Students showcase films at 73-Hour Film Festival screening


By Daniel Daw

From bursting appendices,UFO landings and everything in between, the 73-Hour Film Festival showcased a myriad of films student-produced films.

The premise of the festival is that teams of students create a short film — from the script-writing process to the final cut — over a period of 73 hours. The theme of this year’s festival was ‘choice’ and each of the films explored the consequences, good or bad, of specific decisions that their characters make. Another facet to the competition was each film had to include a specific line — this year, that phrase was “Well, that was lucky.”

Four films came away with prizes. Bort, a quirky and fun film about a student severely unable to make even the simplest choices and ending up barfing at the thought of making a decision, took second in the audience vote. Appendix: Your Most Important Organ, in a funny and slightly dark way to show the importance of the appendix — or rather the importance of it not bursting — and claimed second place for the judge’s vote.

The first-place finisher in the audience vote was Retrograde, a dramatic film that used film and sound in reverse to convey the differences between choices that individuals make. Lait took first in the judge’s vote. It tells the simple tale of one man’s decision process of which kind of milk to buy. The first-place winners in both categories are now entered into the Sedona Film Festival, and will be screened there.

Alex Leefers, a senior electronic media and film major, and one of the people behind Lait, noted some of the challenges faced by doing this film.

“It was very abstract. We had this idea, and then Jeremy was like, ‘Why don’t we do an idea where, like, he can’t decide on what type of milk he wants?’ It just exploded,” Leefers said. “We were very unsure how it was going to go.”

The films ranged from comedies, thrillers and romance films, with many of them very well-made, according to many at the festival, including sophomore photography major, and part of the crew for Bort, Mari Cleven.

“Some of [the films] were really great. I was excited to come and see what people did. We had no idea going in what we were doing. It was just neat to see other people’s perceptions and some of the cinematography and editing tricks that they used,” Cleven said.

According to Cleven, in the creation of Bort, the balance of comedy was as important as the cast and crew having fun.

“[The] story was really important. We wanted to make sure that there was a solid story,” Cleven said. “We had a lot of fun doing it and I think that’s what translated.”

Robert Valensuela, a junior environmental studies major, said, “We wanted to make sure that we balanced comedy and we didn’t want to go over the top. We wanted to make sure it still was funny but not too over the top.”

The festival overall was a success, with many people in the auditorium having a good time.

“I think it went phenomenally; we had an incredible turn-out. We filled all of the seats in this auditorium, and not even COM 101, [which] has 400 students, who are supposed to come to class [could do that],” said co-director and senior electronic media and film student, Doug Haines.

For some of the film makers, this was the first festival they participate in.

“With this being our first film festival together, we were nervous coming in and we just came in relaxed, and I think we just had a lot of had a lot of fun at the end of the day,” Valensuela said. “All of the other films, the directors and producers, they did a great job.”


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