Hannah Maerowitz and Joanna Lee
UCSB’s annual Reel Loud Art & Film Festival received a new record of 24 submissions this year and selected 12 to be premiered on May 25 in Campbell Hall.
Submissions to Reel Loud often blur the boundaries between film and performance art due to the festival’s emphasis on sound and live performance accompaniment. Filmmakers are challenged to create an engaging film without reliance on dialogue. All of the films must be seven minutes or less in length.
The 12 films that were selected for the festival at a preview screening are “Cross Step,” “A Field of Flowers,” “2 Buds,” “Insulated,” “10 Vipers,” “Danse des Pâtes,” “Heard,” “Thank You For Your Time,” “Young Grandpa,” “L^mbo,” “Stay By Me,” and “Happenstance.”
Criteria for evaluating the films included their ability to engage the audience, originality, and technical quality.
“Cross Step,” directed by Kai Kevin Goh and Emmaclaire Brock, was a highlight of the preview screening. The beautifully shot film follows two break dancers who eventually face off in a competition. Live breakdancers will likely be present for the showing of the film at the Reel Loud Film Festival.
“Young Grandpa,” “2 Buds,” “Thank You For Your Time,” and a “Field of Flowers” were also films that made lasting impressions on reporters, faculty, and affiliates that gathered to assess and preview the films.
“Young Grandpa,” directed by Erin Goyette, is simultaneously humorous and tender and follows a teen who wants to make his dying grandpa an apple pie. The film blurs the lines between fantasy and reality which parallels the main character’s struggle to come to terms with the reality of his grandpa’s condition. The film expertly takes a nuanced tone in its narrative.
The unique “Thank You for Your Time” creates a humorously strange and surprisingly emotional profile of a vampire who befriends a girl scout.
On the other hand, “2 Buds” pays tribute to slapstick silent films of the 1920s but is refreshing in its absurd and exaggerated humor.
“A Field of Flowers” was one of the most sentimental films submitted to the festival, following the life of a blind child and his father. Although it’s clear that the family goes through financial and emotional difficulties, the child is endearingly playful and optimistic. The blind child sees situations in a way that brightens his dad’s day despite the challenges they both face.
All of the selected films promise to expand viewers’ conception of short movies. You can buy tickets for the Reel Loud Film & Arts Festival at the UCSB Events & Tickets page.