By Maeve Kroeger
On Saturday, second-year M.F.A students of the graduate film program showcased their short films to a packed audience at the Athena Cinema. A variety of genres were screened, including comedy, tragedy and experimental narratives. Members of the audience let out gasps and laughter, empathizing with the characters that were crafted by the student film-makers.
Hosted by Rafal Sokolowski, an award-winning film director and assistant film professor, the event was a time for film students to unveil their craft to the public.
Eleven films were played during the two and half hour event. “If anyone is fading we’ve provided espresso shots under each seat,” Sokolowski jokingly announced. Yet for a time when attention spans are shorter than ever, almost all of the audience members stayed the entire way through.
Afterwards, audience members were given the chance to talk to some of the film-makers.
“It is kind of surreal. I have seen it so many times at this point, between making it and all the editing. I look at it now and it doesn’t even look like something I made,” director of “Three Thieves Sat Beneath the Pines,” Dylan Dyer said.
Yang Miller, an actor in three out of the eleven films, spoke about the night.
“It’s interesting because once you’re done as an actor you really have no control over what the final outcome is going to be,” Miller said. “There could be editing or continuity issues, but overall I was really happy with what I saw.”
But that control of the final outcome is something that can drive a director crazy. In many cases, being a creator means constantly questioning and doubting your work. Letting go of some of that control was an issue that Daniel Aguera, director of “Playing and Withering” faced.
“I often think about it like this: I’ve been repeating this over and over again, quality is like time and space, like no matter how big something is, it could always be bigger,” Aguera said. “No matter how good something is, it could always be better. And if you are making something, that thought can get to you, and it can stop you from actually doing anything, which is something I constantly have to deal with.”