Film Production Club hosts festival

Maggie Waz

The LU Film Production Club is a fairly new organization on campus, but it has already attracted a dedicated base of members and piqued the interest of students and faculty interested in cinema. This interest could be seen in the droves of people that attended the Director’s Cut Film Festival in the Wriston auditorium Wednesday, Feb. 25, an event hosted by juniors Stephen Anunson and Katie Langenfeld, the forces behind the LU Film Production Club.
The goal of this festival was to offer young directors a chance to explore the style of a director they admired. Borrowing from a director could mean anything from using similar locations, shot compositions or music to writing similar scripts and editing the film in a certain way.
The students who participated in this festival were clearly avid fans of the directors they chose. Films by Anunson, freshmen Tom Coben and Alex Kohnstamm, Chris Conrad, the RHD of Kohler, junior Molly Preston and senior Nick Stahl captured many of the signature “moves” of much-admired directors. Conrad’s animated piece was particularly striking because of its unconventional narrative and odd visual style.
The others were live-action pieces that borrowed heavily from a canon of directors particularly familiar to this generation of students. Anunson’s piece, loosely based on Michel Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” constructed a world that seemed to exist only in the minds of the characters. Coben and Kohnstamm based their film on the twisted style of Quentin Tarantino. Preston’s film told the story of three sisters with preoccupations similar to the siblings in Wes Anderson’s “The Royal Tenenbaums.” As a slight departure from these films, Stahl produced a relatively short two-part piece that effectively communicated the unnerving style of David Lynch.
The only rough spot in the evening was the projection of junior Nicholas Miller’s piece. Unfortunately, a problem with the DVD prevented his film from playing, which was immensely frustrating. Hopefully Miller’s homage to Frank Miller can be shown before the official screening of spring term’s 48-hour Film Festival submissions.
Sophomore Micah Paisner, a member of the LU Film Production Club and filmmaker, was very pleased with the turnout. “I was impressed with how well the club advertised for this festival and with the fact that people showed up at all this late in the term. I’d like to see this kind of attendance hold up.” While Paisner did not submit a film to this festival, he did host a screening of his 50-minute film “Standstill” earlier in the term.
Paisner added that the turnout for the Director’s Cut Film Festival might be due to its format, in which several people were involved in the production of each film. Paisner hopes that there will be more frequent screenings of individual student work in an attempt to reinforce Film Production Club’s presence on campus. Making film viewing a weekly or bi-weekly event would also allow Lawrence’s filmmakers a chance to showcase their work more than once a term, dealing with subjects that may not be encompassed in the film festivals’ themes.