Flix Fest to show student films

Rabab Al-Sharif

KSU graduate submits montage

The Fifth Annual Black Squirrel Flix Fest is bound to have something for everyone.

The film festival, which features student films, has short films in genres including comedy, animation, drama and everything in between.

Flix Fest, a competition where attendees watch submitted short movie films created by Kent State students, will be held today at 7 p.m. in the Kiva, and admission is free.

This year, 13 films will be shown at the festival. Twelve of those films are original films created by students; the thirteenth is a montage of classic films created by 2007 Kent State graduate and staff member, Dustin Lee.

Lee has been participating in the festival since its second year. When he thinks back to his first year, he chuckles thinking about his submissions.

“At the time I was really proud of it,” Lee said. “Now I look back and I’m like ‘Wow, I can’t believe I ever turned that stuff in.’”

Lee said the festival is a learning experience.

“You get to see other people around your age, that are sometimes in the same program as you, doing things that you hadn’t thought of,” he said. “It’s really a great way to get some ideas.”

The festival, Lee said, gave him a chance to connect with others on campus that shared his love of filmmaking.

“It was really nice to see that there were people on campus that shared the same interest as me, and they didn’t have to necessarily be in the same major,” he said.

Lee said the festival was a big part of his life when he was at Kent State and something he looked forward to every year.

Now that he’s back on campus working for the University Communications and Marketing Office, he wanted to be part of the festival once again.

This year, Lee submitted a film out of competition in hopes of sharing his love for movies with others.

“I really would just like to have people see what I’ve made,” he said. “I figured if I put this in here, maybe it would inspire someone to say ‘Oh, you know movies are really cool. Maybe I could go make my own and it’ll be as good as one of these someday.’”

Last year, Lee said, he wasn’t working or going to school on campus, but he still came to the festival to see what students were working on.

“Even if I wasn’t submitting something, I’d still be going to the festival every year,” he said. “It’s awesome to see that many people come just to watch what students make.”

Nicolas Wheeler, a junior interpersonal communications major and the executive director of the event, said the filmmakers with the top three submissions will win one of three prizes from Flix Fest sponsors.

Prizes include Avid editing software, Audio-Technica audio equipment and an Apple gift pack.

Wheeler, who has been part of planning the film festival for the past three years, said one of the best parts is giving the filmmakers the chance to show their films to everyone.

“I just remember the filmmakers saying ‘Hey thanks for showing my film,’” Wheeler said. “They were proud to show their film to people.”

Wheeler is confident that this year’s festival will be the best yet.

“Every year it’s been getting bigger,” he said. “I’m just so glad it’s been growing and just to be part of the process and sharing it with the world.”

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Rabab Al-Sharif at [email protected].