Lights! Camera! Action!
The upcoming 21st annual Big Lens Film Festival will showcase some of the latest student films from Wright State’s award-winning Motion Pictures Program. With genres ranging from drama to documentary, Big Lens is sure to dazzle.
Big Lens will kick off the FilmDayton Festival, a weekend long celebration of cinema, by showcasing six films directed by Wright State Motion Picture students. Films from previous years have gone on to screen at major industry festivals around the world.
Screenings will be held Thursday, August 22, at 7:30 and 8 p.m. at The Neon movie theater in downtown Dayton. Audience members can participate in a Q&A with the young filmmakers following the screenings. Tickets are $7 at the door.
“What is awesome about this year’s lineup is the amount of variety,” said Ashley Brandon, a senior motion pictures student. “We have films revolving around the hardships of growing up, several films that deal with forgetting and remembering the past, a film which deals with one’s identity and how that relates to where we come from and a documentary which shows the struggle to fulfill the American Dream.”
According to Brandon, the number of female student directors is what sets this year’s Big Lens Film Festival apart from the past festivals. Out of six films, four are directed by women.
Brandon is the director of Punches & Pedicures, one of the films to be shown at Big Lens Film Festival. Punches & Pedicures is a documentary that focuses on a Vietnamese immigrant who aims to help troubled youth by teaching mixed martial arts out of a nail salon in Defiance, Ohio.
“It is a combination of everything the motion pictures faculty has taught me, both in production and in theory courses,” said Brandon.
“We have many, many hours of footage all packed into a 14-minute film. Although the process of creating the film was long, it was also an amazingly fun experience,” she said. “This is is a culmination of my film skills so far, but at the same time I’m ready to make a new film which leaves Punches & Pedicures in the dust.”
Brandon believes her documentary will be a hit. After its premiere at the Big Lens Film Festival, she hopes to see Punches & Pedicures screened at other festivals around the globe.
In years past, Big Lens has served as a launching pad for many Wright State films. Some have gone on to screen at festivals around the globe such as Sundance and South by Southwest, and some have even won Student Academy Awards.
Concluding the Big Lens Film Festival will be a question-and-answer session held with the Wright State filmmakers.
“Wright State’s film program is one of the best in the country, and this year’s Big Lens proves that,” said Brandon. “I feel very confident that those who attend will leave satisfied. We may not own the fancy equipment that larger film programs have, but what we do have is storytelling skills that go unmatched.”