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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Art and Film Clubs host first annual film festival

Audience members watch various films created by local student filmmakers, March 22. PHOTO: SAHR KARIMU ’26/THE HAWK

Students packed the Great Hall of the Frances M. Maguire Art Museum March 22 for the first annual St. Joe’s Film Festival. 

St. Joe’s Art Club and the Film Club collaborated to host the festival, presenting 14 films by 13 student directors.

Kelly Slater ’24, a film major and president of the Art Club, said she had wanted to create a film festival to bring more attention to filmmaking at St. Joe’s. 

“We all came together and decided a film festival would be awesome,” Slater said. “Film is kind of smaller at this school and not really recognized. And turns out we have a lot of filmmakers here that have awesome films.”

For filmmakers like Mauritz Wilshusen ’27, the film festival was an opportunity to witness a large audience react to his films for the first time. 

“Honestly, I think it’s such a cool thing,” said Wilshusen. “It’s a really cool idea to share the films because you can upload them to YouTube, but you’ll never see never see the actual reaction from the audience.”

Wilshusen presented two films in the festival, “Living Room Nightmares” and “The Paint That Never Dries,” which won an award for best editing. 

Audience point of view photo at the first annual SJU film festival
Audience members watch “Tomorrow and Forever,” created by Justin O’Neill, a senior at Temple University. PHOTO: TESS COARY ’24/THE HAWK

Slater said creating that platform for filmmakers to experience an audience is one of the reasons she created the event.

Gabrielle Miller, an adjunct professor of theatre and film at St. Joe’s, was elated to see the seats filled by so many members of the school community. 

“For the audience to be here and look when I said, ‘Can I take a picture of the audience for the first annual St. Joe’s film festival?’ and everybody started spontaneously cheering and clapping and smiling and hooting tells me that this is something really special,” Miller said. 

Miller, who addressed the audience before the screening, said it makes sense to bring people together around something as omnipresent as art. 

“There’s the capacity for art in everything you see, do and experience, but [it] takes an artist to do something about it,” Miller said.

After the success of the event, Miller said she hopes its outcome will bring the campus community closer together.

“Film sparks a global conversation,” Miller said. “You can talk to someone and say, ‘Oh, what’s your favorite film?’ And maybe you haven’t seen it, maybe you’ve heard of it, and then you start a conversation.”  

Photo of Art Club President Kelly Slater ’24 addresses audience members after film screenings
Art Club President Kelly Slater ’24 addresses audience members after film screenings. PHOTO: SAHR KARIMU ’24/THE HAWK
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Tess Coary, Assistant Features Editor
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