MCJ Student Film & Video Showcase held in-person for the first time

Dean of The College of Arts and Humanities, Dr. Honora Chapman, alongside MCJ department chair, Dr. Betsy Hays, welcomes guests. (Wyatt Bible/The Collegian)

Fresno State’s Media, Communications and Journalism (MCJ) Department hosted its Student Film & Video Showcase event in-person for the first time at the Alice Peters Auditorium on March 22. 

The event consisted of students’ work including broadcast journals, documentary films and narrative films. It also showcased videos produced by public relations students who partnered with film and media students, alongside a news video reported by The Collegian.

The first event was canceled in March 2020 and then transitioned to Zoom in 2021 due to COVID-19. 

“There are all of these distractions on our computers…One of the nice things about the showcase being in-person is that folks will just sit there and enjoy and really get a break from their digital lives,” said event coordinator and MCJ chair Betsy Hays.

Hays said that this is an obstacle many other event coordinators are overcoming, but leaves room for creating ambitious plans for the future.

“I think it would be fun to [look] for ways to expand beyond film and video, because that’s not the only type of work our students do, and it might be fun to reincorporate the judging component of the professionals,” Hays said. “That’s something we have done over the years, but not all the time, so I think it would be neat to ask, ‘We’ve done it all these different ways, what are some of the pieces we want to reincorporate in the post-pandemic?’” 

Refreshments were provided in the lobby on the Alice A. Peters Auditorium prior to the showcase at the Craig School of Business building. (Wyatt Bible/The Collegian)

MCJ faculty members nominated their students’ work to be featured in the showcase. 

Carla Sanchez Parra was one of the students selected for directing a narrative short film “A Love So Structural.”

“I don’t think I’ve shown the film to anybody besides the people who worked on it and my very close friends,” Parra said. “This was like our baby. Having people that weren’t directly involved in it and seeing it – that’s crazy.”

Student attendees were excited by future plans for the showcase, with students like Guadalupe Gonzalez, cinematographer of the narrative short film “A Love So Structural,” seeing the event as a great opportunity for students to share their creative endeavors.

One of the student films shown at the MCJ Student Film & Video Showcase was “A Love So Structural,” directed by Carla Sanchez Parra. (Wyatt Bible/The Collegian)

“This was actually a good experience, [and] because of COVID, we had to do everything by ourselves like a one-man-band. …Collaborating with people, I feel like it gave me a good feel of how it would be in the future if I were to pursue this as a career, which I am hoping to do. It was a nice experience, and I know that these lasting connections [could] lead to collaborating on future projects,” Gonzalez said.

The event was part of the Fresno State College of Arts and Humanities’ annual Arts in Motion Showcase, a weeklong series of events celebrating the college’s students, their passions and accomplishments, according to its website. Future events will be shared on the social media pages for the MCJ department and the College of Arts and Humanities.

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