Arts and Entertainment | Film

Undergrads’ work projected front and center in CU Film Productions Festival

Student filmmakers will take the screen tonight during the annual Spring Film Festivalof Columbia University Film Productions. The festival is a platform not only for CUFP to showcase its own productions, but also for Columbia filmmakers outside of the CUFP umbrella to screen their work. Admission is free, and so is the pizza.

CUFP began as a student-run club focused only on producing festivals, but in 2009, it decided to expand its functions from simply exhibiting to producing films as well.

“CUFP exists to give students the opportunity to write films, to direct films, to produce, and showcase films,” said club president Nancy Monaco, BC ’12. To do this, the club supplies its members with film equipment and helps assemble casts and crews. Throughout their spring production season, members use these resources to create films and are then encouraged to submit to the festival.

CUFP accepts submissions from outside of the club as well. “We keep it pretty open to ... encourage people to start making films and to experiment with their artistic style,” said secretary Lia Tung, BC ’13.

This year, CUFP has chosen over a dozen short films ranging from one to 15 minutes in length. “It’s really diverse,” said Monaco. “We take any kind of submission, whether it’s a narrative film, a documentary film, an artsy-experimental film, or a music video.”

At the end of the screenings, CUFP will award prizes to films for the first time in festival history. “We didn’t want to make anyone hesitant about submitting and create this idea that it’s a big competition, but most people seem to agree with the idea that it would just be fun,” said Monaco. CUFP strives to create an encouraging environment and welcomes all students to the event. As Tung said, “We want to foster a sense of community among filmmakers but also just film lovers.”

The screenings will be held at 8:30 p.m. in 501 Schermerhorn Hall.

The selections include:

“It Gets Better: Columbia University” dir. Ben Harris
In this piece, nearly 20 members of the Columbia community contribute to the national “It Gets Better” project, a video series committed to providing support for LGBT youths. Students, faculty, and administrators comment on the struggles faced by the LGBT community but also incite hope in this series of testimonies and interviews.

“SCUM the Movie” dir. Nino Rekhviashvili
New Yorkers Georgie, Rose, and Margie form the Gang, a group whose objective is to beat up men who have cheated on their girlfriends. After Georgie’s ex, Ben, is the victim of an attack, she begins to have reservations about the Gang. Tension builds as Georgie is caught between her feelings for Ben and the pressure Rose and Margie put on her to remain in the group.

“A Pastoral Friendship” dir. Maria Giménez Cavallo
Inspired by the theory of Italian neorealist screenwriter Cesare Zavattini, this film strives to display the wonders of daily life that often go unnoticed. It follows the life of a girl on a farm in Italy as she performs her daily chores alongside her only companion, a horse. Focused on aesthetics, this film emphasizes on the sounds of nature and the beauty of the landscape.

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