Film majors showcase their work at anticipated festival



Patrick Farrell and Michael Csorba display their awards for their short film ‘A Happy Smile.’

Stephen Williams, Contributing Writer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— As time winds down on spring and the semester draws to a close, Jacksonville University gets ready to showcase some of its students work. 

The Jacksonville University Phin Film Festival is an end-of-the-year celebration, which will highlight the hard work and dedication that the film and animation majors have demonstrated for the scholastic year. The festival takes place at Swisher Theatre on Saturday, April 6 from 3 to 7 p.m.

Alex Willemin, assistant professor of film and media art, looks forward to showcasing some of his students work in a way that hasn’t been done before.

“This festival gives film students a sense of finality about their work,” says Willemin. “Hopefully it becomes a sense of pride for the film program and for the film students.

As far as Willemin recalls, this is the first film festival that Jacksonville University is putting forward to an audience of the filmmakers’ peers, family, and friends. Willemin explains that this experience is a first for some of his students and that they’ve never had their projects screened to a large audience.

Some students have mixed feelings about showcasing their work, but look forward to showing off their craft.

“I would say that I’m both excited and nervous about the film festival,” said Jamie Zimlich, a junior film major. “It’s always a cool thing to see your work up on the screen for others to see.”

Filmmakers such as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Fritz Lang, and Christopher Nolan are directors that Zimlich likes to pattern her craft after. However, Peter Jackson’s work with the “Lord of the Rings” series is what inspired Zimlich to become a filmmaker.

“My plans after graduation are to join a production company,” said Zimlich. “I want to start out at an entry level job and work my way to being an assistant director.”

Tynieya Smith, a freshman film major, believes the feedback from her professors and fellow classmates can help her be a better filmmaker.

“I constantly asked for constructive criticism from my peers and professors,” said Smith. “The feedback I received and endless hours of film and TV shows I watch help me become the best filmmaker possible.”

Tyler Perry, Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Ryan Coogler, and Ava DuVernay are all filmmakers that inspire Smith. 

“My next step is to pursue writing more,” says Smith. “I want to continue making content appealing to society.”

Willemin believes that this festival could lead to a friendly competition between film major classifications.

“The freshman will watch the sophomores, sophomores will watch the juniors and so on,” says Willemin. “I want them to say to themselves that ‘I gotta do better than this next year.’ That’s the kind of healthy competition that I want to instill in this program.