Lights, camera, action, and we’re rolling. After a month of continuous efforts by talented AUB students, the Media Society organized their second annual short film festival on Tuesday, April 11, to portray student films and have them judged on the spot by reputable experts from the field.
A large crowd of students filled the Charles Hostler Auditorium, waiting to see their friends’ movies.
“It is honestly my biggest achievement in AUB to make this short film festival come to life. Seeing this many people attend because they still believe in the importance of film, even in AUB, is beautiful and shouldn’t go without celebrating,” said Mona Jouni, president of the Media Society.
Of the judges were Badih Abou Chakra, the Lebanese actor, poet, writer and editor, who won the last season of Dancing with the Stars. The well-known actress, director and drama therapist, Zeina Daccache was another assessor of the student made films.
AUB’s very own, Doyle Avant, assistant professor of creative writing was another judge, carefully looking at the details of each film due to his expertise in fiction, videography, and photography.
Unfortunately, the award-winning director and actor George Khabbaz was set to be the fourth judge, but was unable to attend for personal reasons.
Throughout the event, two student hosts, Nour Anna and Rami Mehio, made the audience burst in laughter with their humor and charisma.
The eight showcased student films were Err by Ayeesha Starkey, Elevator by Marwa Traboulsi, Twenty by Nour Massalkhi, Citizen and Human by Noura Baghdadi, Recovery by Salwa Mansour, About Two People by Sara Inkidar, Crunch by Serene Habbal and lastly Right Behind Her Eye by Tia Murr. CHECK OUT THEIR REVIEWS HERE.
The films were screened in that respective order and were chosen out of a pool of other short films that didn’t make the cut.
After each of the films, judges would take the time to critique the overall work in terms of story, lighting, focus and more.
Before the winners were announced, a new AUB band also played three covers to an enthusiastic crowd.
After a wild drum roll, the hosts announced that Sara Inkidar came in first place, earning herself $700 offered by Beirutiyat, one of the sponsors of the event.
What came as a surprise was that two works tied for second place, which were that of Nour Massalkhi and Salwa Mansour, who each won $300 in appreciation of their efforts.
On the way out, the audience received a treat from Let’s Popcorn, because a movie is never complete without a popcorn fix.
After seeing such a deep interest in the field of film within the AUB community, Jouni shared the need for a film program in AUB.
“Hopefully, it will gradually grow even more and will eventually inspire AUB to create a film program,” Jouni said.