Official Winner List for the Western Undergraduate Film Festival

Film Fest Poster

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Western Undergraduate Film Festival this past Friday! We appreciate your support of student film and filmmakers.

The list of official winners are as follows:
First Place – Dan’s Demo Reel by Daniel Se Lino
Second Place – In The Shoes of Anthony Peterson by Christopher Chang
Third Place – Self Control by Ronnie Clarke
Viewer’s Choice – I’m 83 and Play the Accordion by Danica Oliva

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all the students who submitted films!

Announcing: The Western Undergraduate Film Festival & Award Ceremony

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The Western Undergraduate Film Society is proud to announce the official selection for this year’s Undergraduate Film Festival!

Congratulations to all the student filmmakers who have been chosen for this year’s festival. And a huge thank you to all the students who submitted films!

The event is happening THIS FRIDAY with all the details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1563903773851738/ (please RSVP if you plan on attending)

WUFS has been working hard on this event all year and we are excited to showcase such amazing talent. Please come out Friday and support student film and filmmakers!

Oscar Nominated Film Joanna and a Collection of Austrian Shorts

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The Western Undergraduate Film Society presents in association with Film Studies professor Janina Falkowska: Joanna, by Polish director Aneta Kopacz, and a collection of Austrian short films.

Joanna is an Oscar nominated short film about a young family scarred by terminal illness. Aneta Kopacz, a young filmmaker from Wajda School has applied a unique approach to depicting a family in despair.

Fast Film, Oscar nominated Copy Shop, Brighter than the Moon and tx-transform are highly original avant-garde films made by Virgil Widrich, an Austrian artist living in Vienna. Each of the films is different than the other one while all of them include ground breaking animation and cinematic techniques of repetition and overlapping of images.

Each of these films will be introduced by Professor Falkowska. This event is FREE. The screening is happening Thursday, March 19th at 7pm in University College Building Room 84. See you there!

Please also visit the Facebook event HERE for more information, thanks!

University Professor Thomas Lamarre’s public lecture “Regional TV: Affective Media Geographies”

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ATTENTION FILM AND NON FILM STUDENTS!

Film Studies Professor Michael Raine is pleased to announce McGill University Professor Thomas Lamarre’s public lecture “Regional TV: Affective Media Geographies” happening on Wednesday, March 18th at 4:30pm in the Arts and Humanities Building, Room 3B02.

Professor Lamarre will be discussing the transnational and transmedial movement of the Japanese anime series Hana yori dango (Boys Before Flowers) and Captain Tsubasa within the context of contemporary “Asianism”.

More information on Lamarre and his research interests can be found here: http://lamarre-mediaken.com/Site/Home.html

This lecture is sure to be educational and interesting as Japanese anime becomes more integrated in North America. If you’re interested in anime, Japanese culture, or East Asian studies, be sure to come out next Wednesday!

Also be sure to check out our Facebook Page Here !

WESTERN UNDERGRADUATE FILM FESTIVAL CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

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ATTENTION STUDENT FILMMAKERS! Have you ever wanted to see your film on the big screen and have it judged by a panel of experts to win a CASH PRIZE? Now is your chance!

WUFS is officially calling for submissions to our UNDERGRADUATE FILM FESTIVAL! We’re looking for short films that are:
- Anything you have made in class
- Anything you have made in your spare time
- Anything under 15 minutes
- It can be fiction, experimental, documentary, music videos, animation, etc.
- JUST ANYTHING YOU ARE PROUD OF!

Works must be submitted as a DVD (other formats will not be accepted) and a submission form MUST be filled out (films will not be considered unless this form is completed).

Films and forms can be submitted in the folder on the Film Studies Department bulletin board outside of Room 3B02 on the third floor of the Arts & Humanities Building. You will receive an email from one of the two coordinators confirming your submission. All submissions are due by FRIDAY MARCH 7TH

Any questions can be emailed to: uwo.wufs@gmail.com or to our Festival Coordinators: Jordana Plotnick (jplotnic@uwo.ca) and Thomas Boyer (tboyer2@uwo.ca).

Red Dot Cinema: Asian Short Film Festival

Red Dot Cinema: Asian Short Film Festival
WUFS has become an official screening partner of the Red Dot Cinema Asian Short Film Festival to bring you short films from the Asian community!

