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Sunday, 27 March, 2011 3:17 AM

49th Ann Arbor Film Festival excites young filmmakers

First-ever student film showcase was a big hit at this year's festival

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Student filmmakers were introduced on stage just before the start of the screenings.

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

|

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A new student film showcase was added to the 49th Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF). Student productions are not new to the AAFF, however, it is the first time that these movies were shown back-to-back. The works were created by young filmmakers at the University of Michigan, Bowling Green State University, College for Creative Studies, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Wayne State University and Oakland Community College.

A few hundred people showed up to see the student films on Wednesday afternoon at the Michigan Theatre. Twelve motion pictures by young filmmakers were shown back-to-back. Some were short as two minutes long while others were 13 minutes in length.

Andrew Reaume, a student at Eastern Michigan University, showed his film, Perception. It is two minutes long and it was completed in 2009.

"It's a short film basically exploring the idea of perception and how it can be altered," Reaume said. "It was shot in a variety of different areas--mostly Ypsilanti, Lake Erie. I hadn't found out since not too long ago. One of my professors from school submitted the film. I guess it got in, but it only got sent to my old school e-mail, which I hadn't checked in like months. I didn't find out until I randomly ran into the film director. It was cool, really, really surprising. I might try submitting to other film festivals. I graduated last summer. I am working on a few things, doing some freelance work on writing a short film, doing some music videos."

Zeke Burhans, a Washtenaw Community College student, screened his motion picture, Humane Society. It is nine minutes in length and it was completed in 2010.

"It's a film about a guy who works for the humane society euthanizing animals," Burhans explained. "It kind of examines the societal impact of jobs like that. The effect that it has on people that have to do it. It was shot all in Ann Arbor. I'm not taking classes right now, but that was the last place I went. My teacher actually submitted it for me and called me and told me about it. I'm going to submit it to some other festivals, South by Southwest is one on my list to do, Slamdance maybe. "

Steve Smith, a student at the College For Creative Studies, showed his film,Vismic Rhythm. It is three minutes long and it was completed in 2010.

"It's really weird and kind of trippy, I just wanted to make people happy," Steve Smith said. "I experiment a lot with compression artifacting, which is the stuff you get when your internet video is [messed] up and doesn't really load. I experimented with controlling that and trying to harness the downfalls of video rather than work around it to make it look like film. I'm a junior at the College for Creative Studies. I made this a couple of months ago. It was more kind of an experiment I was working on. I did it in like a week and half so it wasn't a huge project. I was really excited, I haven't had anything in a film festival before. This is one that I really enjoy so I was kind of ecstatic."

Stewart Smith, an Oakland Community College student, screened his movie,Eli Dayton. It is six minutes in length and it was completed in 2010.

"My film is basically a profile of one of my friends, he's an avid BMX rider," Stewart Smith explained. "He's just a great character to study so I figured do a profile character study on him. I did this a year ago, winter semester, at OCC. It took about a month--four or five days of shooting and the rest post-production. It's all shot in Oakland County, mainly Auburn Hills area. My professor at Oakland contacted me. He submitted it and told me there was going to be a student section. I will just keep going and entering things in festivals. We'll see how it works out."

Other films that were shown during the Student Film Showcase:

  • Protocol of a Person by Walter Lowe III, U-M Art & Design (2010, 4 mins.)
  • Three Pilots by Philip Leaman, U-M Screen Arts & Cultures (2009, 13 mins.)
  • Couch by Aaron Brown, Bowling Green State University (2009, 5 mins.)
  • Feedback by Jamie Surgener, College for Creative Studies (2009, 5 mins.)
  • Motorcycles, Travel & Family by Jordan Zielke, U-M Art & Design (2009, 4 mins.)
  • Paint by Chad Dougherty, Wayne State University (2009, 7 mins.)
  • Untitled by John Inwood, Washtenaw Community College (2009, 7 mins.)
  • It Was Romance by Brian Carbine & Zachary Blosser, Eastern Michigan University (2010, 7 mins.)

The 49th Annual Ann Arbor Film Festival wraps up today with a collection of experimental films called "What The Hell Was That?" at noon, "Dream Unveiled" at 1 p.m., "Psychydrography with Sea Salt Flower" at 1:30 p.m., "Foreign Parts" at 3 p.m., "Strange Attractors" at 3:30 p.m. and the awards programs at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets are $9 each or $7 for students, seniors and AAFF members.

For more information on the Ann Arbor Film Festival, visit www.aafilmfest.org.

Related Story: Music videos highlighted at the 2011 Ann Arbor Film Festival

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Steve Smith is a student filmmaker from the College for Creative Studies (left).

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Introductions at the first-ever Student Film Showcase at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Stewart Smith is a student filmmaker from Oakland Community College (right).

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Andrew Reaume is a student filmmaker from Eastern Michigan University (right).

 

 

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