Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Best of the Best Film Fest Showcases Best Student Work

The festival is a faculty curated two-night showcase of student work featuring fiction and documentary short films.

Best of the Best Film Fest Showcases Best Student Work

by Sofia Bert

September 9, 2019

San Diego State University’s Television, Film, and New Media (TFM) program will present the Best of the Best Film Fest, a two-day film festival, on Wednesday, Sept. 18, and Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Don Powell Theatre. The films are written, produced, and edited by both current students and recent graduates.

“This event will be a two-evening exhibition of some of the best TFM student films from our ever-expanding archive. Each evening’s programs are distinct, representing a combination of new and past student work, including animation, documentary and fiction narrative films,” said film professor Greg Durbin.

The program includes films that address a wide range of cultural and socio-political themes through a variety of genres, including drama, comedy, horror, and hybrid genres.

To be considered for inclusion at the Best of the Best Film Fest, students must have made the film while enrolled at SDSU. Both graduate and undergraduate students are considered.

“It gives students the opportunity to see each other’s work and inspires them to do better on their own projects,” said MFA student in film production Andrew Norbeck.

The Film Fest is also an opportunity for students who want to learn more about the School of Theatre, Television, and Film. “ I don’t think a lot of people know how much it takes to make a film and all of the work students are doing throughout the semester. We are able to celebrate that success and share it with others,” said Norbeck.

Durbin said that film showings are followed by a panel discussion with several of the filmmakers.

“This compendium of the strongest current and past student work is a strong inspiration and motivator for our students,” said Durbin. “A general goal from an academic perspective is to illustrate the ways in which we perceive, collage, and convert information in the form of a cinematic narrative.”

Unlike other programs, film students at SDSU own their own films, keeping all the rights for future distribution. By controlling the rights to the film, students have the opportunity to develop a festival strategy or a plan to distribute for generating income. These entrepreneurial endeavors further educate film students about the industry.

Student filmmakers work collaboratively with a key group who are responsible for creative decisions, including a writer/director, a producer, a production designer, a sound designer, and an editor. Films crews often grow to as many as twenty students on a single project.

Before any filming begins, students are required to complete in-depth research about their film. In addition to researching the subject content, students must create a “look book” for the film. This includes desired color pallets, style sheets, and visual concepts of the lighting and scenic design. Students must also establish a practical plan for the film, including a budget and location scouting.

Each night of the Best of the Best Film Fest runs roughly 90 minutes, and features a different collection of films. General admission tickets cost $10 and can be purchased online or at the Don Powell Theatre Box Office.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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