Visual Media students showcase work during Las Vegas Film Festival

By Mandi Enger

Joining the ranks with filmmakers from across the country and throughout the world, a group of Nevada State College visual media students were proud to showcase their work during the 2013 Las Vegas Film Festival (LVFF). The four-day event was held at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino with the NSC Showcase shown in the Main Theater on Thursday, July 18.

Eight students, all members of the NSC Visual Media Club, presented a total of 16 projects, including documentaries, creative shorts, and commercials. Each project reflected the students work as screenwriters, directors, actors, as well as editors. This is the first year that NSC has participated in the Student Film Showcase.

This event is significant because it presents NSC work for public screening, gives students an opportunity to see their work on the big screen, and also gives them festival experience, shared Adam Davis, assistant professor of visual and digital media at NSC. Even in the age of internet video, festivals are important places to get work screened and to make connections.

Davis joined the NSC School of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 2012. He received his Masters of Fine Arts in screenwriting and researched the intersections between cinema and digital media during his doctoral program at Southern Illinois University. Davis is the NSC Visual Media Club faculty advisor.

Tony Dare, NSC Visual Media Club Vice President, directed two short films for the festival including The Blind Man and the Key, and Battle. He additionally contributed to two commercials developed by club members.

During the LVFF, I networked with several Nevada filmmakers and even some from out of state who invited me to watch some of their films, he commented. I learned that what I really need to focus on is working hard. Most of the films at the festival took months to years to complete. I need patience to be able to finish any project I start on and to not give up. I intend on putting NSC's visual media program on the map.

As a presenter and festival volunteer, Dare received full admission to all screenings and festival events. Dare is working to complete his Bachelors of Arts in Visual Media in 2015.

Brianna Santiago was the director on a commercial, Boulder City Museum and Hotel, and a short, Welcome to Upendi, presented during the student showcase. Santiago has additionally attended the LVFF for the last two years, helping her to develop her interest in direction.

The most important thing that I have learned is that when directing, the time that you take in preparing for your film is the most crucial as it will reflect in the final product, Santiago shared. I guess that could apply to just about everything else in life as well.

Santiago is the Secretary of the NSC Visual Media Club. She plans to complete her Bachelors of Arts in Visual Media and minor in Communication in 2014.

The hands-on technical experience in our production classes at NSC has been incredibly helpful and has given me a small taste of what it is like to make a film and how demanding the job can be, she added. To be able to participate in the Las Vegas Film Festival was super exciting! Seeing my growth as a writer, director, and editor is the most valuable part of my experience and helps me go on to the next stage of development.

Moving forward, Professor Davis is working with students in an independent study class to submit works to the Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City, Nev.

As we make connections with local festivals and begin to generate a steady stream of work, I d like to have these festivals, in terms of both submissions and attendance, integrated directly into visual media production courses, said Davis.

For more information on the Visual Media Program, please email Adam Davis at adam.davis@nsc.edu. To join the Visual Media Club or learn more about the student organization, please contact Audrey Balzart at audrey101@aol.com.

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