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Ohio State’s first student-run film festival to feature work in a ‘visual language’

A screen shot of 'Poker Game' by Qingge GAo, a film which is set to be featured in OSU's first student-run film festival March 19 at the Gateway Film Center. Credit: Courtesy of Adam Skov

A screenshot of ‘Poker Game’ by Qingge Gao, a film which is set to be featured in OSU’s first student-run film festival March 19 at the Gateway Film Center.
Credit: Courtesy of Adam Skov

Ohio State’s first student-run filmmaking festival is set to showcase selected student directors’ ideas and artistic expressions at the Gateway Film Center.

The 10 videos to be screened Wednesday were selected out of 29 submissions by a panel of film production experts, including film studies program coordinator Matt Swift, local filmmaker Nicolette Swift and local artist Matt Yoho. The screenings are set to begin at 7 p.m.

“What set these videos apart is their ability to tell an engaging story and to rise above common technical difficulties that students have when producing films,” Matt Swift said. “The winning videos are ones that did something different and did it well.”

Three of the videos will be announced as winners of the top prizes at the festival, and five are to receive honorable mentions. The student who created the winning video will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and an additional screening of their video, which are 10 minutes or less in length, at The Gateway preceding the movie “Divergent” as well as an additional Flicks-For-Free screening, a weekly Ohio Union Activities Board-sponsored free film screening, before “American Hustle” March 26. The first-place video has already been chosen and is set to be announced at the event.

“The thing that made this film the No. 1 film is that it was beautifully shot. It was very engaging and emotional … You care about the character and what is happening,” Swift said. “It’s kind of a melodrama. Halfway through it, there was a moment when all the judges agreed we thought we might cry a little bit.”

The festival was planned through the work of three student organizations: the Film and Video Society, Mad Royal Film Society and Mosaic Magazine. The organizations intend on hosting the event annually.

Film and Video Society President and a third-year in international business Adam Skov was one of the driving forces behind creating the event.

“What I want the audience to take away, if anything, is that there is a filmmaking community at Ohio State,” Skov said. “This should be one of the ways to centralize students interested in film and showcase their creativity.”

Skov has shown a desire for this festival to succeed and has taken on a prominent role in developing it, said Diane Kollman, Mosaic Magazine’s editor-in-chief and a third-year in English and psychology.

“Adam has always been interested in hosting a student film festival and suggested that we collaborate,” Kollman said. “He’s very passionate about the project and has been such a big help with all of the promotional materials.”

The university’s first student-run film festival also aims to give students an outlet to show their films to a larger, live audience, rather than just posting them online, Skov said. It is an opportunity for these filmmakers to show their works without having grades or specific guidelines in mind, Skov said.

“Saying something with words and showing something with a video are two different things,” Skov said. “Visual language is a completely different level that could eventually communicate your message better.”

The video medium allows its users to conceive filmmaking in a variety of ways, Matt Swift said.

“My favorite part of doing this kind of thing is seeing the different kind of ways that people choose to explore this medium,” Matt Swift said. “The moving image can encompass everything: animation, documentary, humor, experimental art, etc. It’s interesting to see how these students work with that.”

Tickets to the festival are free.

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