On-Campus Event

Student Film Festival makes its RPI debut

The first ever Student Film Festival was hosted by UPAC Cinema on Wednesday in collaboration with the Department of Arts. The Student Film Festival showcased student-created short films giving students a platform to share their personal pieces. A variety of film types were shown throughout the event: narrative, experimental, documentary, and mockumentary, spanning genres like science fiction, horror, and drama.

To feature their film, students had to submit their videos via a Google Form detailing the film’s form, genre, and length. From the submissions, twenty films were selected to be showcased during the festival. The films varied in length, with the shortest film lasting less than a minute and a half and the longest lasting over 10 minutes. The films were shown back-to-back, ending with snacks and drinks available for the students in the audience.

Afterward, there was an awards ceremony where every filmmaker or group that had their work shown were given awards. The filmmakers got a certificate for the category they won and had the opportunity to pick a fun, miscellaneous prize from a brown paper bag. Awards were given for best editing, best animation, and best acting among many others. In addition, the audience selected their favorite film via Strawpoll, and the film with the most votes won the “Audience Choice” award. The winner was “The SIS Files” by graduate student Owen Kulik, a narrative mystery film centered around SIS Man’s disappearance from the SIS website and uncovering where SIS Man went.

As a student taking a film class at RPI, I appreciated both the storytelling and the technical aspects of each film—whether it be a filmmaker’s unique use of lighting or compelling usage of audio. Each filmmaker took different routes and demonstrated different talents beyond the basic film expectations, using animation, effects, singing, and even CGI. The festival was a beautiful exchange of an art through different students’ lenses.