First Student Film Festival to be hosted in February by the communication department

Short films made by students in previous video communication courses will be celebrated

On Thursday, Feb. 2, the department of communication will be hosting the first-ever official Student Film Festival in the new Judd Screening Room in Dicke Hall, room 108. From 7-9 p.m., the Trinity community can enjoy viewing the final films made by students from the Video Communications class taught by Patrick Keating, professor of communication. Keating is organizing the event himself, and it will include a reception at 6:30 p.m. The program will highlight approximately 18 student films with a total running time of about 75 minutes. The short films come from the 2022 spring and fall semesters of his class. Most of the short films belong to the horror genre and are approximately four to five minutes long.

“In each class, students make three movies, and usually the most ambitious movies are the final project. … Basically, if you made a film in those two classes, my plan is to show it. And you’ll see that last semester, in particular, we had some that were in the horror genre or adjacent,” Keating said.

While there is a healthy film club on campus and students have organized film festivals before, this is the first student film festival sponsored by the communication department that focuses on one class.

“I’m hoping that filmmakers get to know each other,” Keating said. “I think that the students in the fall semester got to know each other well, and the students in the spring semester got to know each other well, but the two semesters didn’t necessarily get to know each other. They didn’t see each other’s movies.”

According to Keating, the short films have an ominous feeling to them. Students wrote the scripts themselves, and the class, which is worth four credit hours, also counts as a creative expression credit.

“I don’t necessarily want to diagnose them. It also might just be that the genre kind of lends itself well to this particular class, because at the end of class, I want you to do something that’s very visual, doesn’t necessarily have a lot of dialogue,” Keating said.
Phoebe Murphy, senior communication major and creative writing minor took the class and will have her final short film shown, as well as possibly having another short film from the class shown. Murphy described her film as an ominous drama, similar to the themes of her classmates.

“I’ve definitely felt drawn to kind of darker stories and kind of bizarre indie horror films. And so, [in] my final project, … a couple settles their disagreements in a very unproductive way. It’s definitely bizarre, but I think it turned out pretty good. And I’m excited for it to be shown at the festival,” Murphy said.

Murphy has experience writing fiction as a creative writing minor and plans to someday submit her short film to a festival outside of Trinity. She intends to continue exploring filmmaking by taking a directed study course this semester.

“I feel like it would be really cool if I could get my films into a film festival outside of school because it is definitely on the table for me to go into film as a career. It’s something I’ve become interested in recently. I always wanted to be a director or something, partially because I enjoyed making films in the class so much, and I’m taking this semester to make another movie,” Murphy said.
In addition to the festival, Emma Parent, sophomore communication major and station manager at TigerTV, plans to integrate the films into the programming shown on the various TV screens within the communication department. Parent was also a part of the class and will have their own short film shown at the festival.

“I really liked the class and all the work they’re putting out,” Murphy said. Probably one of the [best] things about the class was that it felt like everyone wanted to be there, like everyone’s showing up. … Everybody did really great work, and I’m excited to see [the films].”