Films in this fall's SMADFEST explore 'self-discovery and identity'

Media Arts and Design

By Charlotte Matherly, staff writer

After a year online, the in-person experience of watching student-produced movie magic will return to the Grafton-Stovall Theatre at 6 p.m. Dec. 14.

SMADFEST — a collection of short films that SMAD students write, shoot and produce — is the product of the DVC capstone class. This year’s SMADFEST will feature three short films of around 15 minutes each.

Prof. Rustin Greene, who teaches the SMAD 405 class that focuses on producing and directing films, said by serendipity, the films have an overarching theme this semester. 

“All three of these [films] are exploring self-discovery and identity,” he said.

Those three  — “A Night Alone,” “Roommates” and “True Stories of a Recipe Blog Writer” — span across genres and will please a wide-ranging audience.

“A Night Alone,” written by Cole Tate, focuses on three people who get stranded in the woods and are left to survive the elements, and “Roommates,” by Amy Linczyc, details two freshmen who clash in their first college dorm.

“True Stories of a Recipe Blog Writer,” which Gannon La Croix wrote, is about the food bloggers who craft long backstories to accompany each dish.

In SMAD 405, each student writes a screenplay before the class begins, and the students vote on which ones they’d like to produce. The class then forms groups and set out to produce each film.

Greene said aside from a few minor challenges with casting and locations, the semester has gone smoothly. He said he’s excited to get back into the theater.

“Going to a film was originally designed as … a group experience where we have the audience that responds to each other and takes cues from one another and learns from one another,” Greene said. “A live audience enables each of the audience members to experience the film in ways that we rarely do just by ourselves.”

Following the in-person premiere, the event will be available on the JMU SMADFEST YouTube channel.


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Published: Thursday, December 9, 2021

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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