UIndy’s first film festival premieres Dec. 10

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The University of Indianapolis will join the ranks of Cannes, Sundance and Heartland by hosting its first annual film festival, 317 Film Fest. The festival was created and will be hosted by the UIndy Communication Department and will be held in Room 114 of the Health Pavilion on Dec. 10 at 8 p.m.

The festival features four original, independent films created by UIndy TV5 students. The short films range from about 15 to 30 minutes in length and have actors from UIndy, as well as actors from the hometowns of some of the filmmakers. Senior Production Manager of UIndy TV5 Katy Sonksen helped formulate the idea to give students a chance to create a longer format project, an opportunity they normally would not have in years past.

“I know a lot of students talk about having ideas for short films, and I’ve said the same thing,” Sonksen said. “But due to things like sports and other classes, you don’t have time to invest in a full-fledged short-film project or documentary. This class is giving kids that creative outlet to produce the ideas that they have thought of and wanted to do, with the equipment and guidance available at UIndy.”

Senior communication major Artemis Choungk wrote and directed her short film “No Distance,” which, according to the 317 Film Fest website, explores the love story of a long-distance relationship between Artemis and Daniel. It is a story of a young woman who lets go her fear of falling in love when she crosses paths with a charming man. Their relationship is tested in the film when Artemis is offered a job in Spain, and the couple must deal with the conflicts of a long-distance relationship.

Senior communication major Daviona Johnson created a short film titled “Voice of the Youth.” According to the film fest’s website, the documentary follows a group of educators who bring poetry into public schools through the Indy Pulse organization. Her film highlights the impact that poetry has on young people who want to share their voice, as well as those who have previously not had one.

Sophomore communication major Dylan Listner directed, animated and wrote “Saxton Fell,” an animated film that, according to the film fest’s website, takes place in the universe of the online multiplayer first-person shooter “Team Fortress 2.” The film follows the Mann Co. mercenaries as they try to stay afloat after their CEO, Saxton Hale, is assassinated. He is using a program called “Source Filmmaker,” which the game developer, Valve, use to create trailers and cinematics for its games. He is using in-game quotes, as well as voice actors.

Senior communication major Emily Morris wrote and directed a short film titled “It Is What It Is,” which, according to the film fest’s website, is based on true experiences that have happened to her in her interracial relationship, as well as other couples in her small town. The story follows the challenges of Ava and Aiden, when the interracial couple visits Ava’s small town. It highlights the anxieties of “meeting the parents” and encounters with police, which Morris said, are different from what a white couple would encounter.

Prior to this semester, Morris said that she did not have a great desire to write or shoot a short film.

“When I heard we were going to do a film festival in the production department, it kind of scared me, because I know I’m not as creative, to where I can come up with a crazy script,” Morris said. “I never really thought about doing short films, but I enjoyed the process. I don’t know if I’ll continue doing them, but I found out that I enjoy directing.”

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