Alternative Cinema: Student Video Art Showcase

Claire Madsen, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, February 22, students and faculty members gathered in Golden Auditorium to enjoy a variety of short films produced by Colgate students from 2020 to 2021. The showcase was sectioned into three topics of filmmaking, entitled “Quarantine Diary,” “Free Section,” and “Homemade and Colgate Daily Life.” The short films ranged in lengths, from under a minute to 15 minutes. 

Each topic was followed by a short discussion and a question and answer session with the featured filmmakers in attendance. It was an incredible opportunity to hear student filmmakers describe the inspirations behind their films, as well as their creative processes.  

Sophomore, feature filmmaker and organizer of the event, Vuong Hoang recounted:

“The event was a great opportunity for filmmakers on campus to gather and celebrate in an intimate, cozy setting. All the works shown were incredible and I do hope this sets the stage for more student-led productions here on campus and helps foster the artistic community here!”   

The event showcased the hard work of students with a passion for filmmaking and included films of multiple genres ranging from comedy, to experimental drama to parody. The discussion portion of the event allowed the audience to develop a deeper understanding of the process of filmmaking, and the hard work involved in developing both the abstract ideas for films and the more technical cinematography. 

In addition, the event was an effective way to reflect on the 2020-2021 school year, as many films dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic and students lived experiences during this past year. 

“It was a great pleasure that after a long disruption by the pandemic, we finally resumed our student video art showcase,” Assistant Professor of Art & Art History Yi Cui said. “Through the works presented, we really see how students at Colgate have been using the moving image as a medium to channel their creativity, to express their joy and humor, sometimes their pain and frustration, and also their insights and their hope!”

Sophomore Charlotte Louks noted how the screening inspired creativity.

“I really enjoyed watching everyone’s films. It is so great to see my peers’ hard work showcased and I think it is really inspiring to new filmmakers to see how possible it is to make your own films,” she said.

The showcase marks the first of what will hopefully be many opportunities for students to share their creative endeavors in video arts. 

“At the Q&A, we also heard such diverse voices from the filmmakers”, Cui said. “From now on, the showcase will be held regularly. I really hope more and more students will bring their works – both works from classes or works they’ve made on their own – to this platform, and let the showcase become a space to share creativity, to inspire one another, and to establish collaboration.”

The event was sponsored by the Art and Art History Department department at Colgate, and the series is made possible by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. If you are interested in events sponsored by the Art and Art History Department, upcoming events can be found on the Colgate University activities calendar.