Wilson College’s dance ensemble, Orchesis, hosted the school’s first international dance film festival on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. The event, which was screened in Brooks Auditorium, featured short dance films from around the world.
The festival has been in the works since this past November. It was planned by Megan Mizanty, Orchesis Pres. Shannon McKenzie and Orchesis VP Myah Quirin.
This is the second year that the dance ensemble has orchestrated and held an event in addition to their performances twice a year. Previously, they organized a flash mob.
The films selected to be shown at the festival at Wilson were originally curated and screened during October of 2017 at the University of East London. It was a part of the Centre for Performing Arts Development series, shown at Stratford Square Campus. Composed of films chosen form over 200 applicants, the final collection was selected by Project Tran(s)mit.
Applicants could submit films in any genre, whether they be documentary, short story, animation, etc. The only requirements were that they could be no more than 15 minutes in length and must explore movement and the human body. How they chose to express the themes were up to each filmmaker.
At Wilson, the most talked about film shown was one the incorporated a conversation about social media, commenting on the priorities given to obtaining “likes” on applications such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It was filmed in Slovenia, but its messages are universal. It used the expressive and powerful movements of hip-hop. While the social media platforms and practices were used in the film, at its heart, Zeljko Bozic’s “Letter” focused on the questions “why people dance.”
Mizanty’s favorite from the festival was a film from Netherlands. “I personally loved the movement, sound effects and editing work by Harm Weistra, in his film “Intrinsic Moral Evil.”
If students show enough interest in another film festival, they may show a new collection of films next year. There is also a possibility that they will hold a different type of event that incorporates dance, instead.