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Student film festival Wednesday at CWC

May 7, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Instructor Jeremy Nielsen says audience feedback is a vital part of the learning process.

Members of the public are invited to a film festival Wednesday featuring student work at Central Wyoming College.

Instructor Jeremy Nielsen said the event is a chance for the community to see the work his film, television and radio students are doing on the Riverton campus.

"These are things you probably wouldn't get an opportunity to see at all otherwise," he said.

This is the second year Nielsen has put on the show.

Each film is about five minutes long, but Nielsen said the videos cover a wide variety of topics. Some are based in fiction, he explained, while others are commercials created by television students to sell a certain product.

"Students have kind of gone above and beyond," Nielsen said. "Some made something specifically for the festival."

Participation in the event is not mandatory, he added, and all CWC students are invited to enter the competition. The deadline for submissions was Monday.

After the festival, a panel of CWC staff members will select the winners of two awards: "Best of Fest" and best first-year production. The audience also will get to choose a favorite film.

Nielsen said the first-year prize is new and comes with a scholarship for the winner.

Another change this year is the inclusion of CWC's screenwriting program in the event. Nielsen said students who have written movies or plays will read selections from their scripts during the film festival.

"Each part will be taken by a different student," he said. "They'll all just stand up where they're sitting and perform them that way, rather than going up front."

He said students often get nervous about showing their work to strangers, but the process -- which he described as being "gloriously painful" at times -- is an important part of the film industry.

"The students screen work for each other and provide feedback in workshops, but that's a pretty safe environment," Nielsen said. "If you show it to a bunch of strangers, they potentially laugh at the parts they're not supposed to, or they don't laugh when they are supposed to. It's a valuable experience to get that objective viewpoint."

It also should be interesting for the audience to watch a movie while sitting in the same room as the filmmaker, he pointed out.

"There's an energy to the evening," Nielsen said. "It's pretty exciting -- how often do you get to watch films, and the filmmakers are all sitting in the audience with you?"

He anticipates a contingent of about 20-30 staff and faculty at the Student Film Festival, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the CWC Little Theatre. Admission is free; for more information, call Nielsen at 855-2212.

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