Swarthmore's student filmmakers stood out at the 7th Annual Tri-Co Film Festival, held on May 10 at the Bryn Mawr (Pa.) Film Institute. Students from Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr Colleges participated.
Julian Turner '18, who studied history and film & media studies, took home the Dramatic Filmmaking Prize for “M.A.Y,” his film for the Advanced Digital Production class, and Ruby Bantariza ‘20, a peace & conflict studies major from Scottsdale, Ariz., won the Audience Award for “Joy,” her final project in Digital Production Fundamentals, both taught by Visiting Assistant Professor Rodney Evans.
"I thought it was a great success with an amazingly diverse program of short films in terms of artists, genre, and subject matter while also highlighting new media platforms, installation, and web-based work," says Evans. "It's a fantastic culmination and celebration of the year's moving image work at the Tri-Co and this year in particular showed how much bold, visionary talent there is in abundance at all three schools."
Other Swarthmore students featured in the festival lineup included Xenia, Ohio, native Nick Barton '19 with “The Old Brain”; Ilana Epstein ‘21, who hails from Brookline, Mass., with “This and That”, her film for Digital Production Fundamentals; Vishnu Gupta ’18, who studied political science and film & media studies, with “Übermensch,” his film for Advanced Digital Production; and Ariana Hoshino ‘20, a film studies minor from Cornelius, N.C., and Min Cheng '18, who graduated with an economics and educational studies special major, with “Drunk History Swarthmore.”
Saket Sekhsaria, a Haverford sophomore taking courses in film & media studies at Swarthmore, also had two successes: his documentary “Freddy’s Boxes” appeared in the festival and his work “Atelo” completed in Advanced Digital Production was featured in a separate Director’s Sidebar. Also included in the sidebar were “Swisher” by Tiye Pulley ‘19, an art major and film & media studies minor from Annandale, N.J., and “Slow Train K751” by Lily Hangcheng Xu, a Haverford student who has taken several courses at Swarthmore. The festival was organized by Harlow Figa and curated by Shari Frilot, a senior programmer for the Sundance Film Festival, and Sosena Solomon, a Philadelphia-based social documentary filmmaker.
"Most of the students showing work in the festival only get feedback from their respective professors and classmates throughout the process," says Evans. "The festival becomes a vital way for them to share their work with respected professionals in the filmmaking community like the curators and jurors. This kind of cross-pollination and sharing of work being made across the three schools in one venue also leads to a deeper sense of community and offers opportunities to share ideas and resources that may manifest themselves in future films to come."