The first Fresno State Film Festival screened 27 student-made cinematic works across five categories last Friday at the Alice Peters Auditorium.
The audience members voted for their favorite films for each category. The festival winners were: Cadence Calvert’s “Becca” for animation; Tanya Acosta’s “Adventure” for music video; Craig Talbot’s “League of Women Voters” for public service announcement and corporate; Eddie Block’s “America at War!” for documentary and Macy Reagan’s “Memories of an Assassin” for narrative.
A team of six students, as part of their independent study, organized the festival under the advisement of filmmaker and Fresno State professor Aaron Schuelke.
Schuelke said he was excited to see all the hard work of the filmmakers on the big screen.
“I also want them to have the experience of what it’s like to have a film in a festival setting,” Schuelke said. “For the students on the committee, I want them to appreciate all that goes into organizing an event like this.”
Schuelke also said that they are planning on some iteration of the festival to continue and become an annual event.
Noah Villaverde, mass communication and journalism multimedia major, screened his narrative film “Reassembly Required” that explored the tense and awkward moments when two people attempt to rekindle an old yet close relationship.
Villaverde worked with Fresno State student filmmaker and cinematographer Jason Duong for his project. Villaverde said that he was relatively new to the narrative form filmmaking and is very excited to continue his craft.
“I see it as a jumping off point for future projects when I learn more and more from it,” Villaverde said.
Bryn Reagan, the mother of narrative winner Macy Reagan, said she was very proud of the work that her daughter put toward her film.
Reagan also said that besides her daughter’s film, she most enjoyed the documentary winner “America at War!” The documentary advocates for the end of illegal immigration between the U.S. and Mexico border. Reagan said she liked the film because traditional media doesn’t cover stories like it.
“It’s a big secret that they don’t show us or tell us anything on television at all,” Reagan said. “You have to get it from a second source, so to speak.”
Eddie Block, the student filmmaker behind the winning documentary, partnered with Ben Bergquam to create the film. Block said that he wanted to show what other media outlets don’t show.
“You watch the news and they show you what they want to show you,” Block said. “They don’t show you everything and that’s what we want to do.”
Block said that he enjoyed the investigative journalism aspect while working on the documentary.