PB to sponsor first student film festival next year

By Tressa Versteeg

Program Board will sponsor Macalester’s first student film festival this spring. The winning prize will be given in the form of a plane ticket, a gift certificate or a combination of the two, equaling a value of $600.A panel of two Twin Cities film critics, Program Board members and professors will choose a winning film prior to the festival, which will take place April 1 in the Campus Center lecture hall.

Sallem Berhane ’10, the festival’s organizer, said she wants the event to be accessible to all students, not just those with film experience. The Humanities and Media and Cultural Studies department has been supportive of the festival, she said, and students can use video editing software in the Humanities Building.

“I want [the students] to have fun with this and express themselves,” she said.

Rose Holdorf ’11 participated in film festivals in high school and is excited for the opportunity to continue her filmmaking this spring.

“Mostly I just want my film to be visually stimulating and cause viewers to look at the world differently than how we see it every day,” Holdorf said. “I think the film festival is a great way for students to share what matters to them.

“It will be a fun and exciting event for everyone to showcase their talents and for others to see what their peers believe is important as students, as members of society and as artists.”

Berhane said she wants students to participate in the festival, whether they make a film or just spend a day watching the films.

“Any student can be a part of the artistic medium of film. I think it would be worthwhile [for students] to see what their peers and friends have created. [I want it to be] an event for people to come together,” Berhane said.

The deadline to submit an application for the festival is Feb. 4, and applicant interviews with the Program Board will be held later that month. The final version of films selected by the Program Board will be due April 1.

The films, Berhane said, will be limited to 30 minutes, must be produced while the student is attending Macalester-no high school films are allowed unless they are significantly changed-and should be respectful of others. But, she said, there are no regulations on the type or style of film.

“[Students] can go down any avenue with this, whether they want to make a documentary, a more abstract film or a comedy,” Berhane said.

Berhane said she is concerned that the project might lose momentum over the long break, but she said she hopes students will use that time to get started making their films.