that can bond under the flicker of a projector.

"Our main goal has always been to create and foster a community of cinephiles, film academics and general movie lovers in which there exists a forum for the intellectual awareness, discussion, recognition, appreciation and basic enjoyment of the finer areas of cinema," explains Mike Froussios, who, along with Rob McCallum, serves as co-chair of WUFS.

Some of the many WUFS activities include the annual UWO Film Festival, the bi-monthly publication The Still and the free, weekly Cinematheque Vendredi screening series, which (for those who don't know their French) takes place every Friday in Rm. 1 of University College. In the past, the series focused on the work of Stanley Kubrick and the Coen Brothers. This year, the screenings will shift to films with faithfully devoted followings – let us all bow down and worship cult cinema.

"Some of the films you can expect to see include Tokyo Drifter, Evil Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians," says Froussios.

And if you've always wanted to try playing Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album over The Wizard of Oz, but never got around to doing it, you'll finally get a chance to experience it in the Dark Side of Oz presentation.

McCallum is also excited about the growth of the UWO Film Festival, organized by WUFS in second semester, whose entries are judged by a panel of professors, media figures and film experts – the winner receives a cash prize.

"As a third-year film student, I've seen the festival move from the McKellar room in the [University Community Centre] to Rainbow Cinemas downtown. This marked a dramatic increase in exposure for the festival," McCallum said.

In the past, each entry was only shown once during a single night, but with this year's expansion of the film festival, plans are being made to offer multiple screenings of the entries over two nights.

"Last year's Film Festival directors moved the event from its traditional Wednesday night slot to a more convenient Friday night program," explains Froussios, "so we decided to expand the event over the course of a weekend."

WUFS members can also expect to get assistance in obtaining film resources, including anything from doing research on film subjects, to acquiring movie-making equipment, to informative discussions regarding the film industry.

"Last year, there were many discussions taking place, such as 'what do you do when you graduate?' or 'how to shoot on film,'" says McCallum.

"We've also managed to bring in guest speakers that have experience in the film industry [who] are able to field questions that students have for them," McCallum explains.

"New workshops on digital film production and editing are also in the works," Froussios adds.

And if you are wary of joining the Western Undergraduate Film Society because you happen to be an engineering student, take note: this society isn't just for film students.

"WUFS is for everyone," says McCallum. "If you're curious about film but lack knowledge, WUFS is for you. If you're an expert on cinema studies, WUFS is for you. And if you fall in somewhere between, then... yup, WUFS is for you."

Pass the popcorn.


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