Film Festival Reflection

December 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

I really loved being part of the film festival hosted by our Asian American in Media class. I never thought about organizing and hosting a film festival since I am not a media studies major. Instead I am interested in being an economics major, and I took this class since it sounded very interesting. I was correct since the class was very fascinating. Although I found some aspects of the class hard to grasp, overall I was able to enjoy the content.

The film festival integrated into the syllabus allowed me to gain a new perspective of the class. Viewing the films from the pool of films with the film festival on mind allowed me to watch the film with a keen eye. As I was watching through the films, I kept trying to foreshadow a potential program that might be part of the film festival, and I had some difficulties trying to make connections between few films. But once I joined the group with Evyn and Bill to work on short narratives, with the group as a whole I started to see coherent connections. As a group we were able to find a series of film that worked very well together and could stand alone as a strong program in the film festival. I was given the duty to write burps for each of the films, and as I was writing, I saw that these films worked together perfectly, and I was really excited about having these films screened in a large theater with audiences and filmmakers present.

Hosting the film festival was a challenge since there are many factors that need to add well together in order for the festival to be a success. Without the help of Prof. Ma, we would not have had the opportunity to successfully host the film festival. I really enjoyed making the program flyer for our film festival. It gave me the opportunity to be creative in a field that is far different from my major. On the day of the film festival, I was really excited about meeting one director in particular. Ami Patel’s Still Life with shows a queer South Asian female’s struggle to balance her love life with her parents. As a South Asian, I was shocked to see this film since personally I cannot remember any films in which South Asian queer issues are discussed. Ami Patel portrayed an idea in Still Life with that is not discussed or seen in mainstream films. I really wanted to her in person to ask her the though process that went through while directing this film and how people received her film.

On the day of the film festival, I did get the opportunity to meet her in person and have a great conversation with her. I really loved the Q&A session following the screening since I was able to get a new perspective on the films through the director’s lens. I really enjoyed listening to them, and I even took my cell phone out to record the audio voices of few of the things some of the directors were saying. Having the opportunity to have a meal with the directors afterwards was also great since I was able to sit with a few of them and talk about the films. I also met and had conversations with few of the audiences, and I really loved hearing their feedbacks.

Overall I really loved being part of the film festival. I was happy with the outcome and the number of people who came to our program. I really wish I had the opportunity to attend all of the film festival programs, but since I had an asthma attack on Saturday due to the rapid weather changes in California, I was not able to attend the program. I have watched all the films that were shown on Saturday, and I regret not being there to get the filmmakers perspectives during the Q&A session after the screenings. I never imagined myself doing a film festival so I would like to thank my group members, Prof. Ma, and the whole class for giving me the opportunity to experience something new and exciting.


-Kanna Jeyaseelan

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