Cinema 16 to showcase student talent with the Sweethearts Film Festival | Culture

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With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, anything related to love becomes more significant. Whether it’s the heart-shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups at the grocery store, love songs on the radio or sappy romance flicks on TV, love seems to be lurking in every crevice of popular culture. Cinema 16, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s film production club, is set to celebrate the holiday with the Sweethearts Film Festival at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center on Feb. 12.

This romance-themed festival will include one- to six-minute-long student submissions which tackle the theme of love in some way. Prizes will be given to the favorite films from the festival, judged by Cinema 16 members as well as the audience.

Cinema 16 is a Recognized Student Organization run through the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film that develops students into filmmakers. Cinema 16 hosts two film festivals each year to showcase students’ talents as well as provide student-led workshops, and brings in speakers from the film industry to impart wisdom after being on the inside of the business.

Alyssa Carlson, a junior film and new media and hospitality, restaurant and tourism management double major, is the current president of Cinema 16. Carlson said she’s excited to see the different films students are going to display at the festival.

“This is the first Sweethearts Film Festival that we’ve hosted, and we are excited to see what everyone decided to do with their films,” Carlson said. “Everyone has been so creative with past film festivals.”

Benjamin Reichle, a freshman in the emerging media arts program, submitted “Self Love” — a short film about the romantic aspirations of a fictional popular YouTuber. Reichle worked on the visual effects of the film and explained the process of putting the film all together.

“My small cohort of classmates cranked it out over the course of about a week,” Reichle said. “There were three days of conceptual work, writing, plot finalization, a two-day weekend of shooting and two more days for editing and post-production.”

According to Reichle, the Emerging Media Arts program helped to provide the tools to work with visual effects and create content. He said he is grateful these festivals exist to showcase his ideas.

“I look forward to my amazing program giving us the tools to manifest the stories inside of our heads into reality,” Reichle said.

According to Carlson, all the proceeds will go toward Cinema 16’s prizes for the film festivals as well as sweatshirts and t-shirts which were available to students last semester. The Sweethearts Film Festival begins at 7 p.m. and is $5 to attend.


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