SUNY New Paltz got a taste of Sundance and Cannes when the bi-annual film festival Film 48 took place from Friday, Nov. 2 to Sunday, Nov. 4.
Organized by the Media and Journalism Society Club, the festival is a high-speed, high-intensity event, with teams given just 48 hours to write, film and edit their films. Any New Paltz student can participate, regardless of year or major, as well as any alumni that are interested.
“My favorite part is seeing everything come together after the hours of commitment everyone puts in,” said third-year digital media production major Noah Gomez.
The turnout this semester seemed to be larger than in past years, with around a dozen teams participating. Each team comprised of no more than 10 members, with an average of five.
On Friday, Nov. 2, participating teams met in the Student Union Building at 6 p.m. for the kickoff event. Here, team captains each received the genre for their films. Genres included kids/teen, comedy, romantic comedy, sports and classic horror.
At the kickoff event, teams also received three requirements for their films; a prop that must be shown, a name that has to be included and a line that has to be said. This semester, the prop was a Stephen King novel, the name was Michael Abraham and the line was “Why are we always going around in circles with this issue?”
From there, students were released to begin working on their films. Though each team had a different strategy, the general consensus tends to be: write your script and plan your shots on Friday night, film all day Saturday and edit Sunday. Films were due Sunday at 6 p.m., exactly 48 hours from the kickoff event (though due to daylight savings, all teams got an extra hour. So, technically, Film 49).
Since short films like the ones submitted to the festival often take weeks, if not months, to complete, so getting the task done in just 48 hours is no simple feat and teams face a lot of roadblocks along the way.
“My friends in the media department have a strong belief in Murphy’s Law when it comes to these projects—whatever can go wrong, will go wrong,” said fourth-year international relations and geography major Leith Kusmider.
The screening of the films was held on Tuesday, Nov. 6 in the Coykendall Science Building auditorium.
Each film was screened in full and at the end of the night, a panel of judges comprised of SUNY New Paltz professors scored the films, while the audience voted on their favorite film. Two awards were given out: judges’ choice and crowd favorites. This year, a film titled “Undone” won judges’ choice, while crowd favorite went to “Daisy 55,” a classic horror film.
“Hearing people laugh or gasp at jokes or plot twists really makes the work feel worth it,” Gomez said.