Cinema society hosts first international indie film festival

Draven Jackson

Staff Writer

The Cinematography Society will be hosting Troy’s first Indie Film Festival on Wednesday, March 29, in Claudia Crosby Theater.

The Indie Film Festival will consist of short films submitted from all over the world.

“Since Troy is such an international university, we want to embrace the international idea, so we have submissions from France, Brazil and all across America,” said Hope Rangel, a sophomore computer science major from Decatur. “We are hoping it will be something people will enjoy and something that’s a little different.”

Rangel said the best part of having a film festival at the university is that it will bring film to Troy.

“We want to put Troy on the map for film-making, and we hope to show people in Troy that film-making is really exciting and that anyone can do it,” Rangel said. “A lot of people don’t take art very seriously even though it’s so important, but film is something that everyone watches and enjoys.”

Rangel, president of the cinematography society and one of the directors of the festival, said the festival was originally open only to the Troy area, but after they didn’t receive many submissions, they decided to open it to anyone interested.

“Even if you don’t go to art galleries and you aren’t a sculpture person, film impacts everyone, so we are hoping that people will want to get more involved and create more film in Troy.”

Pieces by university students and independent filmmakers will be judged by members of Troy’s theater department and Nic Stoltzfus, a documentarian from Florida. For high school submissions, the officers of the cinematography society will decide on the pieces to be premiered during the festival.

Chris Rich, associate professor of digital technology, is the adviser for the cinematography society.

“I think that students can take away from the festival that film is accessible to anyone as media is so much in our hands now,” Rich said. “One of the Oscar contenders from last year, ‘Tangerine,’ was shot on an iPhone 5, so all film-making is readily accessible if you have the computer equipment to do it.”

Winners will be selected during the festival. The winners will be chosen from the categories of Best Overall Film, Best Smartphone Film, Best High School Films, Best College Film and Crowd Favorite.

To begin the festival, two documentaries created by local filmmakers will be shown. Sarah Gambles, a fourth-grade teacher at Banks School and Troy alumnus, is one of these local filmmakers.

Her piece “Armor” is about the experiences a biracial person may have growing up in the South, where there still exists a certain level of social segregation, and finding a place in society.

Gambles said she is excited about the screening.

“Something young students can take away from the festival and from ‘Armor’ is that every person has a story to tell, whether you are creating a truthful, realistic documentary or a fictional or animated piece,” Gambles said. “The best way for me to tell young people to approach film-making is just to make people care about your characters, whether they are real people, based on real people or just something you have envisioned in your mind—you just have to make sure they are relatable.”

Hayden Glass, a senior broadcast journalism major from Dothan, will also be submitting his film “All is Calm” to the film festival.

Submissions for films for the Indie Film Festival have ended, and the date for final decisions for selections is March 24.

The Indie Film Festival will have a $1 attendance fee.

A final schedule with precise times will be announced after final selections are made.

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