Many different film series and film festivals occur at St. Olaf throughout the year. Most film series are run by the different language departments on campus to provide students with opportunities to become more immersed in their language of study.
The French department, for example, hosts films every Tuesday and Sunday. As the semester comes to a close, the next three films include “No et moi” by Zabou Breitman, “Sans toit, ni loi” by Agnès Varda and “Jésus de Montréal” by Denys Arcand.
Other language departments, such as the Norwegian department, showcase films and TV shows like “Alt For Norge” in which Americans of Norwegian descent compete to prove how Norwegian they are so that they can meet their Norwegian relatives and win $50,000. Language departments also invite students to drive up to Minneapolis for international film festivals such as The Nordic Lights Film Festival Feb. 28-March 6 and The Minneapolis International Film Festival starting in April.
The closely intertwined English and film studies departments also bring in various film events each year. Professor of English Diana Postlethwaite, current head of the film studies department, has announced that the Ann Arbor Film Festival Traveling Tour, a festival that brings short films from around the world through the country, will return to St. Olaf over January. The English department also regularly hosts writers who are also filmmakers and occasionally screens their work on campus.
However, not all film series and festivals on campus are run or promoted by professors or departments. Several clubs on campus also put on film series, invite visiting filmmakers to campus to showcase their films and even have competitive film festivals for students to submit their own films.
These film series and festivals are organized by a variety of organizations, from social justice groups to the Sci-Fi Club, which hosts a range of films including “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” and horror films such as “Alien.” In fact, on Nov. 23 at 1:50 p.m., the Sci-Fi club is hosting the long-awaited 50th anniversary episode of “Doctor Who” in Mellby Hall’s TV lounge.
Yet another organization, the St. Olaf Film Production Society, has several festivals throughout the year in which students can participate.
“Generally, we’re most famous for the Interim Film Festival, a festival where you make a film during the month of January,” said Elena Christensen ’15, the club president. “But we also have many other festivals for students to participate in.” The most notable of these festivals include the upcoming WinterFest, a film festival that will accept submissions of short films and screenplays completed anytime from June 2013 to December 6, 2013. These films can be up to ten minutes or ten pages long and could have been created independently or through class projects.
The best way to learn about upcoming film festivals or series is to keep your eyes open for posters and email lists. There is a limited amount of publicity for many of the events despite the fact that many films are screened on a weekly basis. Also, be sure to keep your eyes and ears open because rumor has it that Carleton’s film department and St. Olaf’s film studies program may be collaborating much more this coming spring when it comes to film series screenings.