Student films to compete at Centrally Isolated Film Festival

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John Carberry
Still from "Winter Rye."
Still from "Winter Rye."
Still from "Flying with Kites."
Still from "Flying with Kites."

Films and screenplays by students at Cornell and other colleges and universities across the state will be screened and judged during the inaugural Centrally Isolated Film Festival, Nov. 22-23 at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts.

Organized by psychology and film major Elizabeth Brooks ’14, the festival features visits by Will Gluck ’93, director of “Friends with Benefits” (2011) and “The Michael J. Fox Show,” and film editor Tim Squyres ’81, a two-time Oscar nominee for his work on Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” (2012) and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000).

“I feel like we spend so much time as film students talking about the process and what we’re creating, but so little time thinking about who will see it and where it might go,” Brooks said. The professional critiques will also prove invaluable to student filmmakers, she said.

The short films and screenplays in the festival are about 20 minutes long and cover a range of topics. The documentary, narrative and experimental films come from students at Cornell, Ithaca College, State University of New York at Purchase, Binghamton University and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Cornell student organizers have been working since last spring to gather submissions and recruit industry panelists. Those same 10 students selected films for the festival, and the panelists will critique the films during the Saturday screening and make the final decision on a winner, Brooks said.

The festival will feature two screenings, Friday and Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Schwartz Center’s Film Forum. Gluck will host a Q-and-A session Nov. 23 from 2 to 4 p.m., and the Saturday evening screenings will feature a panel of industry specialists including Squyres; Diane Raver, founder of the Garden State Film Festival; associate professor of English and fiction writer Ernesto Quiñonez; and Hugues Barbier, co-founder and artistic director of the Ithaca International Fantastic Film Festival.

The winner of the festival will be announced during a 10:30 p.m. reception Saturday at Stella’s Restaurant, Bar and Café, 403 College Ave.

The festival is sponsored by the Department of Performing and Media Arts, the American Studies Program and Slope Media.

Tickets are $3 for the Friday screening and $5 for the Saturday screening. The Q-and-A with Gluck and the reception at Stella’s are both free. Tickets are available at the Schwartz Center box office, by calling 607-254-2787 or at

Kathy Hovis is a writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.

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