Student Film Festival to celebrate 15th anniversary

April 27, 2015

Audrey Jensen
[email protected]

The longest running student film festival in America will hold its 15th annual festival and awards show featuring films between three and 15 minutes long from students of all majors.

On May 10 from 3-9 p.m. in Dwire 121 is the 15th Annual UCCS Student Short Film Festival hosted by VAPA Film Studies and VAPA Film Club and sponsored by SGA.

The student-run festival will begin by screening each submitted film. A buffet dinner provided by Dining and Food Services and an awards show will follow.

The categories judges will vote on are live drama, live comedy, documentary, experimental, animation and on the night of the festival a film will win audience’s choice.

Director of the Film Studies program, Robert von Dassanowsky, said that this event is a great interaction between students of all disciplines to discuss film and the arts.

“We have students from physics and biology. It’s just their love for film. Some students make their own film, some will continue this as their life’s work. It’s open to every student.”

“It started in one of those rooms on the basement floor [in the UC] with about five or six students showing their films with a giant bag of popcorn to accompany them,” he said.

“It has developed into this very professional film festival and awards program over the 15 years.”

Dassanowsky said that although unusual for a student short film festival, winners of the categories are presented with a large crystal award. Usually there are between 15 and 30 student entries.

VAPA Film Club vice president, Rob Bowen, who is majoring in film studies and women’s and ethnic studies, said that the judging of the films will be done May 8 by over 15 student judges in addition to Film Club officers.

“[Judging is based on] Personal subjectivity, it’s what you felt about the film, if you liked it and how it fit into its category. It’s judged on the overall feel of the film,” Bowen said.

“We don’t do acting, or directing. We don’t pick apart various categories. It’s more focused on the overall product and what the student is trying to say with the film.”

Winners of the categories will also receive laurels in addition to the glass award.

Bowen expects between 100 and 150 students at the festival. “Being the 15th year, along school’s 50th anniversary, there’s a lot of celebratory for the event, we get a little more response than we would.”

Since SGA was able to help fund the event, there will be a large backdrop poster with the club’s logos for people to take pictures in front of. Audience members will also receive postcards with the film club logo.

Dassanowsky enjoys seeing students gain knowledge on both how a film festival works and how it’s put together.

“Running it is an important aspect of being in the entertainment field and film production. A lot of students that have entered in the past have also been able to enter their films in national and international film festivals.”

“[Alumna Sarah Lofti] was one of the last 12 [finalists] out of 500 that applied for the international Student Academy Awards run by the Oscars,” Dassanowsky said.

The VAPA Film Club meets every Friday during the semester in Dwire Hall 121 at 7:30 p.m.

For more information about the festival students can search for “The Film Club of UCCS” public group on Facebook. Students can submit films through May 8 to the Student Life and Leadership Office.