The Student Experimental Film Festival of Binghamton (SEFF Binghamton) will be an opportunity both for film enthusiasts and students curious about the activities of film students to discover their work.
The ninth iteration of the annual film festival will be held this Friday, Nov. 16 in Lecture Hall 6. It is coordinated by the Binghamton University Film Salon, a club on campus that organizes a series of weekly screenings focused on experimental films with specific themes and filmmakers.
The festival will display a wide variety of films from student filmmakers across the country (excluding Binghamton students) selected by co-directors of the festival, Hadar Arens, a sophomore majoring in cinema and Iona Wu, a junior majoring in cinema.
“The film club BU Film Salon could not have been more excited to coordinate and organize this event,” Arens said. “I hope that students have a new appreciation for film and all it has to offer. Hopefully by watching non-narrative and experimental films, it will be a refreshing change for students and [they] would be interested in learning more.”
The festival will be divided up into two programs, each based on a specific theme selected by the directors. The curated selection includes “Evergreen,” which explores race, gender and religion, and “Layer Cake,” examining nature, texture and shapes.
The festival will feature about 20 student films. They vary in length, ranging from three to nine minutes.
According to Arens, the inclusion of the two programs will ensure that there is something for everyone, with films reflecting the extensive variations in film styles and techniques.
“Some are short and some a bit longer, some with sound, some without,” Arens said. “Some made of film, some digital, some black and white, some with color. We are confident that everyone will connect to at least one film that spoke to them the most.”
In this way, while the films relate back to a common theme, they make use of the diverse skills acquired by students, and serve to showcase their inventive approaches to film.
“We have collected a great amount of student films with creative and avant-garde ideas in their films,” Wu said. “In cinema theaters today, films are more about narrative. I think the 2018 SEFF is a great opportunity for students [at] Binghamton University to watch some creative experimental films and to have a different journey of visual pleasure.”
With the festival, Arens said she hopes that the community will take notice of rising filmmakers and come support their work.
“I think it’s super important to come together as a community and support young artists and filmmakers,” Arens said. “We’re all on the same boat as we are beginning to actively pursue our dreams.”
The first program, “Evergreen,” will be screened at 4 p.m. in Lecture Hall 6 and will be followed by a brief intermission, after which the second program, “Layer Cake,” will be screened at 5:30 p.m. A reception will accompany the screenings in Room B-89, in the basement of Lecture Hall, for a discussion with the visiting filmmakers.
Editor’s note: Iona Wu is a Pipe Dream photographer and digital contributor.