UCSB’s 20th annual Reel Loud Silent Film Festival took place in front of a sold-out crowd in Campbell Hall last Friday, showcasing silent student productions shot on 16mm film accompanied by live music.

“Pass the Parcel,” a treacherous foray into the Australian outback directed by Christopher Witschy and produced by Kasey Lubin, was honored with Audience Choice, Best Editing and Best Cinematography. “Legend of Lotus Castle,” a tale of a man’s mission to save his brother’s life, directed and produced by Nelson Galán, was awarded the Golden Reel for best overall film. “Bicycle Day,” depicting an afternoon of Isla Vista life, won Best Musical Accompaniment, which was performed by local band Finger Folk.

According to Festival Director Nadia Ismail, a fourth-year English and film & media studies major, this year’s festival saw the largest crowd of the past six years.

“When the producer [Sahar Vahedi] told me, ‘Nadia, they’re turning people away,’ it was the best feeling in the world,” Ismail said. “We hadn’t anticipated that we were going to sell out because it’s very difficult to do.”

The large turnout provided students a vital opportunity to showcase the talent housed in the Film & Media Studies Dept., Ismail said.

“I feel like I succeeded in the sense that I allowed my peers to have the ability to show their work to as many people as possible — that’s why I wanted to sell out,” Ismail said. “It’s such a collaboration, from the crew who puts the show on, to the professors who inspire students, to the filmmakers who have the energy and drive to actually make something, as well as the musicians who come out and support the films.”

See a full review of the Reel Loud Silent Film Festival in this Thursday’s edition of Artsweek.


—Staff Report