The Bowdoin Film Society looks forward to re-engaging the College community with cinema through the inaugural launch of Bowdoin Journal of Cinema in May.
The Journal is an extension of the Bowdoin Film Society, and came about after Society member Kate McKee ’22 reached out to Finn McGannon ’23, one of the Society’s officers late last fall.
“I reached out to [McGannon] in late October or early November—we had a class together, and so I knew he was part of Film Society and thought it would be something that would work out,” McKee, who now serves as the Journal’s executive editor, said in a Zoom interview with the Orient. “From there, we worked together to contact the chairs and administrative coordinators of over 100 different universities and colleges across the [country], and then also in the U.K. and Australia and Canada, to send out our call for submissions.”
As a co-editor in chief of the “Bowdoin Journal of Art,” McKee is familiar with operating a college arts publication, and she was excited for the opportunity to extend her passion to a film publication. When submissions began arriving this winter, McKee was pleasantly surprised by the high number of submissions—over 70—from undergraduate students across the country and around the world.
“Seeing the emails keep coming in, especially as the deadline was approaching, was just really heartwarming and really vindicating,” McKee said. “People really want to have an outlet to be able to get their words out there and be able to publish their work.”
The journal is led by five Executive Editors, including McKee, McGannon and the other three officers of the Bowdoin Film Society. On Sunday, the leaders met with student associate editors for the first time and began the process of narrowing down submissions.
“It’s been going really well,” McKee said. “ It’s just been a lot of administrative [work] on my part, just sorting who’s going to read which [article] and trying to really involve the associate editors by giving them papers that will suit their interests.”
McKee added that after she assigns 16 articles to each group of editors, the total review process will take four weeks. From there, the entire editorial team will decide which papers will be selected for publication.
Until the Journal’s release in May, the Bowdoin Film Society has planned other events for the club and the Bowdoin community. McGannon looks forward to hosting limited occupancy, in-person film screenings on campus every Friday, and to organizing virtual speaker events available to students living both on and off campus.
In April, the Society will hold a 48-Hour Film Festival, during which each competing group will have a weekend to write, record and edit a film and submit it to the Society. Like the Journal, McGannon hopes that the Society will receive film submissions from groups on campus and across the country.
“We’re just moving forward and trying to create COVID[-19]-safe alternatives to the things that we would do in a normal year,” McGannon said. “We’re just trying to adapt things so that it works for everybody.”