Original films to be shown at 11th Annual Student Short Film Festival
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 01:04
Sarah R. Lotfi has yet to win an Academy Award. Considering what she has accomplished with her films thus far, however, that could soon change.
Lotfi, a senior VAPA and communication major, submitted “The Last Bogatyr,” a drama set in World War II Russia, for the 2009 UCCS Student Short Film Festival and will participate again this year.
“It was nowhere near where it was when we submitted it later on to festivals over the next two years,” she said about the initial screening of “The Last Bogatyr,” describing it as a “rough touch.”
According to Lotfi, it was shown in film festivals around the world, including ones in Canada, Wales and Ireland.
“The Last Bogatyr” was also a national finalist for Best Narrative in the 37th Student Academy Awards, a film competition that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences started in 1972.
According to the Student Academy Awards website, over 500 college students submit entries from across the United States every year.
Lotfi said that, while the UCCS Student Short Film Festival is comparatively small to other national film festivals, she still recognizes its benefits.
“It’s nice to be able to share your work with your peers and your professors and the local community, city; and that’s why I try to have something there every year that I’m there.”
She will submit “Walking Eyes,” which she made last spring for her VAPA Capstone project, for this year’s festival.
It was shown at last year’s International Student Film Festival Hollywood, but this is the first time the film will be shown publicly in its complete form in Colorado Springs.
“It’s more of like her subconscious fantasies,” Lotfi said of the film, adding that the greatest compliment she has received has come from people who have said “Walking Eyes” reminds them of “The Fountain,” one of her favorite films.
“The real motivation for the film is that I had all these gowns from a bridal fashion show that I had sewn years ago and had never done anything with, and I wanted to do a piece that incorporated the color white and those white dresses on a white background.”
The cast of “Walking Eyes” includes some familiar faces, including Ariel Baty, a UCCS graduate who also co-wrote the film; Michael Lee, a philosophy student; and theater professor Leah Chandler Mills.
Professor von Dassanowsky, director of Film Studies, said, “Not always, but we do get a substantial number of our theater students who perform in these. We have this wonderful little connection between the arts and theater and communication and so forth that comes together on that evening.”
Film is more than just about connecting departments, though. “Film, of course, is the only art that is an art, a technology and a business, so it’s wide enough to encompass everyone’s dreams.”
Students can also have their films screened during the UCCS Student Short Film Festival if they submit them by May 2 to a Film Club Officer or the Film Club mailbox at the ROAR Office.
The only restrictions are that entries cannot exceed 15 minutes and must be original work.
At the festival, judges will present awards for the best film from each genre: live action drama, live action comedy, animation, documentary, experimental and music video. There will also be an award for audience’s choice.
Junior English major Sean Purcell, president of the Film Club, said action drama tended to be a popular genre, and the music video category was especially competitive last year.
He added that students from the VAPA production program, which is run through Film Studies and the Communication Department are expected to submit many of the entries this year.
“What’s happened the two years that I’ve been at it was we’d always have to extend the deadline to like two minutes before we’d actually judge it,” Purcell said. “Hopefully we’ll have a nice, rounded-out year instead of having to scramble or do last-minute work.”
The Film Club also needs people to judge the films. Following the submission deadline, judges will view and critique submissions on May 4 at 5 p.m. in Dwire Hall 121. Purcell encouraged anyone interested in judging to simply show up.
von Dassanowsky noted the festival is wholly student-run and involves students who major not only in VAPA but also communication and English.
“We’re not going away,” he said. “I am proud of the students because I’m just the academic advisor, but I think everybody’s proud that we’ve created this tradition at UCCS that really shows off that you can get anywhere from here.”
More info: facebook.com/groups/24750487661/