For those who say this is an apathetic generation, three Binghamton University students may just change your mind.
Rachel Casey and Candace Young, both seniors majoring in cinema, and Ryan Camarda, a junior double-majoring in cinema and history, helped organize BU and Vestal’s first-ever national film festival.
The Student Experimental Film Festival, to be held today and Saturday, is the product of a semester-long project for the Curating Film and Video class taught by BU professor Tomonari Nishikawa.
The films they will present are the works of students from Experimental Film departments all over the country, not including works from Binghamton students.
The coordinators received about 75 entries by the end of their deadline, chose the ones they felt were the most thought-provoking and turned them into four 30-45 minute programs over the course of this weekend.
Each program has a different theme, chosen by the senior curators. The montages consist of about seven to 10 films no longer than 12 minutes each.
“These films are meant to challenge us and make us think about the nature of film, our country, the world around us and how we perceive it,” Camarda said in the program’s introduction. “Who are we, and how or why do we fit within this natural realm?”
The type of films being shown range from 16 mm to digital and animation with diverse subject matters.
“You won’t be able to see these films anywhere else,” Casey explained. “This is the cutting edge of experimental film.”
While all the selections are top-notch, Casey and co-curator Camarda took the time to recommend three films they were particularly excited about.
In program one there will be a film called “Thembi’s Diary” by Jisoo Kim, a student at California Institute of the Arts. Kim took the recordings from Thembi, a woman with HIV in Africa, and turned them into an animated documentary with incredibly vibrant colors.
“Infitar” by Deniz Tortum, a student from Bard College, was shot in black and white with 16 mm film and will be shown during program two.
“There’s no dialogue [which] creates the narrative space,” Casey said.
In program four, “Yes, No, Maybe, Go!” by Joe Fuller from Kansas City Art Institute is about a girl who breaks up with her boyfriend. The boy wanders around aimlessly until he makes his way into a recliner chair where everything turns into stop motion animation.
The coordinators are very excited to meet the filmmakers, some of whom will be flying in for question-and-answer sessions during the intermissions and after each program.
Admission will be free.
“We want everyone to be able to experience this with no incentive,” Camarda said. “We want an open environment for people to watch these mind-blowing films.”
The programs will be held in Lecture Hall 6. Tonight, program one will be held at 5:30 p.m. and program two at 7:30 p.m. Programs three and four will be at 3 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4.
“This was a very cool experience,” both Casey and Camarda said. “We hope this becomes a BU tradition.”