Argo wants to highlight student filmmakers and provide an opportunity for them to create. Argo is a short film streaming platform that allows filmmakers and film-watchers alike to connect, discuss and create. The platform streams a diverse selection of short films from around the world.
Argo’s mission is to “change the game for the short film industry by showcasing and creating a pathway for filmmakers and short film brands to monetize their work and showcase it via our diverse Argo community."
In alignment with their mission, Argo is launching their first-ever student-focused short film fest called SHORTS. Full-time undergraduate or graduate students as of Jan. 1, 2021, or graduates within the last two years are invited to participate. The film must be 15 minutes or less and the deadline to submit is Feb. 28.
After submission, Argo curators review and select 30 films. Then, the movies are uploaded onto Argo's streaming platform and the public is welcomed to vote for their favorites. Winners will receive cash prizes, equipment and a spot in their SHORTS winner screenings.
Eitan Palmer, a freshman studying Film Tutorial, feels film festivals are more important now than ever.
“I think film festivals have always served an important role in showcasing films you may not have seen in an ordinary theatre, and in bringing a community of filmmakers and film fans together,” Palmer said in a message. “The latter is obviously harder to do during the pandemic, but I hope things like virtual film festivals will still let lesser-known filmmakers have a voice and get their projects out there.”
However, finding a creative flow can be challenging for filmmakers during a pandemic. With the excess of free time during quarantine, it can be hard to feel productive.
Harlan Friedman-Romell, a sophomore studying integrated media, said the coronavirus has given him more time to sit down and write, but has posed many restrictions due to safety and logistical concerns. He completed a feature film script throughout the duration of the coronavirus and feels that now more than ever it’s important for students to share their work.
“We don't have as many resources or opportunities to make exactly what we want to make,” Friedman-Romell said in a message. “These fests geared towards students are good and inspiring, knowing that we'll eventually return to a more normal filmmaking environment. I've been on screening teams for two festivals this year and it's great to see that people are still being creative and producing media during this time."
On Argo's website, they express excitement saying, "At Argo, we prioritize representation in film: both on the screen and within the production process. Student filmmakers are no exception, and we're thrilled to put student's creative work in front of hundreds of thousands of ‘eyeballs’ across the globe - an unmatched opportunity that we're excited to offer these young creatives."
The pandemic has changed the ways of film production and will continue to affect the future. Lucas Strunc, a freshman studying media arts production, has been making films his whole life. Strunc believes the pandemic will not stop students from positively impacting the future of the film industry.
"The fact that we're forced to be unusually resourceful at such a formative stage in our careers will change the way we think about filmmaking,” Strunc said in a message. “Limited crews necessitate prioritization. Virtual collaboration is hard but ultimately breeds greater communication skills. It's much harder to get money for films during economic decline, but I trust that indie filmmakers will see the other side of this."