There are few things more nerve wracking and awe-inspiring for a filmmaker than seeing their work in a theater with a crowd for the first time. More often than not you sit there with a knot in your chest, worrying about whether that scene was well lit or that actor’s flub was noticeable. But when someone in the crowd laughs or is moved by your work, there is no better feeling in the world.
The IU Cinema gives this feeling to young filmmakers at least 4 times a school year with events that show student work. Their fall showcase lets everybody see what IU’s student filmmakers have been working on in class. In December the IU Cinema teams up with the Indiana University Student Cinema Guild for Crimson Film Festival, the largest independent festival of student content at IU. This festival shows the projects that student filmmakers create in their spare time.
The IU Cinema has two events in the spring for student content. One is the unique Double Exposure Festival. It pairs a student filmmaker with a student composer who scores his or her film. The results are often idiosyncratic and beautiful. Finally, the spring student showcase shows off the work that students made in their spring semester classes. This year there are a lot of films that I am excited about. One of those films is Campus Brotha, a new short film from Rob Sherrell, the first student at IU to major in stand-up comedy. You should also be on the lookout for Jacob Schorr’s The Delivery Boy, which is about a naive young uber driver who gets in over his head. There will also be some experimental films, including Austin Brady’s Warhol-influenced One-Take and Leah Dachas sensual ode to Food.
Thanks to IU Cinema, students won’t have to wait until they graduate to see their work on the big screen. Showcasing their work on a large scale will make our student filmmakers feel like they have a realistic future in making movies. The next time they see their work at the IU Cinema might be because they have returned with their first feature film, or for a retrospective consisting of their body of work. Those experiences will be just as thrilling as the first moment they sat in the dark and saw their work on the big screen for the first time.
There are two chances to experience the Spring 2017 Student Films Showcase at IU Cinema this week: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 and Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.
Jesse Pasternack is a junior at Indiana University and the co-president of the Indiana Student Cinema Guild. He writes about film, television, and pop culture for the Indiana Daily Student. Jesse is a moderator at Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival and a friend of the Doug Loves Movies podcast. He has directed two short films.