5C Film Festival Presents Diverse Assortment of Student Productions

“I wanted to be able to disassemble myself with my clothing
and then just be comfortable,” Mary Margaret Groves PO ’16 said.

Her film,
“Disassembling,” was shown at Studio 47’s 5C Student Film Festival on Thursday, April 17. The 5C Student Film Festival provided an opportunity for students to share original pieces of work with the broader Claremont community. 

“There’s a lot of pressure from society to change you, and if you’re not strong
enough it can kind of rip you apart, but I think the strength comes from being
able to be vulnerable and be comfortable with yourself,” she said.

Groves wrote and sang the background track for her film,
which was part of a semester-long project for a class. She said her work took 4-5 weeks of filming and a month of editing. Although film production is a time-consuming process, the hard work paid off for the students. 

“I’m really glad that all my friends came to see this,” said Alex Nolan PO ’16, whose film, “Dreaming in the Rain,” originally part of a Web series she worked on, was showcased.

“I think that it was a really good opportunity for student
filmmakers to get their work out there and have the experience of showing their
work,” she added. 

Eighteen films were shown at the festival. Diverse,
provocative, and eye-opening, they ranged from the inspiring story of one of
Pomona College’s dining hall workers, called “The Work of a Mother,” by Brian Leonard HM ’15, Alexandria Jasienowiski PZ ’16, and Tien Le PO
’16, to a
consideration of the standards of beauty that are imposed upon us in “Mirror
Mirror,” by Daysha Edewi SC ’14. 

Other films included “The Coven,” a
documentary by Elicia Epstein PO ’15 that provided insight into the lives of self-proclaimed witches, and “[post-grad plans],” by Gabi nom de War PO ’14 and
Chloe Webster PO ’14, a darkly humorous take on life after graduation.

“The access to good production equipment and editing is such a recent thing,” Tyron said. “When I think back to previous Studio 47 film festivals, there was a lot less
variety, and for a period of time, there was a lot of ‘pick a popular pop tune
and take a lot of film footage and make a montage of it’ kind of films versus
writing your own films.”

The film festivals have also become a more collaborative space. 

“A lot of people are working
together and working in teams, and, of course, that makes filmmaking a lot
easier,” Tyron said. 

Although Studio 47 has always organized film
festivals, Tyron mentioned how interest died down for a while and has only
recently begun to pick up. According to one of the event’s main student organizers, Peter Hao Chen PO ’16, the 5C Student Film Festival, with its
current title, did not occur last year.

“We’re starting over, starting this tradition,” Chen said. 

Chen emphasized how important the space is “in terms of giving alternative
platforms for people to show their works.” 

Previous 5C film
festivals were mainly restricted to those in film or video classes, while this festival was open to all 5C students and submissions from any

“We don’t select … we include everybody,” Chen said. “And really, all of
them were wonderful, so I feel that we should do that. At least this year, we
didn’t have any kind of award, so it’s not competitive, just a place for people
to share their work and bring their friends.”

Similar to the 5C Film Festival, Studio 47 began as an idea by students. 

“Studio 47 at the moment
started back in the ’90s, and it actually came out of an organization called
Collaborative Productions, which was really just one guy,” Tyron said. “He had written a
grant proposal and gotten funding to get equipment, and he got some cameras. He
was graduating and wanted to leave a legacy and left the equipment behind.” 

Now, however, “Studio 47 regularly has at least 75-100
members each semester,” she said. 

In coming years, the film community at the 5Cs hopes to see continued growth and production of more events such as the film festival. 

“I hope to do the same thing next year, and become better and better, draw in more and more people, and actually become one of the biggest events at the 5Cs,” Chen said.

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