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Student film festival features single movie

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Who would have thought a film festival could happen within the span of six minutes? The 24 Hour Film Festival, featuring a single film titled, “Reach,” proved this possible.

The 24 Hour Film Festival is an event hosted by the St. Olaf Film Production Society that gives student filmmakers the chance to team up, conceptualize, shoot, edit and produce a film together. Though the film premiere may have been brief, the production process was not. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, filmmakers had the entire day to produce their films. The final product was screened in Viking Theater on Sunday, Nov. 20.

The festival pulled a decent crowd, though significantly fewer viewers than the Production Society’s Halloworst Film Festival in October. The festival didn’t quite deserve its festival title, however. The group of ten students produced only one, nearly-three-minute film.

The film, “Reach,” totaled two minutes and 57 seconds and struck me as a creative combination of the Slenderman online game and the viral mannequin challenge. It was produced by Adam Kaiser ’19, Austin Krentz ’19, Zeos Greene ’18, Paige Dahlke ’18, Grace Fogland ’19, Kalpit Modi ’17, Chen Zhenghui ’19, Jack Schoephoerster ’19, Cookie Imperial ’19 and John Beckman ’17.

Though I couldn’t quite understand the film’s purpose, it was definitely creepy. It seemed to portray a student’s dream while they slept soundly on a couch in Regents. For the duration of the dream, characters were standing still and facing away from the camera, while a hand would occasionally reach out from the audience and attempt to grab the frozen characters. The music and camera perspective made it appear as if the audience was moving with the dreamer.

“We had no idea what it would become, but as each shot was taken, new ideas and concepts were discovered and implemented. In our last scene, we finally found some sense of resolution – at least as much resolution one can get when sending their viewers into a trippy dream world,” Dahlke said.

In the future, I’d hope that the production team might split into two or three groups to give the festival a bit more length.

The St. Olaf Film Production society is a student-run organization that encourages student film making and pursuit of the film studies concentration.

“We facilitate networking among students in all aspects of the movie making process, including acting, composing, screen writing, editing, producing, directing and filming,” their website reads. “We do our best to provide means for student filmmakers to gain experience through competition, workshops and group projects.”

If you’re interested in filmmaking, participating in next year’s 24 Hour Film Festival, or another of the Production Society’s film festivals, feel free to chat with the student organization’s co-presidents, Dahlke and Schoephoerster.

whitfo1@stolaf.edu