“You are the first audience to see these films,” began Briar March, a film professor at FAU as well as the organizer of the screening. “So this is actually the world premiere.”
There were 10 students who showcased their films to an audience of more than 50 people this past Friday in the Performing Arts Building as part of their final for professor March’s Documentary Video Production course. The documentaries — each lasting from five to seven minutes — followed different people, from the College Gaming League to a young woman trying her hand at beauty pageants.
The screenings lasted just over an hour and were followed by a Q&A session with the 10 filmmakers.
According to March, the students had 15 weeks to make an entire movie. While it was a part of the curriculum to have a final screening, March decided to open the screening to the public.
“Tonight, it was clear that we had interesting responses from the audience, and those kind of responses you would have never gotten in a class,” March said. “Students learn about how their films are going to be received from a wider audience.”
While the filmmakers may have been taught to perfect and recognize establishing shots and camera angles, the audience seemed to be more interested in the human aspect of their filmmaking process.
Audience members asked questions about how each student came into contact with the people they shot, if they ran into any trouble while actually filming, and what outside influences shaped the documentary.
Ales Soares, a sophomore film major who was featured in Rage With Meaning — a documentary about the College Gaming League — says she wouldn’t have gone if not for her involvement in the documentary.
“I liked it and I’m happy with how it all came out,” Soares said. “It had a good turn out. I expected a lot less people to show up but a lot of people came.”
Gavin Seller, a graduate student in the communication studies program, documented an immigrant family from Mexico, following the sacrifices they made in order to get through life’s struggles. Seller says he was happy to hear that several people were touched by his film.
“It was a pleasant surprise, and I was glad that the people who were in the film actually showed up,” Seller said. “That’s what I was the most nervous about.”