Student short films screened at 2015 BGSU Film and Media Festival

By Annie Furia and By Annie Furia

Students gathered in the Gish Theater Sunday evening as awards were presented for the end of the 2015 BGSU Film and Media Festival.

“It’s nice to be recognized,” said Nicholas DiVivo, who won Best Experimental for his film “The Black Gen(d)eration.” However, DiVivo, treasurer of festival presenter BG Reel Productions, added that getting his work screened was his main focus.

President of BG Reel Productions Desiree Holton agreed that the opportunity to get work viewed outweighed the awards.

“While prizes are nice, eyes are way more important,”

she said.

Andy Czech, secretary of BG Reel and the University Film Organization, said the festival provides a good place to get exposure.

“It’s our largest festival of the year, so it provides … a very wide opportunity,” he said. “You draw in a large group of people from everywhere around campus.”

The near 50 films screened over the weekend were judged by a panel of three film professionals. They were Adam White, director of photography and steadicam/camera operator at Hemlock Films; Dyrk Ashton, assistant professor of film studies at the University of Toledo and Joe Siebert, a filmmaker and editor.

The judges declined to award the “Best Of” award to either of the two films submitted in the documentary


Holton read a statement from the judges about this decision during the awards presentations. They wrote, “We the judges have decided that we cannot in good conscience award a top honor in this category.”

Holton said this hasn’t happened before in her time with the festival, but “we [BG Reel] give our judges a lot of freedom in how they want to shape the awards.” For example, honorable mentions only began last year because the judging panel requested that

they be added.

“They don’t have to give [an award] if they don’t feel it’s deserving,” Holton said.

Holton said it is significant that the judges are professionals in the industry who come from outside the University.

“The judges are always telling us, this is work that can compete outside the University,” she said. “There’s so much talent here.”

As many of the films had already been screened at the 48-Hour Film Festival, Holton said her favorite part of the Film and Media Festival is the films that are “getting their first eyes.”

“It’s really important for anyone who’s making art to have that art be viewed,”

she said.

Holton said the other part of the festival she enjoys is “the camaraderie of being in the theater all weekend together and just hanging out and watching movies and

celebrating the media.”

Czech said he likes to see what films people decide

to make.

“It’s really interesting to see what goes on in people’s heads,” Czech said.

DiVivo, a senior, said the festival involves a lot of memories.

“It’s very nostalgic this year because it’s my last year,” he said, adding that he has been “looking back and thinking about all the films I’ve made with my friends.”