One of the hardest things about being a filmmaker is getting your films seen. This problem only gets worse when compounded with the financial restraints and busy schedule of a college student. To help student filmmakers leave their mark, The BYU Theatre and Media Arts Department has teamed up with the Student Film Association to host the anual Final Cut Film Festival.
The Final Cut Film Festival will take place April 6 – 7 in the Pardoe Theatre of the Harris Fine Arts Center. What sets this festival apart from others is that it features nothing but student-made films.
Stephen Nelson, president of the Student Film Association, said the whole goal behind Final Cut is to promote the art of filmmaking — more specifically student filmmaking.
“The biggest hope is to get as many people in the seats as possible to view student films,” Nelson said. “That’s one of the best learning experiences for film students.”
Nelson, a senior majoring in media arts, said communication and feedback help filmmakers to know what works and what doesn’t. This process is key to the art of filmmaking.
“It’s amazing to sit in the front row of a theater and to turn around and see how an audience reacts to your film,” Nelson said. “You don’t really know how well you’ve done until you screen it.”
Nick Dixon, a BYU film student from Colorado, said the festival really gives students the opportunity to showcase their talent to a broader audience.
“We make films to be seen and this is an awesome opportunity to get people to see them that wouldn’t usually see them,” Dixon said.
Dixon, who works as a technician with the the Student Film Association, said students can expect to see quality products as they attend the festival. Dixon himself co-produced the film “Mr. Bellpond,” which will be shown at the festival this weekend. The film recently won a Student Emmy award for best comedy.
“It’s a huge confidence boost to know that I can be a part of award-winning films,” Dixon said.
Hayley Thayer, a sophomore from Dallas majoring in film, said the festival is also important because it’s a wonderful networking opportunity.
“Not only students come to the festival,” Thayer said. “It gives the students the opportunity to network and expand their resources.”
The festival is made up of two separate programs, which feature two alternate screening schedules so everyone can see every film. “Program A” will be shown Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 8:30 p.m., while “Program B” will be shown Friday at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets cost $5 and can be purchased at the Fine Arts Ticket Office, byuarts.com/tickets or (801) 422-4322.