By Taylor Roar

Directors, casts, and crew-members of the Maryland Filmmakers Club gathered in Charles Carroll Ballroom Friday to showcase all the film projects they created this semester.

This semester, the club showed about ten films. Each film had a unique style, reflecting the students who worked on it. Some projects stuck to traditional filming methods, using purely videography and the normal voices of actors, while others delved into more artistic methods, using green screens and animations to create the stories.

Freshman economics major Arsalan Babar said he was surprised to find out the club would allow him to pitch and create his idea, even though he is a freshman.

Babar directed a film called “Art Vox”, meaning art voice when translated from Latin. He first got the concept for his short film when he found out his new college roommate did not speak English as his first language. Babar said he wanted to capture the feeling his roommate must’ve had.

“I wanted to make a film that expresses what it is like to be on this huge campus and not speak English,” said Babar.

Babar’s short film followed a girl who never spoke to anyone on campus because of the language barrier. People began to judge her because she did not respond properly when they spoke to her. When one of her floormates puts a whiteboard outside of their room, the girl discovers she can express what she wants to say by drawing. That’s where the film got its name – art voice.

Nil Patel, a freshman aerospace engineering major made “Art Vox” was his favorite film of the night. The concept was interesting because he never thought of exchange students in the way Babar presented it, said Patel.

Not all of the films had the same serious connotation, however.

A couple of directors took a stab at comedic relief. One film, “Chunch v. Gunch” was about two incompetent spies who set out to expose a treasonous member of their spy ring. Throughout the film, the misfits ridiculously stumble over each other, ultimately failing to reach their objective.

On the other side of the spectrum, a film called “The Commuter” was a piece you might find in an art museum. There were no words, but rather a series of abstract clips, photos, and sounds. Pieces like this, and a few others, left some audience members stumped as to what they mean.

Freshman computer science major Shane Dugan said that while he found the show to be interesting, “The concepts were pretty hard to follow.”

A student visiting from Montgomery College, Kia Ansah, agreed with Dugan. Ansah said her favorite film was “Toothbrush” – one of the more traditional ones. In the other films, “I didn’t get some of the purposes,” said Ansah.

Next semester, the process will start all over again with new pitches and films.

The club is open to all students interested in the filmmaking process, including producing, directing, filming, acting in, or editing films, according to the club’s website. All stages of filmmaking are completely student-run, from the original pitches that are submitted, all the way down to the final editing. Pitch meetings will be announced at the beginning of next semester.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kayla- Jane Barrie’s Flickr page.

Taylor Roar is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at troar@terpmail.umd.edu.

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