The crimson-red carpet, the logo-covered backdrops and the tireless flashes of cameras—although this sounds like a scene that could only be found in Hollywood, AU’s communication and design arts department has made it a reality for Anderson one night a year. The annual Black Bird Film Festival, taking place this year on April 29, draws crowds of students, faculty, staff and even members of the Anderson community.
Professor Jack Lugar, associate professor of cinema and media arts, introduced this event to campus three years ago as a way to showcase students’ work on short films and videos.
“The department sponsors the Black Bird Film Festival to advance our students—to give them an opportunity to see their films and their hard work on the big screen in front of a live audience,” he said. “Too often we work on projects and we can’t get that instant feedback from a live audience.”
Although instant feedback is important for individuals in the entertainment industry, Lugar explained that the festival contributes more than that to AU.
“We do the film festival to provide the student body, the campus and even the community an opportunity to see what we’re doing here at AU and within our department—what students are working on,” he said. “A film festival is a vital part of the community. Using that form of media and using art is a way to grow community.”
Since the debut of this festival, Lugar explained that he has seen significant growth in the number of attendees every year.
“We’ve gone from about 50 people coming the first year to 80 coming the second year to over 150 coming the third year,” he said. “Without an audience I think creating things is limited in its meaning and point. To share art is one of the most important things.”
According to Lugar, admission to the event is free in order to make it accessible to anyone who desires to go. Lugar explained that the festival will be a chance for busy individuals to escape the weekly routine and recharge for a night.
“It happens on a Wednesday evening before the week of finals,” he said. “So it’s a chance to relax and do something fun for an evening.”
The Black Bird Film Festival will be taking place Wednesday, April 29 in York Performance Hall.