WKU hosting annual film festival next week

Andrew Henderson

WKU is bringing all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood to campus as it prepare to host the annual Western Kentucky Film Festival starting next week.

English professor Ted Hovet is one of the faculty members involved in organizing the festival. Hovet said every afternoon, at 3 or 4 p.m., a panel of educational workshops will be held involving the festival’s guest filmmakers, which consist of alumni and other producers from Kentucky.

Every evening at 7 p.m. a film by one of the producers will be screened and a question and answer session will follow. 

The session will be followed by a short period of time for student submitted films to be shown. Hovet said Friday, May 8, will be dedicated to student films with an awards ceremony to follow. 

Hovet said this year marks the 21st time the festival has been held. Corey Lash founded the festival in 1995 and organized it for many years before retiring. Hovet said the idea for the festival came so two things could be accomplished. 

“One is to show the great, creative work our film students are doing…we also wanted to use the festival as a chance to help students develop professionally,” Hovet said.

Hovet said one of the ways students can develop professionally is by actually aiding in organizing the festival. 

Paducah junior Amber Langston is one of the students serving on the festival’s programming committee. She said the festival has given her valuable experience and the opportunity to work together with others. Langston is also the director for the film “The Milkman” which is nominated for best director. 

“I’m super flattered. I mean it’s excellent the school has this for students,” Langston said. 

She said “The Milkman” was inspired by her love for classic 80s slasher horror films. The film is about a milkman who kills his customers. She said having a milkman playing the film’s main antagonist was a nice twist on the typical horror genre. 

Louisville senior Michael Shannon serves on the festival’s sponsorship committee. The committee was tasked with coming up with potential sponsors to fund the festival. Shannon was the producer for the film “Celebration” which is nominated for best narrative. 

“I am, you know, really happy we were nominated. I love this film,” Shannon said.

Shannon said the film centers around the reflections of a middle-aged man who wakes up one day, begins reflecting on his life and using his reflections on how he can celebrate that day. 

He said the experience he gathered from being involved in the festival’s organization and the production of the film were invaluable. Shannon said with each film he’s involved with he learns something about film making. The behind-the-scenes work involved with the festival also offered him insight. 

“It’s really nice to know how those things are run and created,” he said.  

Hovet said he hopes not only for WKU students to come out to the festival, but for the Bowling Green community to come out as well and see things for themselves.

We want them to see two things: how creative and talented our student film makers are, but we also want them to learn a lot about what is happening in the world of film in 2015,” Hovet said. 

The Western Kentucky Film Festival starts May 4 and ends on May 8 in Mass Media Technology Hall. The event is free to the public. Information for films being screened and award nominees can be found at western kentuckyfilmfestival.com.