It must have been four years ago when the Los Angeles Times published an article by an angered parent who denounced the UCSB Film Studies Dept. The article argued that our beloved film program was failing to prepare graduates for work in the film industry by teaching a liberal amount of film theory, among other things. The article went on to attack Film Studies for not providing enough opportunities for students to make films during their time here. In order to prove that wrong, as well as to show how bad-ass the Film Studies Dept. is, some of UCSB’s best and brightest have volunteered their movies in the first-ever UCSB Student Film Showcase.

The Student Film Showcase is, in essence, the cooperative effort of many parties. However, if a mastermind had to be singled out for when things go horribly, horribly wrong, it would have to be the president of the Filmmaker’s Production Co-op, Justin Matson, and Reel Loud’s festival producer, Emily Lu. The objective is to gather together some of the work made by UCSB students – film majors or otherwise – to show what a so-called nonproduction school is capable of producing. In addition, the Student Film Showcase provides an opportunity outside the regular forums to show work in a celebrative atmosphere.

Among the features will be a documentary on a Holocaust survivor who now lives in Santa Barbara, select movies from the “10-10-10” student film competition and a music video made for the Kissing Tigers band. Sure to be a crowd favorite is the short entitled “Best Served Cold”. This silent Claymation film won the Reel Loud competition last year and will be screening again in the showcase. The filmmakers themselves should be on hand to talk about their flicks as well as discuss what it means to be a student filmmaker. Between the laughter and tears, a good time shouldn’t be hard to find.

Think of the Student Film Showcase as a “Braveheart”-esque freedom yell as well as a giant thumb in the eye of all those skeptics of the Film Studies Dept. The raw imagination and personal quality of these films is something that gets lost in the bureaucracy of mainstream cinema. This is your opportunity to see some movies that remind us that film is art first and entertainment second. The showcase has its debut this Saturday in I.V. Theater at 7:30 p.m. A big thanks and good luck goes out to Emily and Justin, who will certainly have their hands full.