Over the weekend of April 2, the Bowdoin Film Society hosted its annual 48 Hour Film Festival in which teams were tasked with writing, shooting and editing a 3-10 minute film over the span of two days. Other than length, the only requirements were the inclusion of an orange, and the line, “My mom says hi.” The festival was first put on in 2009 but has not run for the past two years.
Seven films, from comedies to dramas, were produced for the festival by teams of three or more students.
“We did it all on Saturday,” Julia Perillo ’22, a participant, said. “[My team] started talking about ideas and doing a storyboard before dinner, and then we talked about it more at dinner. Then, we started recording. It probably took five to six hours with editing.”
Perillo was one of the creators of “Going Nutz,” a film about a girl who befriends squirrels and then puts on an art show with them. Olivia Groell ’22, who played Perillo’s concerned mother in their production, created all of the squirrel art shown in the movie.
Some groups built their plot line around the required line and prop. “My Mother’s Fruit,” produced by Melissa Su ’24, Emi Schnieder ’24, Yewon Kim ’24, Clara Jergins ’24 and Rachel Klein ’24, told the story of two peasant wives who spend their days completing household chores together. Klein’s character’s mother (Jergins) gives her daughter a sacred orange for Su’s character to feed her kidnapper (Kim). The sourness of the orange allows her to escape and reunite with her wife.
Many groups followed this comedic theme. The entirety of “I’m Blue” by Reed Warburton ’23, Ibrahim Saleh ’23 and Rachel Nealon ’23 was set to the song “Blue” by Eiffel 65 and primarily featured Warburton, painted blue, dancing around a dorm room as Saleh watched in awe.
“I like making silly little films on my own, but I usually never have the excuse to commit the time,” Warburton said. “This was a good [reason] to commit the time, and I had been listening to the song ‘Blue’ quite a bit recently. I wanted to make something with that.”
“Crime of Passionfruit” by Lia Kornmehl ’23, Jaida Hodge-Adams ’23, Izzy Miller ’23 and Finn McGannon ’23 was a comedic murder mystery centered around three roomates trying to solve a murder in their dorm.
“As the process went on, certain characters and accents emerged,” McGannon said. “We weren’t taking it quite as seriously as some other groups did, but it was great to see the variety of films we got.”
This semester’s Bowdoin Outing Club Leadership Training group made their own non-scripted film, “banana you glad I didn’t say orange.” Videographer Luisa Wolcott-Breen ’25 had various group members say the required line and caught others oddly eating oranges, peels and all.
“The Way It Is,” by Spencer Sussman ’25, Bob Fu ’25 and Zach Cheesman ’25, took place in a complex universe in which everything just wasn’t quite right. Doors led to alternate places, doppelgangers appeared and people acted strangely.
“We came up with the idea after dinner on Friday,” Fu said.“Sometimes we had other ideas and didn’t have enough people to make it happen, so we came up with something else on the spot. We were brainstorming as we went.”
The audience voted on their favorite film at the end of the festival, with the winner being “between my fingers” by Juliana Covey ’24, Alice Hawkins ’22, Colleen Doucette ’24 and Aadhya Ramineni ’23. The film was an artistic take on the challenge, utilizing professional equipment and lighting. The dark movie told the story of a person being stalked by a romantic partner. The film garnered intense reactions.
“[The screening] was so high energy,” Ramineni said. “Here you have all these people who have just spent the weekend trying to make a film, and then you just get to sit and watch it around a bunch of other people. You can see them react to it, which made it super fun.”
The screening event drew a significant crowd with an active audience. Based on interest in this event and demand for more like it throughout the year, some of the participants in the festival came together to create a production side of the Film Society.
“Juliana [Covey], Yewon [Kim] and I, all women of color in such a white, male-dominated industry, came together and are collaborating with the present leaders of the Film [Society]. We want to create more of a community at Bowdoin where we can make these types of things,” Ramineni said.
“Film Society is working on boosting our production side, and this was a good kickoff event for that. It has definitely been something we have talked about wanting Film Society to do. We know there is a lot of creative energy on campus, and we want to give people a good avenue to channel it,” Perillo said.
Clara Jergins is a member of the Bowdoin Orient.