Roll out the Red Carpet: Packer Film Festival Preview
Above: A still from Eli Harrell’s (’19) short film 36 exposures.
Every year, Packer’s talented filmmakers gather in the Pratt Theater for a night of movies, music, and more. The Packer Film Festival is a staple of the Packer community, with a plethora of students always turningout to supporttheir friends. This year’s edition, which will be held on June 1st, will be no different, as Packer’s best will be on display, competing under the traditional categories of experimental, short, narrative, and documentary, as well as a new addition, broadcast journalism. This new category displays the overall growth of film journalism and the digital video department at Packer.
Speaking to the excitement of the new broadcast journalism category, Olivia Weseley (‘19) noted that it is great to see the development of another artistic form. In addition to a new category being added to the contest, according to Adam Kaplan (‘19), this year’s film festival will see the inclusion of an increasingly large DV class, which has enabled the department to delve into new categories. For example, earlier this year,Adamand other members of the DV class participated in a three-day film festival.
Michael Miller, Packer’s digital video teacher, was quick to acknowledge some of the new talent, including Graham Hall-Keough (‘21), who recently received an honorable mention at the NY Alliance Film Festival, a competition open to students from independent schools across New York. These new students have worked hard this year and are eagerly awaiting their chance to showcase their movies to their friends. This, according to Olivia Weseley (‘19), is the most important part of the event.
“I think any film festival is special, because people get to have their work validated,” she said. “While an art competition may seem somewhat counter-intuitive, because art isn’t supposed to be objectively good or bad, having a panel of judges who appreciate your work is good for everyone because they are recognizing the effort you’ve put in.”
This year’s film festival is gearing up to be great. In addition to the abundance of talent that will be on display, the Jazz Band and guest judges will create an enjoyable and festive atmosphere. According to Mr. Miller, many of the movies are intended to make you think and are quite interesting. Furthermore, there will be a great panel of judges, including Hollywood movie star John Slattery and employees from VICE News. For the first time ever, there will be live dance performances from some of Packer’s best dancers. In addition to the movies, Packer Film Festival t-shirts will be available for sale, featuring student artwork from Alex Molestina (‘18).
When asked to make a pitch to her fellow students, Olivia said, “You should come because it’s free, fun, and festive. It’s also super fun to see your friends, who have worked so hard, act in movies and win awards. It’s just a great time.”