Communication Department hosts film festival

Trisha Boone

Campus Reporter

The MUW Department of Communication hosted its first-ever student film festival on March 24 in Nissan Auditorium. 

The festival showcased works created by students attending The W. Dr. Barry Smith, chair of the department, has been helping to organize the event since 2015.

“I want to accomplish two things,” Smith said. “One, I want to highlight the work of our students and two, publicize what we do here.” 

Smith hoped the festival would be used as a recruitment tool for the communication program and would continue to grow in future years.

“We hope next year to expand the scope of the film festival to invite submissions from outside The W and to have a longer festival,” Smith said. 

Dr. Van Roberts, associate professor of communication, also helped plan the festival. Roberts has an extensive background in media criticism and film history and is in charge of the department’s Film Studies minor. 

“This will give students an opportunity to illuminate the screen,” Roberts said. 

Rather than accept submissions this year, any production that had been submitted for grading in one of Dr. Barry Smith or Dr. Melissa Smith’s production classes held the possibility of being chosen. Productions were then approved by a committee of communication professors.  

Summer King was among the students to have their work chosen for the festival. King enrolled in Smith’s Introduction to Media Technology class in Fall 2015 and directed two original videos. 

“I didn’t really expect it. It’s just cool. It feels cool. I feel like it’s lame to say I feel honored, but I feel like it’s sort of a big deal,” King said.