Black Warrior Film Fest showcases student talent

The annual event was held Friday and Saturday, displaying an array of student-made films, from horror to drama. Some took home awards.

By Andrew Marronaro
News Reporter

            Showcasing some of the talented cinematic works by students, the Black Warrior Film Festival was held this past weekend in the Ferguson Center at the University of Alabama.

            The festival started Friday and was kicked off with guest speakers who are involved in the field of film and have faced some of the hurdles of students entering the film industry. The film festival offers students a chance to network and socialize with prominent directors they may not otherwise get a chance to meet.

            “This is about building relationships, and getting connected with everyone here,” said Kathleen Bodel, a graduate of the University of Alabama.

            The guest speakers included names such as Josh Penn and Xavier Burgin, who have received Oscar and Emmy nominations for their work. Some of the film blocks included tell your story, drama, and the Holle Award finalist, all of which showcase students’ talents within their own work.

            The winner of the Holle award was Raven Jackson, who took home the award for excellence in filmmaking for her picture “Nettles.” Students are able to showcase their talent in the field and what they have learned, using various genres to create an array of material.

            “Seeing other people’s ideas come to life absolutely inspires me. Essentially, we are ‘doing the impossible’ by making movies in college,” said Janelle Lawrence, a senior in creative media at the university with a focus in production and screenwriting.

            The films were in-depth with complex plots that were carefully crafted and critiqued. Nevertheless, this annual film festival reveals the talents of the students here at the University of Alabama and can inspire those who seek to make compelling and passionate films. The annual festival is held every spring since its inaugural year in 2013.

            “It’s really productive and rare to be surrounded by people with similar passions, but especially at a festival like Black Warrior where there is a strong sense of encouragement between students rather then competition,” said Stacey Torkelson, a senior with a minor concentration in journalism and creative media.

            “I think that bringing all of those students together as well as bringing in alumni and special guests further opens the UA, JCM network for you as a student and eventually as a professional,” Torkelson said.