Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Five College Film Festival showcases original student work

By Gina Lopez

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(5 College Film Festival official Facebook page)

(5 College Film Festival Official Facebook Page)

While I appreciate that every piece of art is unique, I learned one singular thing holds true for all films at the Five College Student Film and Video Festival this past Friday; they have the commanding potential to show anything from a person’s imagination, social and political views, to their deepest fears – in a matter of minutes.

All of these things I learned in three short, mesmerizing hours.

The festival began at 7 p.m. in the Flavin Auditorium in the Isenberg School of Management, and consisted of submissions from 23 of the most promising filmmaking students from the Five Colleges: Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts.

Entry categories for the festival include “documentary, experimental, narrative, animation, dance on camera, and a separate graduate category,” with awards given to the best of each category.

Best of UMass

Local filmmaker and recent UMass graduate Chelsie Field took home two awards for her film “One Day,” winning both best of UMass and best narrative.

“One Day” tells the story of a survivor of sexual assault in the aftermath of that traumatic ordeal. The film shows the burden that survivors may carry and try to move on from. Along the course of a single day, the main character finds a sense of solidarity that helps her go forward.

Best of Amherst

Letícia Rossi dos Santos’ five minute long narrative film “Pickpocketing,” was about a college girl who receives a glove with magic pickpocketing powers in the mail, won the Best of Amherst category.

The film offered a humorous depiction of the filmmaker’s imagination and lack of trust for fantastical things, while offering an insight into their view on the world and the trickery of pickpocketing.

Best of Hampshire

Best of Hampshire was awarded to Hampshire College student Victoria Briggs, for the film “Through the Roses,” which provided a girls poetic acceptance of her chronic plaque psoriasis and its sensitivities similar to that of a rose garden.

Best of Mount Holyoke

The 10-minute long “Voices of 01040: Part 1” by Mount Holyoke College student Cheryl O’Connell, won the “Best of Mount Holyoke” category.

Her documentary about the Holyoke public school system’s oppression against minorities, inefficient education system and preteen activism was both eye opening and impressive.

Best of Smith

“The Smiffenpoofs: A History of Female A Cappella,” by Abbie Duquette won the “Best of Smith College” category after revealing the charismatic sisterhood of the oldest female collegiate a cappella group, the Smiffenpoofs.

Through live interviews with current “Poofs,” digital recordings of the groups past and present repertoire and timeless photographs, the energy of a cappella was truly captured.

Best of genre

“Plus Grand Que Moi” by Hampshire College student Rose Carr won Best of Animation for her expression of solidarity through the actions of her explorative robot protagonist.

Hampshire College student Ellen Oliver won the Best Dance on Camera category for her film “In the Thick of the Middle.”

This six-minute film contained both the presence of dancing and red tomato like balls – in no particular order.

“New Daughters” by Smith College student Elizabeth Walber won the Best Documentary category. Her film focused on a group of female college students’ open discussion on sex working and its stereotypes and misconceptions from a perspective of new age feminism and sexual understanding.

“Descent,” by Hampshire College student Poppy Grace Wanamaker, won both Best Experimental and Best of Festival. The film focuses on the inward, simultaneous struggle of understanding a family member’s descent into Alzheimer’s disease and a fragile to nonexistent memory, and the understanding of oneself during young adulthood.

The Five College Film Festival and its participants as a whole mastered the element of surprise, realism, activism, imagination, poetic justice and so much more. The event has provided students from the Five Colleges a way to showcase their original work since its founding in 1994.

Gina Lopez can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @gina_lopezz.

About the Writer
Gina Lopez, Arts Editor

Gina Lopez was the arts editor for the 2017-18 academic year. She’d been writing for the Collegian for two years leading up to that about all things...

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