Last weekend, on March 23, the Slippery Rock Film Society made a great step forward for their club by traveling to the Columbus International Film and Animation Festival in Columbus, Oh. The organization sold 20 tickets to the festival, open to all Slippery Rock students. 14 students departed on Friday morning for their weekend of watching independent short films, documentaries and learning more about the film industry.
The Columbus International Film and Animation Festival is the oldest film festival in the United States. The Festival was founded in 1952 to showcase independent movies and documentaries.
Traveling to Columbus was one of the organization’s major priorities for this semester. Film Society president Tom Fabian said he was excited to get the Film Society out to Ohio.
“I was really excited to actually get our club out of Slippery Rock to network with professionals in the field,” Fabian said. “I thought it would be a good foot in the door for people who want to go into the industry of filmmaking.”
“We had to really plan early,” Fabian said of the six-month process of planning and organizing the trip. “I had this idea back in the summer, and I had to start researching as much as I could.”
“Film fests actually don’t release their schedule until a couple weeks before the event,” Fabian added. “So it was hectic to get funding and plans made.”
The club was able to watch movies and short films, all created by directors from Ohio. After every showing, the directors had a chance to discuss their films and answer questions from the audience. Overall, the club watched four movies over the weekend.
Ohio Shorts showcased a series of short films, featuring animation, drama, comedy and documentary-styles. Not Quite Midnight Shorts were short films ranging from thrillers, horror and suspense genres. They also watched Saturday Morning Cartoons, a series of animations, and a documentary about the lives of modern veterans called The Veterans Project.
The festival was also a great networking opportunity for the Film Society, as they were able to gain insight on what it is like to professionally create movies and short films.
Dominic Civitella, a senior member of Film Society, was excited to attend the Festival. Civitella has been passionate about film-making and has produced many of his own films in Film Society, including his current project, Seven Arrows.
“Going to Columbus over the weekend, was meaningful, I think, for the entire group because we got to see other independent filmmakers showcase their work and show us how we can do something similar,” Civitella said.
Civitella also added how he learned how inexpensive it could be to produce your own film.
“One of the things that really stood out was when one of the filmmakers of The Veteran’s Project Documentary talked about how some of this footage was just shot on an iPhone 6,” Civitella said. “So obviously, some of this technology is very accessible, and we can do a lot with a little.”
The future looks bright for the Slippery Rock Film Society. With its recent transition to the Communication Department, the club is undergoing many positive changes. They hope to make it to more film festivals and host their own campus events in the future.