The Cinematography Society held its second annual Troy International Film Festival on Thursday, March 29, screening 17 films from nine countries.
“I think filmmaking is a lot like music in that it’s kind of a universal language, and so I think it’s important to show that,” said Hope Rangel, a junior computer science major from Decatur and the president of the Cinematography Society. “Iran is a really big submitter for film because it’s kind of oppressed in their country, so they send it out.
“The people in Iran, their movies are so similar to ours — and that goes for anyone, all of our filmmaking is so similar, we’re all similar and it’s just really cool to see that.”
The festival featured independently made films, each giving insight to the country and culture it came from.
“Just to see raw ideas on a screen from wherever is pretty neat, because you have to take into consideration the influence,” said Travis Carlson, a freshman graphic design major from Brewton and member of the Cinematography Society. “Wherever it was made, that native influence inspired the story and idea.
“I wish more students would come to it and see that.”
“I think a lot of people don’t ever watch foreign films, and I think it’s a really good chance for people to see little short versions of that,” Rangel said.
There was a wide variety of films shown, including comedy, drama, animated and foreign language, ranging from two minutes to 30. Each film was high-quality and creative, despite low resources and budgets.
“I think it is important for people that are looking for inspiration, and if they’re maybe trying to culture themselves a little bit more, it’s pretty interesting to see a non-American take on filmmaking and especially on such a low-budget level,” Rangel said.
The event was held on Thursday night in Claudia Crosby Theater and ran for four hours, ending in the announcement of four awards for the films and a free raffle for a $25 Amazon gift card.
“One of the main reasons I wanted to go is because I’m obsessed with perspective and culture and the many complexities and massive grayness that exist within it,” said Rogelio Ramirez Hernandez, a freshman theater major from Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico.
“It showcased a lot of young artists who are aspiring to create, and I just wanted to go and support it.
“It was interesting to see how people with limited resources worked with it. It’s really inspiring to see people make what they want to do with what little they have.”
“Count Your Curses,” an animated film from France by Lorène Yavo, won three awards Thursday night, including the audience choice award.
“Next year we’re thinking about doing really, really short films, but we’ve certainly learned a lot between last year and this year,” Rangel said. “At first, I thought a long event was good for people to come in and out, but I think a shorter event would be better.”
The Cinematography Society meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Trojan Center 212. Everyone is welcome to attend.