A semester’s worth of work culminated at the Maryland Filmmakers’ Club Film Festival in the Ulrich Recital Hall in Tawes Hall Saturday.

Students presented 11 films, all completely made and starred in by members of the Maryland Film Club.

Senior film studies major and vice president of the Maryland Filmmakers club Ruby Nitzberg described the semester-long process students went through to get their final product. The club matches experienced filmmakers with “people who have never touched a camera before in their life” and places them together on crews to make short films.

Between pitching the story ideas to other members of the club, getting approval, writing it, shooting and editing, Nitzberg said the films usually take three to four months to complete, all to be presented at the festival.

Nitzberg said this is the festival’s sixth year. She also said the film festival gives people who usually don’t have the opportunity, to dip their feet into film production and what goes into it.

“I think as much as I love our major, there’s not really any other opportunity for production experience on campus and so I think a place like this for people who are interested in film as an art or an industry to grow and learn and then to celebrate themselves at the end of the semester, I think, is really valuable,” she said.

This year’s festival featured the first ever documentary. It focused on the story of two rape survivors on campus. The ten other films ranged from a comedy called The Guy Who Leapt Across Time, a film about a man who time travels from an alternate universe to save his friends from an avocado-eating murderer, to Six Sessions, a film about a man going to therapy to cope with his missing wife, only for the audience to later find out he is keeping her tied up in their basement.

Psychology and theatre major Shuping Yang said seeing her first film Grammar Ain’t No Grandma on screen was “amazing.”

“Everyone is so supportive, my friends, my crew members,” Yang said. “I could never be here without their help … and I loved when people laughed, my goal was achieved.”

She said her film was inspired by an academic advisor she had who said he always wanted to make a film about a grumpy advisor being rude to a foreign student, but later needing to pass a class taught by the same student and learning how have humility again.

Yang said the festival gives fellow filmmakers a chance to see, build off of and be inspired by each other’s work.  

“I learned so much from watching other people’s films and it’s so exciting,” Yang said. “It’s so nice we have the chance to do this.”

The winner of audience choice award for the night was Inhale/Exhale, which detailed two addicts who become dependent on each other during an attempt at sobriety, only to go back to square one. The movie also won the award for best editing and score.

“Events like this are important because I think film is really important … the film major is really new here and appreciation of film as something really powerful is new here,” Nitzberg said.

Featured Photo Credit: Film Festival Judges and Alumni of the class of 2015 Theatre major Aidan Walsh (center) and English and Film Studies double major Zack Burkett laugh during the Film Festival in Ulrich Hall on April 30, 2016. (Jack Angelo/Bloc Reporter)

WritersBloc_Headshots_12Kira Sansone is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at ksansone@terpmail.umd.edu.


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