The seventh annual M-A Student Film Festival (MASFF) took place in the Performing Arts Center last Thursday evening, May 19. Eighteen student-made short films were shown on the theater’s big screen, a public viewing of the Video Production and TV Communications and Production (TV Com Prod) classes’ final projects. The films spanned an impressive variety of genres, from the documentary style “After Death,” directed and edited by sophomore Lena Reibstein, to the Spanish language thriller “119,” directed and edited by junior Kate Denend, to the classic and aptly named “Your Average Teen Movie,” directed and edited by juniors Abby Ponce, Megan Keleta, and Baylee Shroeder. Overall, a common passion, creativity, and sense of humor shone through in every movie.
The crowd present was small but enthusiastic, mostly family and friends of the filmmakers, creating a comfortable atmosphere for everyone to gasp, scream, and laugh as loudly as they liked. Junior Teddy Pagee, who starred in “119,” described the event as “fun and fantastic, what a time!” Sofia Willis, a senior at M-A and co-director of “The Hall Sweep Games” stated that “after a lot of work trying to make the movie, filming and getting everyone to come and editing, it was really cool to see it on the big screen and have everyone laugh at the jokes that you intended to be laughed at. It was really a good feeling.”
Aria Turner, another senior, took TV Com Prod this year and Video Production her sophomore year, and compared the film-making experiences within both classes. “Definitely during Video Production it was a lot more satisfying because we were able to culminate everything we had learned that year and we were able to focus solely on that. This year was more fun, though, because it was less pressure. We were just told to go forth and make a film. I’m glad that people like our film (Senioritis) this year. I think more people connected with it.” Turner hopes to participate in the Cal Poly film club and TV studio next year.
John Giambruno, who teaches both classes, explained his sentiments concerning this year’s event and the recent growth of the media department. “I’m always a little nervous for the students before MASFF starts, and I’m always thrilled by the warm reception of the crowd, parents, and students. It’s a stressful race to get the movies done before deadline with all the corrections and them trying to make the best movie possible given all the circumstances. A lot of these students worked hard on their projects, committing a lot of time and energy for their entries. I still get surprised by some, and I am already looking forward to next year’s submissions.”
Click here to watch videos from the film festival.