The third annual Montage Film Festival was held April 23 in the Global International Studies Building. Nominated films were screened before the audience prior to the awards portion of the evening.
The Montage Film Festival is a student-organized event that celebrates the talents of IU students in film. Submitted films are viewed by selected alumni who decide which category the films will be nominated in.
Awards categories included best score, best sound design, best cinematography, best editing, best acting, best director, best fiction film and best non-fiction film. There was also an audience choice award, which allows students to vote through a poll for their favorite film.
IU senior Mokhina Alimova, student festival producer, said she was excited for students to watch each other's films and hoped that attendees would leave feeling inspired by the works.
“I hope students get motivated to either create their own films or watch more student films,” Alimova said. “I hope they see the potential and what they can achieve with just a camera.”
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IU senior Joey Still, nominated for best non-fiction, best editing, and best cinematography for his short film “Keep Wrestling,” took home all three awards in his nominated categories. Still said he was grateful for his nominations and couldn’t believe how far he and his work had come.
“Getting nominated is kind of humbling,” Still said. “I started from ground zero and now I’m here.”
Still’s short film showcases the life of a wrestler, Jonathan Moran, as he speaks on what wrestling has done for him and the positive impact it has had on his life. To make this film, Still said he drew on his own personal experience with wrestling.
“I started wrestling when I was a kid and hated it,” Still said. “But as I got older, I fell in love with it, and I started to learn the key aspects of wrestling, which is how to be strong and how to not give up on things when they get hard.”
IU grad student Robert Mack was nominated for best director, best score, best editing, and best cinematography for his short films “Chisel” and “North.” He said the nominations were rewarding in their own way.
“When we were making it, I was hoping it was something that other filmmakers and students could respect and enjoy,” Mack said. “So to get recognition from the film community here at IU is really cool.”
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Both “Chisel” and “North” showcase dances done on film stock, giving the films a unique look seldom seen today.
“I just love the look of celluloid,” Mack said. “The graininess, the texture, the shadow and colors, you just can’t get that look on digital.”
Despite this being her first semester with the festival, Alimova said she recognizes how important festivals like these are for the film community.
“There’s such a small market for short films,” Alimova said. “Most of what us students make never gets seen. Which is really unfortunate. So to showcase these films is a big deal for us.”