Music blared throughout the Union auditorium as students settled in for the SBU-TV film festival. A few crowd members danced to “Twist and Shout,” exemplifying the organizations  message: Make your move and let everyone see.

The festivals subject, demonstrated by the programs covered with pictures of students, was all about student lives.  The theme, “What’s Your Story?” was meant to encourage every person to create and share his or her own story.

“Because there isn’t such a strong arts presence at Stony Brook, that’s why a medium like SBU-TV is needed because television is all about presence,” SBU-TV Vice President Youn Jung Chung, a sophomore, said.

SBU-TV had been thinking of ways, like creating a YouTube channel, to become more visible on campus and eventually came up with the idea to revive the film festival.

Norman Prusslin, the Director of the Media Arts Minor, encouraged SBU-TV to have a film festival

“It’s a great contribution to student activities on campus,” Prusslin said.

Years ago, the SBU-TV film festival was a popular, national event. But after some of those members graduated it became more low-key and eventually just stopped.  Prusslin, impressed by the enthusiasm of this year’s SBU-TV members, encouraged them to revamp it.

Isobel Breheny-Schafer, the Assistant Director of Student Media, helped formulate the idea into a plan.

Despite their lack of USG funding, SBU-TV members still strongly believe in TV as a form of communication.

“Just look at all the talk about people’s favorite television shows from Oprah to Mad Men or even Glee,” Jung Chung said. “These TV shows have somehow become a part of their audience’s lives.”

Though there were more open seats than audience members, the crowd was very enthusiastic.

“I’m into the arts,” said senior Courtney Schmitt, a theatre major who came to see student films, but also for classroom credit.  “I just don’t think they get enough attention.”

There were some technical difficulties before the films screened so five students were selected from the audience to share their favorite movie.  The participant whose movie got the most cheers was the winner.

Senior Seong Kang, an electrical engineering and applied mathematics and statistics major, won with “City of Gods.”

“I think it opens my eyes a little bit,” he said about the movie, adding it connected him to different people’s situations and circumstances.  “It’s a different world than I live in.”

The film festival—which determined film winners through audience reaction—had three student films:  “Ladrón,” the winning film by Kevin Urquilla; “Hooping” by Carol Boyko; “How May I Help You,” which was submitted anonymously.

Boyko, a sociology major, said she wasn’t really involved with campus events but now since she’s part of the media minor, she’s getting more involved.  She originally made the film “Hooping,” which introduces hula hooping as a “lifestyle” and “a form of expression,” for class but decided to enter it into the festival.

“I definitely would like to see more support,” said Nader Nouraee, a senior majoring in biology.  “We have a really small faculty at the art department.  I’d like for them to get more funding and attention.”


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