May 19, 2008

Students Screen Documentary Films

More than 300 people attend the annual Student Film Festival

The annual Student Film Festival drew a crowd of well over 300 people on May 12. Students in the documentary film class taught by Andrew Smith, assistant professor of English and chair of American studies, screened six original films and prizes were awarded.

This was the festival’s fifth anniversary with 40 total films being produced since 2004. The class integrates critical study with creative digital production. John O’Keefe, director of academic technologies and network services, co-teaches production elements in the course.

As part of Lafayette’s focus on the creative arts in the new strategic plan, the College is considering the development of a unique interdisciplinary program in film and media studies. The proposed program will not only build upon disciplines such as English and art, but also less obvious collaborations like computer science and theater, or engineering and music.

2008 Festival Winners:

Audience Prize: “Please Drink Respectably” by Kevin Farrell ’08 (Philadelphia, Pa.), Will Griffith ’09 (Woodbridge, Conn.), Ryan Hanna ’09 (Tucson, Ariz.) explores Lehigh Valley craft brewing.

Alumni Prize: “Ink” by Jesse Clemmens ’09 (Ossining, N.J.), Natalie Cothren ’09 (Akron, Ohio), and Emily Weisenreder ’08 (Pasadena, Md.) explores the art and practice of tattoos.

Filmmaker Prize: “The Club” by Christie Egan ’08 (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), Carolyn Freundlich ’08 (Westfield, N.J.), and Porter Curran ’09 (Phoenix, Md.) looks at The Boys and Girls Club of Easton’s new teen center.

Jury Prize: “Second to None” by Solange Bethart ’08 (Miami, Fla.), Jaclyn Danchak ’09 (Clarks Summit, Pa.), Scott Spivack-Kerr ’09 (Bensalem, Pa.) takes a look at boxing legend Larry Holmes.

Other films included:

“Birth of a Hero” by Todd Nicholas ’08 (Stow, Mass.) and Rebecca Teitelbaum ’09 (Bethesda, Md.) focuses on the video game phenomenon.

“Divorced” by Ziad Foty ’10 (Washington, D.C.) and Dan McDonald ’10 (Palmerton, Pa.) focuses on the children of divorce.

Members of the festival jury were Michael O’Neill, associate professor of English and director of theater; Suzanne Westfall, professor and head of English; Michael Jordan, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures; James Woolley, Smith Professor of English; Steve Belletto, assistant professor of English; John Laskas ’96; and Maciek Albrecht, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning animation artist.

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