The Center for Creative and Cultural Industries loves to support all of our students in their creative endeavors. In January, we wrote a blog about the Reset Film Festival, the brain child of one of our self-designed majors, Poppy Shaw (‘21). We sat down with Shaw again this week to see how the virtual festival went, and overall it was a resounding success. Over fifteen teams and more than sixty-five people participated in the festival, which was organized and held completely online.
“I think it went really, really well. I'm really happy with how everything turned out. I didn't expect sixty-six people to be like, ‘oh, yeah, we're gonna take part in this film festival. This thing that’s never happened before. I don't know anything about it, but we're just gonna go for it.’ And, it turned out pretty good, I think,” Shaw said.
Not only was she thrilled with the amount of people that participated, but Shaw was blown away by the quality of the films that were entered.
“I think everyone really tried their hardest and some of the films are crazy. I think Zero G, the film that swept a bunch of the awards, it was well deserved,” Shaw said. “I would not have expected any sort of animation films to be made within 10 days. That was crazy. And so many of the films told such great stories.”
The two prompts for the festival were I realized a reset was what was needed, going off the title of the festival, and Amplify a voice that is often overlooked because Shaw wanted people to push themselves to tell stories they aren’t used to telling.
“I feel like people really thought about it, which is really cool because when I was putting the prompts together I obviously didn't know how people were going to interpret them or what they were going to create based on just two very vague prompts,” she said.
One of Shaw’s goals was to make the event inclusive in all aspects. She hoped that the virtual element of the festival would allow anyone to participate no matter their location. She also encouraged people of all ranges of talents and backgrounds to apply and focused one of the prompts specifically on amplifying voices that are overlooked.
She was proud to be able to create something that anyone felt they could participate in if they were passionate about doing so and was happy with the range of judges she had on her panel because it ensured that prizes were inclusive of all talent ranges too.
As Reset took place completely virtually to stay COVID-safe, there were some unique obstacles that Shaw encountered such as figuring out how to give out prizes and how to promote the event.
“I feel like word of mouth is like a really strong way to get things out, especially in a university community. And because I'm not seeing people, and especially with everyone making their own films and stuff like that, everyone's got something else on their mind. So convincing people to give you ten days of their time is a lot to ask for,” Shaw said.
One of the most difficult things for Shaw was coordinating all of the behind-the-scenes logistics of the festival. She accounted for all of the prep work that came before the festival, but figured that after she announced the winners she’d be done.
“I'm now figuring out all these like extra roles that I didn't know existed. I think if I was to do it again, I would have more people on my team,” Shaw said.
She didn’t realize just how much work it would take to put on an entire film festival, but was grateful for the guidance from the CCI Center.
“I really did mostly everything through the CCI department. They really supported me in every way possible,” Shaw said. “And I think a big thing that they helped me with is that they said from the get go, even if I don't get anyone to submit, even if it’s not successful, it is still valuable because I've learned the process and all the steps. And even if I fail, I'm going to learn something from it. What I learned from the experience itself is what’s most important because I can carry that with me into whatever else I want to pursue in the future. That really helped me throughout the process because I had standards in my head of the numbers and the quality and everything I wanted to achieve, which is good to have to push yourself, but I think it's really nice to have an understanding that no matter what you're doing, you're still going to get some sort of result which can help you in the future, regardless if it's good or bad.”
Shaw said that she hopes all CCI students take advantage of the resources available to them to make the most of their college experiences.
“They've just been so helpful with everything. Patrick, Shannon, and Jamie, they've all been so helpful. I think this festival couldn’t have happened without them,” she said “And it's really cool that there's funding that's accessible to CCI students to help them branch out and explore areas that they never would have been able to explore without that kind of opportunity. I think more students should take advantage of that and create anything that they could ever want to make. It was the perfect environment to foster creativity. And that's kind of what CCI is all about to me. So I think if anyone reading the article is a CCI student and has an idea for something, they should definitely meet with Jamie or Patrick and pitch it to them because this is an experience that I won’t forget. I'm going to graduate and I feel like this is part of my legacy, which is really cool because I didn't think I would really have anything that I would like to leave behind.”
If you are interested in watching all of the festival entries, the films can currently be viewed on the Reset website. After receiving overwhelming support and feedback, Shaw hopes to be able to put on the Reset Film Festival again in years to come, so be on the lookout for news and start brainstorming.