Film festival hosted by WSC excites film enthusiasts

Tarik Urvina, Staff Writer

Young filmmakers from all over the United States will gather to Wayne State College campus for the second annual “Wildcats Spirit Film Festival” on April 1 and 2. The film festival is an opportunity for student filmmakers to meet one another, improve their filmmaking skills and show and discuss their projects.

High school and college students around America took the chance to upload short film projects from September 2018 through February 2019. Students submitted their work in six different genres of film categories, including short-shorts, narrative, comedy, documentary, sci-fi and horror.

“We had 585 submissions,” said mass communication professor Mike White. “We had to disqualify about 150 because they came from out of the United States. We went through them and then they were broken up by category and judged individually.”

The students planning to attend the festival will have the chance to build a network, discuss their projects and share ideas with other prospective filmmakers.

“It is a great opportunity for filmmakers, especially for me as a filmmaker,” White said. “Film festivals are where you meet other people in the industry and talent that you want to work with. It is also a great exposure; it allows people to see your work.

“Often people create a film and it ends up online and people are not really watching it. At a film festival it gets a screening and an audience and the attention that it deserves. Festivals are really vital for filmmakers.”

During the two-day event, the students can attend a variety of workshops in script writing, production and acting. Visiting high school students will work with instructors from WSC in order to help them develop their capabilities in film. The event will also provide Wayne State an opportunity to recruit new students for the Electronic Media program.

Filmmakers Darcy Bahensky and Adam Gonshorrowski are featured guests of the festival and will both give workshops to students interested in filmmaking.

Besides the aforementioned reasons for hosting the film festival, White hopes that current students and the campus community will benefit from this event.

“We have a large interest in film at Wayne State College; most of the new students in Electronic Media have come for film,” White said.  “We want to have an event for them to be able to show their work and be able to see great work from around the country.”

Three short films made by WSC students will premiere at the festival, including Vacation by Anna Cole, Three Breaths Underwater by Ben Bjorklund and Althea by Andrew Suiter. All will be shown at The Majestic Theater on April 2.