Only the movies are silent at the Reel Loud Film Festival.
The 10th annual student film festival, which has attracted sold-out crowds for the last six years, is a collection of 16-mm short films produced by UCSB students. Music from live bands will accompany the films, and between screenings Naked Voices and other bands take the stage. Thirteen students will present their work at the festival on May 31 at 8 p.m. in Campbell Hall. Tickets can be purchased pre-sale for $6 at the Film Studies Dept. in Ellison Hall or can be bought for $8 at the door.
“It is not about outdoing last year’s festival but about taking a different style,” said Reel Loud director Deborah Tarica.
Senior Film Studies major Peter Huntley contributed one of the evening’s highlights, a controversial piece entitled “Mondo Abortion Musical!,” in which a car accident is reenacted. Including images of bloody and aggressive girls, Huntley hopes his $400 film will gain the audience’s attention and emotions.
“[This piece] might piss people off because of the Attias case,” said Huntley, who said he likes to provoke controversy with his films. “It is difficult for students to watch student films, especially silent ones.”
“Volleybum,” by junior film studies major Jeff Kent, features exploding volleyballs. Kent created his film by cutting clips he liked from 16 mm films he bought on eBay. While the average Reel Loud film costs about $400 to produce, Kent made one of the cheapest contributions ever, at a cost of $70.
Ryan Crego will present “This is Creation,” an animated film about religion and spirituality. Crego received the 2001 Golden Reel Award, which is given to one outstanding filmmaker each year. Crego spent four 12- to 13-hour days shooting for 20 to 30 seconds of footage. His own band, “Whask Static,” will accompany him by playing an original song written especially for his film.
“I think it will run smoothly,” he said. “It will be a fun time.”
This year the Reel Loud committee will be awarding the Esteemed Alumni Award to Scott Frank. Frank is an Academy Award Nominee who is best known for writing Little Man Tate, Out of Sight, Get Shorty and his current project, Minority Report, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise.
“Frank is an inspiration to all UCSB filmmakers,” said Tarica.
The film department offers various classes where the students are able to apply what they learn by producing a film as a final project; this gives film majors many opportunities to participate and gain experience in filmmaking. UCSB also has the largest critical studies faculty in the country
“What makes the film department at UCSB unique is that it is a program that teaches history, theory and criticism,” department chair Janet Walker said. “This is better than a trade school because it gives the students more expertise to succeed in the industry.”
Currently, the Film Studies Dept. is working on a proposal to create a graduate program at UCSB and is trying to raise $10 million to build the Center for Film, Television and News Media. The department just recently received an anonymous donation of $2.5 million. If the money is raised, construction will begin in the year 2007.
“With so many artists living in the Santa Barbara area,” Walker said, “there is a lot of interest and support to build the center.”