Three digital filmmaking professors at Stephens College will screen their original works at the first-ever Faculty Film Showcase this week.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5, in Charters Auditorium. It’s the first time such event has been held on campus, said Kerri Yost, associate professor of film.
“We’ve had our work screened at Ragtag together, more as a screening of local filmmakers that all happened to be our faculty,” she said. “But this year we decided to formalize it and hold it on our own campus, especially since so many of our students and colleagues worked on these films in one way or another.”
The films, each under 20 minutes, are: “I Am One” by Assistant Professor Steph Borklund; “Flat Black” by Assistant Professor Chase Thompson and Yost’s “Leaving Osage Lane."
Borklund has been working on her anti-bullying film for more than a year. It stars Annie Coleman—daughter of Stephens President Dianne Lynch—and revolves around high school friends who must decide whether to stand up against bullying. Borklund is developing curriculum that will accompany the film, which she hopes will be screened in middle and high schools starting next semester.
Thompson’s narrative film centers on a legend that began circulating in Central Missouri in the early 1990s. Two brothers he knows claim to have seen a 9-foot tall giant who drove though their field. When they confronted him, the giant spoke in a strange language and said he was from the future sent to look for something buried on their property.
“This work of fiction is based on a real rural legend that many locals recall to this day,” Thompson said.
Yost’s film was part of the Stephens Film Institute, a biannual program that allows film students to work together on a large-scale project.
“It was inspiring to see our more experienced students taking on leadership roles and to work side-by-side with them,” Yost said.
With input from students, Yost wrote the narrative, which revolves around three siblings who reunite at the lake home of their recently divorced parents.
All three films will debut at the showcase, although they also plan to submit the films to festivals. Screening them on campus just made sense, they agreed. It shows students and the community that filmmaking faculty at Stephens are working professional filmmakers, as well, Borklund said.
“It really is an honor to screen alongside my colleagues," Yost said.” I respect them as artists and value their opinions in so many ways. … We will do festivals after this, but I think we know we all wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for Stephens and our students—and their input. So it feels right to screen it to our Stephens community first.”
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