Film Club Brings Film Festival to Campus

Here in New York, there are many film festivals that provide great opportunities for film lovers to enjoy new movies and film makers to showcase their work. Tribeca, the New York Film Festival, and Hayden Films International Film Festival are all major festivals that happen right in New York City. However, there is also another film festival that’s even closer to the college where one can enjoy new films. Here at WCC, the Film Club annually hosts the WCC Film Festival, where films made by WCC students are showcased.

This year, the festival took place in the Gateway Center on April 4, with the reception starting at 5 p.m. The screenings began around 6 and by beginning of the movies, the auditorium was packed with many people having to stand in the back to watch. The festival showcased a total of 21 movies from three categories: Self-Portraits, Documentaries, and Fiction. The tone of these movies were all radically different though. The movies ranged from the fiction “Dynamic Dating,” a comedy about a superhero who goes on a blind date, to “Shadow,” a dramatic fiction about a girl who gets raped at a party.

The audience had positive reactions to all the films, with all of them receiving applause. A common reaction from those who attended was that the films were all great and those who attended previous festivals even said that the movies get better each year. Craig Padawer, the film professor who helped put the event together, called the movies this year “a really good crop” and said this was “one of the strongest years.” He said the idea behind the festival “was to give student filmmakers a venue.”

Yamil Fuller, the President of the Film Club and director of the documentary “Yonkers,” said “everyone’s work is beautiful.” He was thankful for the audience, saying “the vibe is very supportive.” Ben Martinez, one of the stars of the fiction “Me, Myself, And I,” praised the festival and the movies that were shown, saying “it’s good for them to get recognition.”

At the end, an award ceremony was held, with a total of ten awards given out for categories such as Best Sound and Best Editing. “Shadow” ended up winning Best Fiction, a choice that many in the audience applauded, and “Broken Strings,” a documentary about Jacqueline Epstein, a singer battling cancer, won Best Documentary. The film that won the most awards was “It’s Just You” a fiction about a guy who’s struggling to tell a girl how he feels about her. It won three awards for Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay, a last-minute award that was not originally planned but was decided specifically for this movie.

Jackie Caceres, director of “It’s Just You,” said she was surprised because when she first made it, she “didn’t think it was that good.” But she was thankful and said that she enjoyed the festival and that “each year it gets better.” Caitlin Golebiowski, the director of “Broken Strings,” said she was surprised when she won and she complimented the other films, saying “they were all put together nicely.” She said of the festival that “it gives students the opportunities to put their films out to everyone.”

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