While most film-fanatics are getting excited for the upcoming Oscars, AU students, faculty and staff are eagerly awaiting the fifth annual Black Bird Film Festival.
A mix between the Oscars and a Hollywood movie premiere, AU’s cinema and media arts program hosts the festival each year to show off student-made short films, commercials and even music videos.
Last year, at the height of the pandemic, the festival was held virtually. Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Arts Jack Lugar, founder and host of the festival, expressed his excitement to hold the event in-person once again.
“We’re going to hold it at Reardon Auditorium this year as opposed to York so that we can have enough seating for hundreds of people,” said Lugar. “After a year of being isolated and not having many activities, this is a great way for everybody to get out of their dorms and come together and experience a fun night of films.”
According to Lugar, it’s important for students to share their films with a live audience.
“We don’t create art in a vacuum,” said Lugar. “Our creative works aren’t meant for ourselves, but they’re meant to be shared. That adds value, not only to the artist, but then the community that gets to experience it.”
Lugar explained that filmmaking is “one of the great storytelling media,” and that watching films as a community is one of the many beloved communal events snatched away by the pandemic.
“It’s great that we can watch TV or a movie in our home, but to be able to experience it with others brings that much more energy and enjoyment, especially when you’re watching something scary or something that is funny––to laugh together.”
Lugar is also excited about the presentation of the new and improved “Squawky” awards. This year, the trophies have been designed by Associate Professor of Visual Communication Jason Higgs and will be presented as awards for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Film, Audience Choice and more.
The Black Bird Film Festival will be held on April 28, with the red carpet rolling out at 6:15 p.m. and the screening beginning at 7:00 p.m.