Film Festival gives students another chance

Graphic by Penelope Taylor ’21

Graphic by Penelope Taylor ’21


“My film wasn’t good enough for the Five College Film Festival,” said Wendy Chen ’18 with an excited grin. “You’ll get to see my garbage here.”

Following the Five College Film Festival, the Mount Holyoke Film Society and Mount Holyoke Broadcasting Channel (MHBC) hosted their own festival on March 2.  The Mount Holyoke Film Festival aimed to showcase the works of students who were not accepted to the larger festival or did not submit entries. The event is a previously forgotten Mount Holyoke tradition: “The film festival has not been around here for over two years,” said Elizabeth Gottshall ’18, director of the Film Society. “I was approached by the members of [MHBC] about the event,” she said.  “We wanted to host it very shortly after the Five College Film Festival as an encore.” 

As a new student organization, the event was MHBC’s first. “We just started last semester,” said  Kate MacPherson ’18,  MHBC’s content manager. “This semester, we started thinking about hosting events and this was one of the first things we thought of.” 

Films shown at the festival included submissions by Gottshall and Henna Joshi ’18, who were featured in the Five College Film Festival, as well as Cass Fernandez-Dieguez ’19, who won the festival’s Mount Holyoke’s Best of Campus. Each of the three filmmakers submitted new, unseen films. Fernandez-Dieguez’s film, “Small Gods,” reflected their award-winning film, “This is Not About Aliens,” through its similar exploration of existential anxiety, identity and human agency. Of the 15 films featured, five were submitted by Clara Richter ’20, who often used stop motion animation, with two films constructed entirely using this method. Richter’s standout submission, “Dyslexia,” used colorful shapes overlapping the pages of a large textbook to cleverly visualize the language-based learning disability.

The festival was hosted in Dwight 101. After the film screening, audience members were encouraged to engage with the filmmakers, and many took the opportunity to inquire about how they had pulled off an effect or been struck by an idea. “Events like this are so important,” MacPherson said after the screenings. “Having this allows people to get used to presenting their films and talking about their films. [It also allows them to] become more confident when presenting those films to the Five Colleges.” MacPherson was impressed by the program and the event’s turnout. “There was so much content and so much showing of talent at Mount Holyoke that ... proves that we should definitely put more funding in media and film.”

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