Studio 47 Student Film Fest Showcases Diverse Short Films

Two co-workers dueled with plastic
silverware over the last coffee creamer in “In the Breakroom,” a short film by
Chris Sibley PZ ’12. After their chaotic, hilarious fight results in accidentally
smashing the creamer, a third co-worker calmly walks into the room and pulls out an
entire box full of creamers.

This comedic film was just one of
many distinct student films shown in the Student Film Festival hosted by
Studio47 and Scripps Live Arts in Pomona College’s Rose Hills Theatre April 20. The festival featured 13 short student films, each no longer than ten
minutes, accompanied by “wine, cheese, snacks and general good cheer,” Studio47
general manager Jenny McCartney PO ’12 said.

“Our goal with the film festival is
to highlight student work that’s going on on campus,” McCartney said. “Unless
you’re in a production class, there’s not really an opportunity to show student
films—and there’s a lot going on.”

 “Elmwood Drive,” by Katherine Snell PO ’15 and
Alex Genty-Waksberg PO ’15, was a stop-motion piece that told a life story
through documenting the simple changes that occurred in the small area around
one person’s bed. Though the frame was small, the audience was able to capture
the story through little details, like sheets being changed, extra pillows
being added, photos being put up and taken down and blinds being opened and

Snell said her inspiration came
from “an interest in the concept of environment. … I shape these places, and am
also shaped by them.” Snell moved to Pomona from Toronto, and this blunt change
in environment inspired her to work to “understand the implications” of her
environment on her person.

“I became intrigued by the idea
that an environment could tell a story,” Snell said. “I think [Genty-Waksberg]
and I were attracted to the idea of a bedroom because the bedroom is a lovely
combination of universal and idiosyncratic. Everyone’s bedroom is different,
but having that unique space is a shared experience.”

“There were a few really cool
stop-motion pieces that have beautiful graphics,” McCartney said. “Someone
submitted a great piece from our eight hour film competition that uses dialogue
from a lot of classic movies.”

McCartney also showed her film,
“Your-gurt,” documenting the manager of a small town frozen yogurt store
struggling to raise company morale after a new, more appealing frozen yogurt
store opened down the street. The manager’s employees were less than
enthusiastic, at one point filling the silverware container one plastic spoon
at a time after being told speed was a key skill. Full of witty dialogue,
“Your-gurt” manager asked customers, “How can I add some culture to your day?”

The film was part of McCartney’s
senior thesis project, which is a broader concept of a television show about the
misfit employees at a frozen yogurt store. The project is loosely based on
McCartney’s two part-time jobs at frozen yogurt stores.

Darina Kostadinova SC ’12 shared
her film, “Lit,” which chronicled a female in a dance gang. Kostadinova said
she was inspired to make the film after noting a “continuous pattern of women
repression where power relations are dominated by the male protagonist unless
the woman is either hypersexualized, is called a ‘bitch,’ or both.” 

“I made Sara
[Cronin SC ’12, the star of ‘Lit’] a character of power: a leader of a dance
gang who is after a target and nothing can stop her on her way of getting to
it,” Kostadinova said.

By featuring an unfeminine, female
gangster, a nonexistent character in Hollywood productions, Kostadinova hoped
to “make viewers realize their expectations and challenge them.”

Another comedic film by Sibley,
“Life@Large Pizza Man Intro,” follows the world’s worst pizza delivery man as he
swore at customers houses, drove onto lawns and danced on his car. “Untitled
(ass #3)” by Chloe Webster PO ’14 was a nostalgic monologue by one woman, beginning,
“I remember waking up as a kid in the morning to the sounds of my mom ironing
my clothes.” The film of her monologue was overlayed with images of the
memories she described.

“I hope that the film festival is a
chance to connect film community at the Claremont Colleges and celebrate
student creativity,” McCartney said.

In addition to the film festival,
Studio47 holds screenings, workshops, film competitions, mixers and trips to
see films.

“The mission of Studio47 is
simple,” McCartney said. “The organization seeks to build a community for
creative and technical support during the filmmaking process, and to centralize
access to and knowledge of creative equipment” available at the 5Cs. The group
aims to give filmmakers the “tools and information necessary to realize their
projects independent of Media Studies production classes,” McCartney said.

In accordance with this goal, the
club reached out to a diverse range of students for submissions, rather than
simply advertising to students already in production classes. Laemelle Theaters gift certificates were awarded to filmmakers.

Other films screened include “The Magic of Cinema” by Mark Irwin PZ ‘14, “We’re Never
Coming Back Again” by Samuel Cheney PO ’12, “Paper DJ” by Hana Wuerker PZ ‘15,
“Don’t Stop the Beat” by Edie Adams SC ’14, “The Long Nap” by Ian Byers PO ’14 and Gideon
Salzman-Gubbay PO ’14, “Day Dream” by Trey Connet PO ’15 and “Dream” by Byers.

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