The festival entails short films from various countries across Asia.

Films included in the night’s program are:
- The Guardian (Thailand)
- Our Promise (Hong Kong)
- Sewing Women (Korea)
- Price of View (Hong Kong)
- Gift (Singapore)
- Destiny (Vietnam/Singapore)
- Dreams in Depths (Iran).

Many of the films being showcased have competed in film festivals around the world!

This event is free and screenings will be held in Arts & Humanities Building 3B02.

Be sure to check us out on Facebook too!
Click Here to view Facebook Event

 

Follow-Up: Toronto Independent Horror Cinema

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Here at WUFS we strive to do what no club has done before: screen the wildest films you won’t see anywhere else on campus. This time I around, I thought it would be a smashing idea to showcase Toronto independent cinema. I immediately enlisted some advice from my friend Nate Wilson, a first year student at the University of Toronto and a real whippersnipper in the horror scene. He was not just receptive, but enthusiastic. I was inundated with links to interviews with filmmakers, private Vimeos (narrowly seen by the general public) and personal anecdotes aplenty.

In the first segment, I screened what-is-essentially an introduction to the Toronto independent film community. I included two adverts from the Toronto After Dark Film Festival (TADFF), which is held at the Royal Cinema over a few late-nights every September. The first was by Nate. A precociously sweet short about him and his father’s past history with TADFF. The next was for TADFF’s fifth anniversary by filmmaker Chris Nash. Essentially, a gross, troll-like puppet has sex with an ambiguously-young five-year old. The audience laughed so hard, they didn’t hear the punch-line in which the puppet exhaled “OOOOOH, I AM IN TROUBLE.” Next was “Top Men?” from The Rep (Morgan White). When I was researched the topic of ‘Toronto Independent Horror,’ this documentary immediately came up. It initially sets out to discuss the trials of running the Toronto Underground Cinema, an under-respected repertory theater which specialized in grindhouse and horror film. Unfortunately, since The Rep was made, the Underground closed. I felt it was important to include this segment because it becomes too easy to look at independent film communities and boast about how great everything is going. It becomes pertinent to admit: sometimes institutions, like the Toronto Underground Cinema, close. It is unfortunate for the community.

The next segment showed off Toronto independent film. The first film was Crimson Thread, Nate’s most accomplished. I hate when I describe him as a ‘student filmmaker’ (and I’m sure he does too). Nevertheless, the film’s professional slickness is unexpected. Next, I screened both the Canadian segments of ABC’s of Death 2. For those who may be unfamiliar, the ABC’s of Death is an international project in which 26 filmmakers around the world are each asked to depict a way to die corresponding to a letter (A is for, B is for and so on). Canada contributed W is for Wish (Steve Kostanski) and Z is for Zygote (Chris Nash, whom you may recognize from the TADFF advert). Both of them played well, but people really responded to Z because it was different. Truly, it was as close to that classic kind of ‘cringe-worthy horror’ as we got. I almost didn’t screen Z because of a personal inclination toward campy science fiction. Nate insisted that I include it and he was right to do so.

In the final segment, we screened the seminal piece of the Toronto film community – Manborg (also by Steve Kostanski). Okay, well it wasn’t shot in Toronto, but it certainly mattered there. When I planned the screening, I thought the film would only be half watchable. Something students would appreciate.  I have no reservation to say it was a legitimately good movie. The aesthetic is rusty, but the humour is on-point. He borrows from obvious sources: Terminator, Robocop, Star Trek, and even a bit of Triumph of the Will. Steve is the kind of guy who watched films like these and said, “Why can’t the evil guy’s cronies have crushes?” That was my favourite joke. Some horrible monster of a bad-guy is in love with sparky revolutionist, Prisoner Number Seven (or as he says, “Prisoner Number One in my heart”).

