Filmmakers Shine at the SHSU Film Festival

Sam Houston State University Mass Communication students were given the chance to show-off their original films at the 2017 Sam Houston Film Festival on April 27 in the Gaertner Performing Arts Center.

Byproducts of free-rein storytelling, these short films—narratives, documentaries and experimentals—highlighted the amazing talents housed within the world’s future filmmakers.

Each film specialized in a cinematic technique, whether it was the execution, script, the acting, the editing, or the cinematography. While some films fell flat in one particular area, in others, they exceeded expectations, amazing the audience with stunning narratives and camera work.

Here are mini reviews of all ten short films.

APPLE WHISKEY: Refreshingly raw, this explores the somber reality of societal expectations and the makings of degenerating relationships, all the while immersing us in authenticity with down-to-earth dialogue and character interactions.

LOST AND FOUND: Carrying a similar premise to the tear-jerking Mexican-American film “Under the Same Moon,” this narrative does not reach the same level of warmth. Ambitious story, but the convenient script took away some emotional effects.

WOMEN IN BLUE: A timely piece, this well-crafted documentary gives a closer look into the eyes of the most controversial figures in society today—police officers—with a delightful twist. Female police officers in Huntsville are given a voice, speaking out about their struggles against a man-majority occupation and world.

I AM NOT AN ARTIST: An emotional symphony, this two-minute film effortlessly fills your ears with a poetic life story with rewatchable value. My only complaint is that the visuals are not as interesting as the flowery soliloquy.

HAPPILY MARRIED: The result of a loveless marriage turned murderously bitter, this film brought the tension with entertaining dialogue and interesting character dynamics.

HARRY & THE BRIEFCASE: A stylistic throwback to 1950s mobster films, this short owns an amazing set up, monochrome coloring, and a unique use of natural lighting. The storyline could use a bit of clarity, though.

ONE THIRD: A tale of redemption in a supernatural setting, this aesthetically-pleasing piece of work features great acting and engrossing dialogue. Ambitious blend of black and white and fixed lighting. One complaint would be not cluing us in on the fate of the other characters.

JE SUIS QUI JE SUIS: Beautifully unsettling, this experimental piece expertly amplifies motions and sounds that we take for granted. A confident, well-executed film with an unforgettable, unconventional story.

POINT-A: A stunningly directed and edited short, with a promised ambiguous storyline. Most would dislike the film for its refusal to explain its reasoning point blank. However, its unconventional direction is what makes it so mysteriously likeable.

DANCER: Story-wise, the most surprising of the lineup. This experimental had outstanding acting, bloody good action, and a delightful plot twist that will satisfy any thriller fan.

For more information on the films and how you can see them, contact The Fine Arts and Mass Communication Department.

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