Burgeoning producers, directors

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Author: Zach Windheim, Contributor

Unlike any other Senior Comprehensive presentation at Occidental College, the Media Arts and Culture Department’s (MAC) production majors complete their undergraduate studies by showing their short films on the big screen in Thorne Hall. Seven such MAC seniors will be debuting the films they have been working on since last summer this Saturday, April 14 at 7:00 pm.

“I’m excited for the screening,” said Veronica Pinkham, the director of a short documentary about the decline of female bodybuilders in muscle competitions.

“I can’t wait to share my film ‘Cutting Up,’ with the Oxy community, as well as the members of the bodybuilding community I engaged with in my film.”

Pinkham’s documentary is the only non-fictional project of the seven, which also include comedic, dramatic and experimental films.  

“Calling media endeavors “experimental” is often seen as a pejorative-implying work is inaccessible or pretentious, but at our fundament Media Arts And Culture is a program built upon a premise of experiment,” said Dr. Broderick Fox, who oversaw and mentored the production of these films.

“Our students reinstill a spirit of exploration and imagination back to the term, whether their long-term aspirations are commercial, artistic, political or critical.”

A trailer previewing the seven short films is on the event’s Facebook page titled “Occidental MAC Film Production Comps 2012” and will also be playing on CatAList throughout the week. In addition, the seniors have created posters for each of their films that are on display in the Cooler. A reception before the screening offering refreshments will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thorne Patio and is open to everyone.

Alongside the production majors, the MAC Department also includes students who are writing critical papers or feature-length screenplays that are grounded in film genre and media theory.

“This year’s critical presentations represent a diverse range of interests-from gender in video games to the family road film to the aesthetic links between fascism and the fantasy genre,” said Professor Allison De Fren, an assistant professor of the MAC Department who oversees the students working on these projects.

“Each work successfully models the kind of critical inquiry and creative exploration that we encourage in MAC majors, regardless of their comps track.”

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