The Q and A followed the films via Skype. I never got a full confirmation, but as I understand, the filmmakers were at “Eyesore Cinema’s Second Story Screenings.” (For those who find themselves on Queen Street in Toronto this holiday season), Eyesore Cinema is the Be-Kind-Rewind-esque video store in which Nate finds meaningful employment, located above the famous ‘Rotate This’ in Downtown Toronto. They also mentioned something of attending an American Thanksgiving party. If you wanted to see the importance of institutions in bringing together filmmakers, this was kind of the perfect set-up. Cuddled up in a cozy blanket were Nate and Steve. That’s not to say their relationship is that of a mentor and mentee. I realised quickly, they are good friends.

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The Q and A was built upon this juxtaposition. Nate knows exactly what he wants to do and he could not be happier about it. On the other hand, you have a guy like Steve Kostanski.  If you had a chance to see the documentary Indie Game (a worthwhile watch on Netflix) you’d notice Steve’s type immediately. He’s an absolute visionary, but he’s worked hard and as such, he’s got more of a cynical outlook. In Indie Game, independent video game developers make a similar point as Steve.  Executing their vision is really just a bunch of time coding on a computer, rendering and hoping at the end you have something positive to bring to the market. Steve has a professional career as a Special Effects Artist for major films such as Pacific Rim and Capote. After work, he makes independent films, at first starting with no more than borrowed film equipment, illegal editing software and some major time on hand. Most of Manborg was shot on a green screen and cost around $1000 (an incredible feat considering W is for Wish cost $5000-7000). When you leave a film like Manborg you wonder, “What could that guy do with $100,000 or $1,000,000?” It’s not even that he could be financially responsible. He frankly admitted to the opposite ($1000 is the guess-timated price of the film). It’s that he could really use a big budget effectively.

In one instance we asked how their films do at festivals. This was a relevant question as many students at the screening are taking a course on film festival scholarship. Nate said they are just a “big dumb party.” Steve was less-enthusiastic; he considered the whole thing very stressful. The way he spoke about it seems as though he doesn’t even like Manborg. But, it’s a good thing gone right. Steve made the film in his spare time and found himself with a producer, entrance into festivals and international distribution deals. When I looked at IMBD fan reviews, things were mixed. Some adored the film, whereas others said things like, “Words do not exist to describe how much this film sucked.” Short of a couple bad reviews, Steve undersold the trandmedia universe of Manborg. As it was revealed, there exists a comic book, an unusually photoshopped Japanese poster and even a family who loved the film so much, they made a 15 minute follow-up and used it as their annual Christmas card.  Even Western’s newly seasoned “Fanborgs” were in talks of starting a club dedicated to the film’s kind-of-Australian loudmouth anti-hero, Justice. Steve is that special kind of filmmaker you constantly want to compliment. But, I’m sure he has heard it a thousand times.

When we asked Nate and Steve what their biggest limitations were, it had to do with working for free (a likely answer). They said they had lots of friends to help them, but the availabilities never sync up and inevitably friends only stay for the fun “making the movie” part of making a movie.  The two bring up an interesting point. If you should get the chance, offer to help a filmmaker in a way which is both consistent and meaningful. Independent cinema can’t survive without those who support it.

Alissa Chater
Co-chair, Western Undergraduate Film Society

Toronto Independent Cinema Horror Film

WUFS PRESENTS: TORONTO INDEPENDENT CINEMA on Thursday, November 27th at 7PM in University College, Room 84 (on Western Campus).

The films being showcased are Nate Wilson’s “The Crimson Thread”, Morgan White’s ‘Top Men?’ from “The Rep”, and Steve Kostanski’s “W is for Wish” and “Manborg”. Steve will be joining us via Skype for a Q and A following the screening!

This event is completely FREE, a great break from assignments and studying, and the films won’t be screened anywhere else but at this event (Wow! Super exclusive)!

Check out the promo video down below. See you Thursday!

A Night Under The Stars with WUFS

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Come cuddle under the stars with the Western Undergraduate Film Society for their first outdoor screening on UC Hill this Wednesday!

We’ll keep the warm and fuzzy feelings going by screening the Pixar classic, “UP”! Screening opens at 7pm, with the film starting at 7:15pm and ending at 9pm.

Feel free to bring your own blankets, food or hot beverages and dress warm (hoodies and sweatpants are highly encouraged)

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #bringyourownblanket before and during the event!

Please check out our Facebook event page for more information:
Facebook Event Page