Throughout its history, film has been a medium for artistic expression and creative storytelling, spanning hundreds of genres and languages, and providing audiences with one-of-a-kind experiences. At NC State, students interested in film can join Student Film Society, an opportunity for students to celebrate and discuss cinema from creatives around the globe.
According to president Emilie Osborne, a fourth-year studying communication, Student Film Society was founded five or six years ago, initially screening new releases.
“Since then, we've pivoted more towards older and international films because I want to give students an opportunity to see things that they might not see in other places,” Osborne said. “I wanted to give people a chance to maybe see some of their older favorites or something that they've never heard of on a big screen and be able to talk about and see it with other people.”
In the past, Student Film Society has partnered with on-campus organizations such as the University Activities Board to host events, including a virtual film festival last year that highlighted student filmmaking.
Films played during these weekly screenings are voted on by board members and chosen with a specific theme in mind, alternating between domestic and international films. This week’s pick is The Host, by Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-ho.
“Last week, it was camera angles, and so people can focus on that while they’re watching, and keep an eye out for anything they think is cool,” said treasurer Jacob Stutts, a fourth-year studying biology. “That's sort of a jumping off point for the discussion after the movie, but it's really just about what people feel afterwards.”
Although COVID-19 prevented many on-campus organizations from gathering during the pandemic, Student Film Society has since increased in popularity with many students joining in search of something new.
“It was a really easy way for people to get a recommendation, watch something, talk to some people and make friends,” Osborne said. “We really kind of built an online base there, and now that we're in person, we have more people coming to our meetings than we did for previous in-person semesters.”
Of course, now that campus is back open, meetings are held in-person with preventative measures for COVID-19 being enforced consistently. Attendees are required to wear masks during the duration of the meeting and films are limited to two hours.
The Student Film Society has been Osborne’s favorite part of college so far, and she credits the organization for the chance to build lasting relationships with professors, including club advisor and assistant teaching professor of film studies Dr. Josie Torres Barth, and film studies director and professor Dr. Marsha Gordon.
“I think it's really enriched my college experience to have the opportunity to watch these films and talk about them with people,” Osborne said. “ I've always liked movies, but I never thought about them in the critical way that I do now.”
Stutts said that he joined the Student Film Society after hearing about an open board position this summer.
“I saw that there was an opening for a board position and I said, ‘Look, I know I've never been to a meeting but you know, I love watching movies. I love making movies. Can I run for a board position?’” Stutts said. “It's been a really fun experience so far. It's nice to have that kind of outlet where you can pursue something like that.”
Osborne hopes that people will use the club as an opportunity to come out and experience something out of the ordinary and make some friends.
“I also hope that everybody knows or understands that you don't have to come to every meeting, you can only come to one meeting,” Osborne said. “If you just happen to not have homework that day and want to sit in a dark room and watch something with nice people that you know, we’re always going to be here every Thursday, so just come out and hang out with us.”
Student Film Society meets every Thursday evening in Caldwell; meetings include a film screening and a conversation afterward centered around a chosen film term and student reactions.
Allie Remhof is also an employee at NC State Student Media.