The sound of silence will reverberate throughout Campbell Hall tonight when the curtains rise for the 17th annual Reel Loud Film Festival.

Hosted by the Film & Media Studies Dept., the event – themed “Past, Present and Future in Cinema” – will begin at 8 p.m. and screen exclusively student-produced silent films. Each 16 mm film is accompanied by live musical performances and runs under six and a half minutes long.

Tickets are currently available at the Associated Students ticket office for $10, or $12 at the door. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to UCSB’s Counseling and Career Services.

The audience will be treated to an assorted lineup of entertainment spanning several mediums, including short movies, live musical acts and on-stage spoken-word presentations. At the end of the event, the featured films will be judged by a panel that includes UCSB Theater and Dance lecturer Sage Parker-Lang and former “Dawson’s Creek” director Perry Lang, among others.

Rachel Hommel, a Reel Loud organizer and fourth-year film studies major, said the festival will debut 13 original silent films spliced with various artistic and musical performances.

“We tried to get as many quality films as we could in the three-hour time span we have,” Hommel said. “We just wanted to make sure we had a diverse lineup.”

The event, featuring films shot exclusively in 16 mm format, seeks to highlight a return to traditional filmmaking techniques. All entries were complied without the assistance of digital processing or computers and were limited to six and a half minutes in duration, including credits.

Hommel said the festival selection committee – composed predominantly of film studies majors – reviewed 20 applicants this year. Before making the final decision, Hommel said the group judged the editing method, moviemaking procedure and overall quality of each submission.

“It was a whole-day process to consider what was going to be shown,” Hommel said.

Ryan Turner, a first-year film studies major, said his submission – entitled “Toilet Paper Caper” – involved extensive collaboration, ultimately taking over a month to film, compile and edit.

“After about four weekends of filming… we were finally done [with the film],” Turner said. “Then we had to go get the musicians we picked out earlier and give them a digital copy of our movie.”

Other films premiering tonight will include “Natty Light Year,” “NecroBiosis,” “Jesus Blues,” “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Jerkyll,” “Simplicity,” “Motel,” “Doodle, Twigs and Tracks,” “BeautyVulgarity,” “Mustache Maria,” “Just In Case” and “Limb Jam.”

The event will also see individual performances by AJAO, Raíces de mi Tierra, Sean McCue, the Polynesian Dance Group and Brightmillion.

Additionally, prior to the show, attendees can browse a showcase of student artwork that will be on display outside Campbell Hall from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.