The Third Annual Bowdoin Film Festival had a successful event last weekend with a packed house for the screening of the student films, continuing the momentum from previous years.
On Friday night, people had to sit in the theater aisles to glimpse what Bowdoin filmmakers have to offer. The crowd reacted audibly to the films, especially to the horror films and the film "Taken" from the always popular Ironic T-Shirt. Those present voted for the winner of the Audience Award.
Though the weather kept some away on Sunday, the festival capped off with a very successful awards show. President Barry Mills presented the Best Picture award, and other professors and staff judges were on hand to present.
After the film clips were shown, Hari Kondabolu '04, a stand-up comic who recently appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," screened a short film. He reiterated the call for a new film professor that was made by many throughout the evening, including by host Sean Kleier '09 and Martin Scorsese, who made a surprise appearance during the show's opening.
No one film swept the awards. Instead, the wealth was spread among three films.
Lucas Delahanty '10 picked up two technical awards, sound and cinematography, for his excellent horror film "Styx and Stone." Delahanty had no previous filmmaking experience, a surprise for anyone who watched this film.
Ironic T-shirt members Adam Paltrineri, Dan Yingst, Anton Handel and Nick Von Keller and their film "Taken" were the biggest winners of the night, taking home a total of six awards. The film won for editing, writing, the Audience Award, and a special judges' award for Best Campus Crimelord, given to Elie Mechoulam.
The film also picked up two acting awards, with Paltrineri garnering the Supporting Performance win and Anton Handel for Actor, playing a total of four different roles. As for Best Actress, Krystle Allen won for her role as a deceitful girlfriend in "I Love You, I Love You Not."
The judges also awarded "Touch" a special prize for original concept, and Andreas Riedel the Rising Star award.
But the big prizes of the night, Best Director and Best Picture, went to Chris Kurose for "Moving On." As she awarded him the director award, Associate Professor of Film Studies Tricia Welsch said his film demonstrated true promise and a budding mastery of the craft. "Moving On" takes place in Prague and details a man struggling to take the next step in his life.
I was extremely happy with the festival and the increasing interest in filmmaking I saw at Bowdoin, not only from filmmakers but also from the general campus community. Film at Bowdoin is growing more every year and this event certainly strengthens it. But this trend can only continue with your contributions. Time's a-wasting! Get cracking for next year!
If you didn't get a chance to attend the Film Fest, the movies will be screened on BCN in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for exact times and dates.
Also, wrapping up its Earth Week events this weekend, Frontier will be playing "Pole to Pole," the first segment of the BBC/Discovery Channel's acclaimed "Planet Earth" series. If you haven't seen "Planet Earth," prepare to be mesmerized.
Nature documentaries have always been fascinating, but the Planet Earth series takes them to the next level. One reason is the film's cutting-edge technologies, such as a new system that keeps a camera stable on a helicopter and a lens four times more powerful than any used before.
The film's producer, Alastair Fothergill, said, "With the new system, we can fly at 400 [meters], even higher, and still get a perfect close up. The animals on the ground don't even know we are there, and yet we are keeping up with the action in ways we never have been able to before."
"Planet Earth" has been a labor of love for the filmmakers, taking nearly five years to complete. But in many ways it seems perfectly in tune with the times and humanity's growing awareness of climate change. The film's message is clear: this is what we stand to lose if we don't do something about carbon emissions.
And there is so much to lose. From a pack of leopards bringing down an elephant at night to Amazonian piranhas and our beloved polar bears, the wonders of the natural world are dazzlingly front and center.
"Pole to Pole" introduces viewers to the series and looks at the planet as a whole, considering macro events that have shaped Earth's history as they travel from the North Pole to Antarctica. Mass migrations are tracked, and polar bears are featured prominently.
Do whatever it takes to see "Planet Earth"?you'll thank me later.
"Pole to Pole" is at the Frontier Café + Cinema + Gallery on today and Saturday at 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., with a matinee at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. Frontier is located in Fort Andross at the end of Maine Street. Tickets are $5. For more information, check out www.explorefrontier.com.