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MFA film students (left to right) Tabitha Kennedy, Logan Marshall, Eddie Loupe, Anil Srivastha, Hannah Espia, Edit Jakab and Graham Holford stand in front of The Athena Cinema holding up their posters on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.

Film students premiere their movies in free screening to public

The Ohio University Master of Fine Arts film students will bring their movies to the Athens big screen.

OU third-year MFA students will premiere their films they made during their second year at the Athena Cinema, 20 S. Court St., a free screening open to the public. An MFA in film is a three-year program where students have the ability to specialize in specific tracks, such as directing, editing and producing. 

The students have worked on their films since last year, and have spent the time since refining and editing them in preparation for the premiere. The students were also encouraged to collaborate on each other’s films, allowing them to exercise different roles. Ten films will be shown on Saturday, each created by the individual students who had the opportunity to develop a film from any genre and topic. The duration of the films are 10-20 minutes long.

Tabitha Kennedy, a graduate student studying film, explained that her film, ‘Parared’, explores the ideas of virtual reality in a traditional film setting, while still utilizing elements of VR, such as point of view and frame size. Kennedy said she combined her interest in VR with the subject of mental illness to construct the plot of her film. 

“Characters get to experience a take on ‘The Ultimate Display,’” Kennedy said. “It’s a one of a kind game where they get to do anything they want to in the world. The main character’s best friend takes him there to try to get over his depression and you’ll see why and how it happens.”

Kennedy noted that her interest in film was a natural progression, and that the field encompassed a multitude of art forms that she aspired to create. 

“I’ve always been an artist with traditional and digital drawing, and animating, and I always felt like film was the highest level of art to do,” Kennedy said. “When you’re a teenager and you don’t have funds to make a film, you just draw it, so that’s what I did, and now I’m here.”

Graham Holford, a graduate student studying film, described his film as an observation of different societies, as his plot explores the perception of his characters’ relationship. 

The inspiration for Holford’s film was greatly influenced by the societies he has observed, both in Athens and in other countries in which he has lived. 

“I have lived in a couple of different continents and so the feelings of having to adapt to a new climate and culture was one of those things that inspired the idea,” Holford said. “I love the idea that America is so vast that you could have these little off-the-grid communities where you could be almost an immigrant in your own town.”

Edit Jakab, a graduate student studying film, discovered her infatuation for the process and decided to begin making movies herself. Her current film, ‘In Praise of Angela’, is a narrative that was also greatly influenced by her surroundings. 

“My film really is a satirical ode to the Midwest,” Jakab said. “I’ve lived in Bloomington, Indiana and the time that I’ve spent both there and here has made me want to pay homage to this region. There was one distinct characteristic that I found through being in the Midwest that’s present within every man, and I used that characteristic for the protagonist of my film.”

Eddie Loupe, a graduate student studying film, created his film about a dying old man and the conversations he has with the nurse taking care of him. Loupe conjured the idea nearly three years ago, and said the process building up to Saturday’s premiere has consisted of constant revisions. 

“Up to the screening, it’s almost a year long process of editing,” Loupe said. “Continuously showing it to other students and faculty, and them just constantly picking at it and trying to push it this way or that way, and there are some frictions and shoulders that get bruised. but it’s all for the improvement of the films.”

After the screening, Loupe noted many students will aim to enter their films in festivals and expose their sophisticated work to a larger audience. 

“Having work at this level is supposed to open up doors,” Loupe said. “Especially of the production quality that we’re supposed to be going toward, when you come and watch one of these movies at this stage, it’s supposed to look and sound, and hopefully feel just like a real movie that someone would pay money to see.”

Regardless of what success may follow after the screening, Jakab thinks the ability to share it with others makes the harrowing process of filmmaking rewarding. 

“It’s so exciting to share something like this, and show it to the world in whatever capacity,” Jakab said. “On screen, film is glamorous. But, the work that goes into it involves a lot of suffering--it’s an emotional, physical and mental strain on you. But, being able to share it means so much because making films truly is my favorite thing to do.”


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