by Julia Cunningham
While only in its third year, the BAMPFA Student Committee’s Student Film Festival has quickly become a beloved event and a mainstay in the BAMPFA Student Committee’s annual lineup of events. Held for the first time in 2019 in the Barbara Osher Theater, it had to be moved online in its second year due to the pandemic, becoming the first of many BAMPFA SC events to be hosted virtually. We are excited and grateful to be able to virtually present the Student Film Festival again this year, with films curated by the BAMPFA Student Committee’s Film Subcommittee and brought to you via a beautiful website designed by UC Berkeley student Timothy Tucker.
Of course there would be no film festival without the incredible creativity of student filmmakers. This year’s lineup features 14 films created by student filmmakers from across the Bay Area. There is truly something for everyone in this lineup in terms of length, style, and content. Some films are narrative, others documentary, but many would best be described as experimental or genre-defying. Many of my personal favorite films from the lineup explore personal and vulnerable realities in a stylistically and visually potent way, such as in Dear Commuter, heart whispers, and Telepatía, but all of them achieve this in distinct ways that highlight the strength of the filmmakers’ unique voices.
While not curated around any particular theme, I think that many of the films do speak to themes of distance and reflection. Perhaps it is the events of the past year that makes it easy to project these themes onto almost any piece of media, but I also think that it speaks to the individual strength and artistry of these filmmakers that their films, even if not created in the past year, are able to sensitively yet potently resonate with our present moment. I hope you love these films as much as we do, and appreciate these incredible student artists for continuing to create and share their work during these financially, emotionally, and creatively challenging and isolating times.
A silver lining of hosting the film fest virtually is that it is available for anyone in the general public! To watch the films, check back into the BAMPFA SC website to be redirected to the official Student Film Festival website. The website will be launching this Thursday, April 8, and there will be a live conversation and Q&A with BAMPFA Student Committee members Collette Keating and Amaris L’Heureux and student filmmakers that day at 7 pm! Happy viewing!