Miami Dade College Student Film Festival brings something new to the scene

On April 26th 2017, I had the privilege of attending the Miami Dade College Student Film Festival. The event was held at the Miami Dade College North Campus inside of the Lehman Theatre. Students were given a full year to complete a short film made with high quality equipment based on what level class they were in. Classes ranged from levels one through four and any student on any level was able to submit their film and participate in the festival. I’m sure you may be thinking that the higher level students most likely had the best films, but I am here to assure you all eight of these films were phenomenal in their own way and identifying the level of student based on the film was impossible . Most films were less than five minutes long and extremely intriguing. Picking my favorite was a bit of a challenge but I managed to narrow it down to my top two.

I’ve never experienced Obsessive Compulsive Disorder before but from watching the film “OCD” I was able to understand a different side of the disorder and how it can control a person's whole life. This piece was written by College National Poetry Slam champion Neil Hilborn. It was directed and produced by Alexander Beregovoy and Melissa Espinoza. The narrator told us this story in the form of a poem which allowed the audience to take a journey through the characters emotions. A man who has been living with OCD for most of his life is accustomed to going through his daily rituals alone until he finds love. At first the woman is understanding and actually blushes at the fact that he wants to kiss her ten times or more until he gets it right, but then when it becomes burdensome she distances herself and eventually breaks up with him. This leaves the man heartbroken and devastated and soon his obsession for the lost love becomes more powerful than his disorder. Abandoning his daily rituals, he then forms new habits of sitting at home wallowing in pity while yearning for the chemistry and love him and the woman once had.

My second choice is called “La Voie” directed and produced by Ithalie Gonzalez and also produced by Raymond Silveira. This film captured breathtaking vivid images of deep orange canyons, beautiful green pastures with grazing cows and the annual Loi Krathong sky lantern festival in Thailand where people light up the night sky with flying paper lanterns. It seems as though these students traveled the world in five minutes, and to top it off it was narrated in french with english subtitles. I’m a sucker for anything with subtitles. It makes me feel as if I am included in an intimate conversation where the message is being decoded specifically for me.

As the director grabbed our attention with high angles of mountain tops and colored patches of paint on smiling feminine faces, the narrator told us a story about appreciating life. I felt every single word touch my heart as I watched a man sit on a burning couch and nonchalantly read the newspaper. This helped me realize the director wanted us to understand that time is something we cannot stop but what we can do is make the best out of every moment and not be so conscious about runnung late. La Voie was a powerful piece.

At the end of the screenings the professors from the film department came out and presented some awards. “OCD” won faculty choice award. From the way the professors passionately spoke about their students it was obvious that they truly believed in their students and poured inspiration into them on a daily basis to help drive their artistic expression. It’s always a wonderful thing to see creatives create. We were given ballots and told that the overall winner of the film festival would be left in our hands and they would be revealing the resuts on the Miami Dade College website. I was really stuck between La Voie and OCD but can you guess which one I picked? Overall everyone’s film was extraordinary and I was completely blown away by all eight films. I’m currently anxious to see who the winner turns out to be. May the best film win.

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The Miami Urban Music and Film Festival 2020