Student Film Festival readies for third screening

For the third year running, Fort Lewis College film students will be showcasing their semester’s work on Dec. 13 at the annual FLC Student Film Festival.

The festival was started three years ago by Kurt Lancaster, an assistant professor of English communications and film studies teacher. The festival will feature 14 short fiction films as well as four short documentaries, all done by students in Lancaster’s Video Production of Film class.

“With the festival, the students are doing something for the real world,” said Lancaster. “To me, that’s important in education – that kids get real-world experience.”

The students each had to write their own fiction pieces and were put into groups for the documentaries. Subjects for the documentaries range from a local ghost photographer to post-hurricane New Orleans. He said for most, this is the students’ first stab at filmmaking.

“It’s their first film and a chance to learn from their mistakes,” he said. “The result is sincere and honest films.”

In the past, some student films have been accepted

into the Durango Film Festival, and Lancaster expects several will be accepted into the upcoming Durango Independent Film Festival as well.

Next week’s student festival also will feature works by people other than students, including an independent film, “Defining Native America” by an Albuquerque resident, and a documentary by Lancaster, “Dream From a Red Planet: The Next Giant Leap for Humanity.”

Lancaster said the 24-minute film is rooted in the “philosophical notion of interplanetary colonization.” The film includes interviews with authors and members of the Mars Society as well as a visit to a Star Trek Convention. Lancaster said the film, which he has been working on for a year and a half, also has been submitted to the Durango Independent Film Festival.

In addition to forwarding the work of prospective filmmakers, the student festival has a social conscience. The Abbey Theatre, which is hosting the event at no cost to the film students, will donate 10 percent of proceeds from ticket sales to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

–Missy Votel