Lights, camera, action!
By Barbara Muniz
City College of San Francisco’s Cinema Department and the Broadcast Electronic Media Arts (BEMA) presents the 7th Festival of the Moving Image (FMI) on Nov. 30, in the Roxie Theater.
The maximum length of each short film is five minutes – a stark difference from the amount of time it takes to put together a whole film project from scratch.
“We’ve been working since the beginning of the semester,” said Jason Halprin a professor from the City College cinema department, who teaches film and video production classes on the Ocean Campus .
The judges for this year’s FMI, include Halprin himself, former department chair Lidia Szaiko, whose work was featured on the PBS documentary film series “Independent Lens” and current faculty John Carlson, who has worked on countless film projects and has two Emmy awards under his belt.
The event has the support of faculty advisors professor Misha Antonich from BEMA and professor Denah Johnston, who, along with Halprin, will be hosting the festival. Halprin’s dedication to the Festival of the Moving Image demonstrates his level of his commitment and his zeal for the art of creating films.
“Both the students who have submitted and the faculty working on this year’s FMI are excited as we get down to the real work. Submissions are closed, and [the] final selections are being made right now, with the line-up slated to be announced early next week,” said Halprin.
Halprin’s sentiments echo those of Antonich, who emphasizes the importance of such event for students. “The FMI festival is a great chance for both BEMA and Cine students to meet, network and appreciate the hard work they do, in both departments,” Antonich said He went on to point out that “the vast majority of our students hold down jobs and some have families to attend to which makes such an opportunity to focus on creativity and fun all the more valuable.”
Halprin, who has taken part in many festivals over the years, enjoys seeing the expectation that the big screen can bring, “I think it’s exciting to see your work on the big screen in a theater like the Roxie. For most of our students, it’s also an opportunity to share the hard work they’ve put into their films with friends and family from outside the CCSF community,” he said.
This year’s FMI will feature films of all genres, including comedy, documentary, experimental pieces and music videos that will cover the nearly 140 minutes of screen time.
Many months of work went into producing this year’s FMI. The people who gather in front of the historical Roxie theater on Nov. 30, will help support the student filmmakers. Halprin feels that the Roxie has been a “beacon of unwavering independence, originality and integrity since 1909.”
The first FMI was first conceptualized in 2011, by then film professor Lise Swenson, who decided to put together a project where students could hone their skills with hands on experience in the craft of filmmaking. On the day of the screening a $500 scholarship will be awarded to one student. Antonich has taken part in this festival for a few years and enjoys the result that it brings to all involved, “ The past 7 years of the festival have been an enrichment for the students across both departments as well as for the departments themselves,”said Antonich.
The FMI will show 70 entries with two separate screen times at 7:00 P.M. and 9:15 P.M. To apply, the short films must have been made for a City College BEMA or Cinema class. FMI is co-sponsored by the BEMA and Cinema departments. The Strong Workforce Program and the Roxie theater were paramount in making last year’s FMI event successful. It should be exciting to see what’s in store for this year.