GV students produce films for festival

By Erin Grogan | 3/15/15 7:51pm

Moviegoers hoping for a night filled with the crunch of popcorn and movies displayed on a big screen will find these hopes fulfilled this week at Grand Valley State University.

The GVSU Video Production team has paired up with Spotlight Productions to produce the Through the Lens Film Fest, which will be held in Kirkhof’s Big Screen Theater room on March 18 at 7:30 p.m.

“There are lots of showcases, but these showcases are all for class projects,” said Bobby Nielson, the video production team coordinator. “We decided to partner with Spotlight and put together the film fest as a way to give students the opportunity to have a venue to share their work.”

This is the first year for the Through the Lens Film Fest, and is the first time an event quite like it has happened on the GVSU campus. The festival is different from others because it will showcase films submitted by filmmakers who are students of various majors.

“Some of the stuff people worked on for fun, others might be something people worked on for freelancing,” Nielson said.

Another purpose of the event is to give filmmakers the opportunity to receive feedback. At the end of the event, audience members will have the opportunity to ask filmmakers questions about the production of their pieces. Additionally, members of that night's audience will decide who will receive a people's choice award during the event.

Brandi Barno, a student at GVSU majoring in Film and Video, is the events and traditional on-campus chair for Spotlight Productions. She has been working as a liaison with the Video Production Team since the event’s conception at the end of the winter 2014 semester.

“We wanted to make one that was community-based,” Barno said. “Ideally, we want filmmakers to find a community and to let people know that just because they are not a film major doesn’t mean they can’t showcase their talents anywhere.”

The selected films to be showcased met more criteria than just being technically well made. They were also chosen based on the effort the filmmaker put into the film’s creation and on whether the general public would enjoy them. The scores were then added up, and the films with the highest scores were selected to premiere at the festival.

The entries were submitted through an online form until March 11. Students were told the status of their submissions on March 13. One audience choice award will be given out on the night of the festival.

For more information on the festival, visit www.gvsu.edu/events/through-the-lens-film-festival/.

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