Cassie Florian Feature March 19, 2018

Student film festival continues to expand

By Cassie Florian

Staff Writer

Alma College will host its second Pine River Student Festival Saturday, April 7, at the Strand Theater downtown. 

The planed event, which is proving to be much larger than the inagural one, begins at noon and is free for all movie lovers. 

The categories that the films can be in are either documentaries or narratives and the judges this year consist of nine professors from the English and new media studies departments.   

Although there were many people who entered their work into the festival, only 49 out of the 1,464 films that were submitted, from 90 different countries, will be shown at the event, all only 20 minutes long or under. Organizers say this makes the festival have a much larger sclae and make it a more global event than last year.  

“I am the festival director this year, and am taking over for Patrick Mallett who did it last year,” said Zack Baker (’18). 

“I have been in contact with [him] to see how we can improve and grow.”  

“As a member of Short Stack Film Club (the event’s sponsor), I have  five volunteer screeners to help rating the films,” said Baker, who also mentioned how having members of the club not only helped take more off of his plate but also gave him more perspectives on the films he was rating.  

“[The festival] is also a part of my senor capstone,” said Baker. “So, I get to be a part of this event both hobby wise and academic wise.” He continued on to talk about how he will also be presenting the work that he did for this event on Honors Day.  

“I’ve ordered t-shirts, stickers and buttons as well as made a 30 second video ad that plays at the NCG theater in Alma to hopefully get some more community participation,” said Baker. He also mentioned being able to hire and work with others for the festival, such as for designing posters, which was an exciting and new experience for him as well. 

“I think that the most interesting and exciting thing about this [festival] is that the quality of film was really high,” said Joe Harrison (’20), who was a screener for the festival. 

“It makes me very excited for the future of young media.” He also mentioned how impressed he was by the quality of the international films and how he is excited to see how the future of international film will grow as well.  

“You never know; the next Steven Spielberg could submit a film here,” said Harrison.   

“I was [also] a screener for the Pine River Student Film Festival,” said Emma Wood (‘20). “We got films from all over the world—and I mean from all over the world.  

“The narratives were graded on story, visuals, sound and acting while the documentaries were graded on story, visuals, sound and relevance. Each category was rated out of three, and in total they were rated out of twelve, said Wood.  

“I’d have to say, over all, my favorite part was seeing [the festival] grow into the big thing that it is right now and what it will be. I’ve seen it in its skeleton form and it is really cool to now see the meat on its bones. 

“You don’t have to be a film buff or new media studies major to enjoy [the festival], “ said Wood.  

“Everybody will find something that they enjoy there. Overall, it’s a really cool thing that normally wouldn’t in a small town like Alma.”  

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