SBU-TV’s 3rd Annual Film Festival gave graduate and undergraduate students alike a chance to showcase their own original works in front of an audience to show what they had to offer and present an eclectic view of the capabilities of Stony Brook University students concerning film.
Screened submissions ranged from serious mini-documentaries about South African rhinos and a soldier struggling with PTSD, to artsy aspiring horror films, quirky Youtube fodder, a romantic comedy involving Stony Brook’s beloved mascot, and content created and commissioned by SBU-TV themselves.
“This event is our bread and butter,” said SBU TV President Angelo Lambroschino addressing the crowd, “it’s our favorite thing to do as a club.” The festival, held in the Tabler Quad’s Blackbox Theater, presented about a dozen amateur films screened and chosen by SBU TV to be shown to the audience, who were given a chance at the end of the screening to choose which films they thought were the best.
Voting was broken down into three categories: Undergraduate, Graduate and the favorite of the club. The respective awards were won by Scott’s Girls, a drama based around cocaine and infidelity, Rhino, a documentary produced to gain exposure for the endangered South African rhino, and NYC RAW, another documentary about a former soldier and his struggle with PTSD.
“I think the quality of the films and the attendance was the best it’s ever been,” said Isobel Breheny-Schafer, Assistant Director for Student Media, who had a hand in reviewing the submissions and putting on the event.
Several films were not up for voting but presented in front of the audience to entertain and showcase regardless. Several were submitted by students, such as a stop motion re-creation of a James Bond scene made out of Legos submitted by an anonymous student simply know as Lego 007 and the story of a date with Stony Brook University mascot Wolfie gone awry presented by a man with huge, gaudy light-up sunglasses simply credited as “Shadesman,” while others were works commissioned or created by SBU-TV themselves.
These pieces seemed to be presented to show what the SBU-TV is capable of and showcase the quality of work they are capable of releasing. Graduate student and poet Steven T. Licardi presented a film including a reading of his own poetry that was commissioned by SBU-TV to raise awareness for victims of self harm.
“I wanted to create hope for those who have suffered through this,” said Licardi “and say ‘Hey, you’re gonna be okay. You’re gonna get through this.”
Though this particular festival was advertised as the “Third Annual SBU TV Film Festival,” it is actually the latest in a longer series of events that came back after the Undergraduate Student Government cut the funding for the organization back in 2011.
According to Angelo, USG decided that television wasn’t important anymore. When USG called members of the club into a meeting, they had the locks to their studio changed so that nobody with current access could get in. The club has been supported by donations and equipment provided by the club members ever since then and has been making steady efforts towards getting their content noticed through publishing their works through online mediums instead.
“We had our own TV channel here on campus.” Angelo said. “Now it’s all online.”
The organization has managed to achieve amounts of success and recognition in these recent years. They netted the Student Life Award for Media Service for the past two years in a row, received nominations for two new awards this year, and produced a video supporting the “Tobacco-Free SUNY” campaign that ended up on the main page of the Stony Brook University website called “Stony Brook Kicks Butts.”