FARMINGTON — What started as a class assignment involving animation and digital videoing will be part of the Maine International Film Festival for five University of Maine at Farmington students.
The short pieces will be shown along with films from 18 countries during the festival in Waterville from July 10 to 19.
UMF Assistant Professor of Art, Dawn Nye, asked her students to create a short piece for an on-campus showing held before the annual Art Symposium on campus. For the past two years, she has submitted the student works to Alan Sanborn, programmer for the Waterville film festival. He and his staff reviewed the videos and this year chose four to show during the MIFF World Shorts Showcase on July 12 and again July 15.
Working collaboratively on their film, “Peanut Butter and Death Jelly,” Elliot Lyons of West Paris and Joanna Wilbur of Greene produced a playful piece that is nostalgic for students their age who grew up playing Nintendo and Game Boys, Lyons said.
Lyons, a music major who graduated in December, played in a certain range of notes, eight bits, similar to sounds from the old video games while Wilbur used a computer and animated blocks and more complex items to go along with it, Nye said.
While encouraging a cross-discipline of things, Nye was amazed with what the two could do.
“It’s weight lifting for their intellect and creative energy, something that’s theirs,” she said.
Lyons also stars in the piece as Wilbur captured him playing guitar.
Seeking to make a piece that conveys a story, yet is unexpected and a nontraditional narrative, Emily Baer of Brunswick and now Farmington, captured a series of images and actions that are repeated over and over, she said. Titled, “Mundane,” the film centers on feminine and domestic issues and how they repeat over and over.
The English and art major who’ll be a senior this fall overlapped images of one character and focuses on separating the big things in life from the mundane parts of life. It’s lighthearted and cute, Nye said.
Baer acts and directs the film but said art classmates work together sharing ideas and input.
Another piece is by Stephanie Small of Skowhegan titled, “Baby,” which takes a disturbing look at a young woman’s inner conflict over her possible pregnancy. And another is by Vincent Leonetti of Wichita, Kan., and is an animation, both humorous and disturbing, using two women’s bodies as both canvas and subject.
The assignment engages the students in different aspects of creating a piece such as sound, video, editing and shooting the work, Nye said. They learn to “get around in technology.”
A schedule of films may be found on the Maine International Film Festival’s Web site: http://www.miff.org/
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