A UCSB tradition will reel students in with music, films and ninjas tonight at Campbell Hall.
The 14th annual Reel Loud Film Festival will feature 13 student-made silent films accompanied by live musical performances. The event’s organizers selected the movies, each of which is 6 1/2 minutes long, from an undisclosed number of applicants. In addition, UCSB’s all-male a capella group Brothas From Otha Mothas and local band the Hairbrain Scheme — which opened for Associated Students Program Board’s Extravaganza — will entertain the crowd between films. Ryland Aldrich, Reel Loud committee chair, said attendees can purchase tickets for $8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today in the Buchanan Hall courtyard and for $10 tonight when the doors open at 7:30 at Campbell Hall.
Aldrich said he recommends that students and visitors buy tickets early, as he expects the roughly 850-person venue to sell out quickly.
A group of film studies majors founded Reel Loud 14 years ago to recreate and revisit the spirit of the early 1900s silent film and Vaudeville era, Publicity Coordinator Brett Service said. The festival is unique in that it requires entrants to produce films in the older 16 mm film format despite advances in digital film recording technology, he said.
“The amount of extra time and effort put into working with actual film as opposed to video really comes across in the final product,” Service said. “[It] really attests to the commitment and creativity of the filmmakers.”
Sara Iyer, a first-year film studies major and one of the festival’s filmmakers, said meeting the format requirements was a time-consuming but worthwhile challenge. She said it took her almost two months to complete her film, “The Ultimate Gauntlet.”
“Working with 16 mm film is a lot of fun,” Iyer said. “Many people prefer digital editing, which is easier to use, but the experience of being so connected to the film and so in touch with it is something that computer editing will never be able to do.”
Iyer said her film is an intense, action-packed martial arts film that will be accompanied by music from Fever Sleeves, a San Diego-based rock band.
“‘The Ultimate Gauntlet’ is about a ninja’s quest for revenge against rival ninjas,” she said. “It may sound absurd, but it’s very beautiful and touching, and also filled with insane action sequences. … The film and the music not only complement each other, but they are specifically made for each other, down to the smallest detail.”
However, Quinn Moran, a fourth-year film studies major, said the music for his film “Coming Up Next” may be problematic, as the musicians providing the score have never met. Despite this, he said participating in the festival has given him valuable experience.
“Reel Loud provides filmmakers a lot of opportunities,” Moran said. “Students who may not have otherwise been able to publicly present their work are now able to.”
“Coming Up Next” centers on the life of an antisocial security guard who interprets the world as a series of television shows, Moran said.
Aldrich said festival judges — including film studies professors, graduates and a local filmmaker – will present the Golden Reel Award for best film at the conclusion of the night’s events. However, audience members will vote to determine which entry wins the Golden Clapboard Award. Festival organizers will also present an achievement award to a graduate of the Film Studies Dept., he said.
Iyer said winning was not a top priority for her.
“As the say at the Academy Awards, ‘We’re just happy to be nominated,'” she said.