This Wednesday, student filmmakers and movie lovers alike will all descend upon the Freeman Auditorium in the Newcomb Art Building to experience Tulane’s second annual Student Film Festival. The event will be coming to campus on April 19th, and is the brainchild of Professor Jolene Pinder and her SLAM Film Festival class, which allows students to gain hands-on experience by organizing a festival from scratch.
“Our favorite part of putting the festival together has been getting to collaborate with our whole class,” said Emily Schweitzer, one of the students who is helping to organize the film festival. “Putting on this festival is really a team effort and we have met so many people from across different majors and backgrounds.”
Students from Professor Pinder’s class worked in PR roles, marketing, graphic design, sponsorships, and curation in order to pull the festival together. Thus, this festival is the grand finale of lots of hard work done throughout the semester.
“I think my favorite part about putting together the festival this year has been witnessing how it is growing and expanding based on student interest and insights,” said Professor Pinder. “Last year, we executed the festival on a shoestring budget. This year, the Sponsorships + Partnerships Committee wrote successful grant applications and solicited support from local businesses which resulted in a more than tripling of our event budget. It has really made for a much more professional event that includes more benefits for both audiences and participating filmmakers.”
It is free to attend the festival, no matter if you are a student, Tulane affiliated, or simply a film fan from around New Orleans.
“The festival is a great way to support artists in the community,” said Emily. “People should come not only because it will be fun but because there are so many great films that will be presented that the students of Tulane have been working so hard on!”
At last year’s film festival, five films received over $1,000 in prizes, and the competition remains stiff in 2023. This year, the film festival will have a lineup of 21 different films. The first screening will begin at 5:30pm and the second screening will begin at 7:45pm, both consisting of a different line up of student films.
“Student filmmakers will have a chance to walk the red carpet before the event,” said Professor Pinder. “Each program will include Q+A with the featured filmmakers. The film lineup boasts something for every kind of audience member: comedy, horror, documentary, experimental — even a musical this year!”
There will also be free food provided by Pizza Delicious, Plum St. snowballs, aAHA Sparkling Water…and of course, copious amounts of popcorn for your enjoyment, so it’s truly a win-win for everyone. There will also be door prizes from Cane’s, so you won’t want to miss the festival. You get to see some wonderful student made films and participants get to show off their hard work to the community.
“I cannot emphasize how important it is for young filmmakers to have experiences to share their work with audiences. We make sense of our world through stories and storytelling — stories bring us together,” said Professor Pinder.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. The students in charge of this fantastic festival are sure to provide some quality entertainment for your Wednesday night.
“The students in the class (from SLAM, Film Studies, and DMP) are showcasing their work. Planning, curating and executing a large-scale event like this is a massive undertaking,” Professor Pinder added.
There is currently a GoFundMe active to raise money for the grand prize winner, so if you have anything to spare, show the hard working filmmakers of Tulane University some love and donate what you can. Regardless, the festival is sure to have you inspired by the creators of our campus and even more excited for next year’s festival.
“It’s gonna be a hoot, it’s gonna be a holler, it’s gonna be the peak of your human lives,” said Aidan Levyne, who is a part of the festival’s PR Committee. “It all goes downhill after the Festival.”
Featured image via Mercedes Ohlen.
Mercedes was The Crescent’s Editor-in-Chief from 2022-2023. She graduated from Tulane with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She enjoys going to the movies, fashion, and writing about the great city of New Orleans. She will be pursuing a career lifestyle journalism, publishing, or a job within comedy upon her graduation from Tulane. No topic is too obscure, and no story too niche. Roll Wave!