For the first time, the Spanish Club at Missouri Western is organizing a student foreign film festival.
Participation in the festival is sparse as no students have yet submitted films. April Buntin, Spanish Club President, said she thinks students have a lot going on at this point in the semester and do not have time to make a film.
University of Central Missouri holds a student foreign film festival each year. Some of this year’s films are on You Tube. Buntin has permission to use them in the Western festival, and Central students’ films may be selected as winners.
Western students who submit films are eligible for prizes such as $15 Amazon gift cards. Students may submit films in any foreign language with English subtitles. The films may be up to 10 minutes in length. Buntin said even a 30-second film will be accepted. Students may submit films now through Nov. 12.
Buntin said she got the idea for a foreign film festival after viewing a film her cousin submitted in his high school’s festival.
“I thought it was a great way for the students to practice speaking and writing Spanish,” Buntin said. “And, also to have some fun doing it.”
Buntin said students who make a foreign film have the opportunity to research a foreign culture and present some of those ideas. She said that students enhance their foreign language skills as they write a script and act in the film.
All films will be shown in Hearnes 102 on Nov. 12. Dr. Ana Bausset-Page and Dr. Eduardo Castilla Ortiz will review the films to make sure they are appropriately scripted in Spanish. Spanish Club members will select finalist films. Audience members will vote for the film to receive the Viewers’ Choice Award.
Buntin said she thinks the lack of participation is due to problems with marketing and promotion. Students may not have known about the festival soon enough to be able to make a film in time.
Buntin said, “If students are worried about being able to write the script, there are a lot of great online references to use.” She suggested Google Translate and wordreference.com. Students may also seek help from the foreign language tutors in the Center for Academic Support.
Buntin said she tried to get support from the Western film department and was told the foreign language aspect would be too difficult for film students.
“I would hope to get some more support from the film department next semester,” Buntin said.