Film festival returns to WKU

Kristina Burton

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the annual Western Kentucky Film Festival sponsored by the School of Journalism & Broadcasting. In a weeklong festival celebrating students and filmmakers, the Film Festival aims to introduce the world of film to WKU’s campus and the Bowling Green area.

The festival kicked off Sunday afternoon with the screening of a documentary that was produced and directed by WKU alumnus Jacob Adams.

Yesterday featured the faculty film screening with the three short films “Morning with Asch,” produced by Dr. Lindsey Powell and Jaysinhji Jhala; “Leave No Trace,” produced by Travis Newton; and “Goodfriends,” produced by Dr. Jerod Hollyfield.

This afternoon’s events start at 1 p.m. with a discussion with WKU alum David Stickler, an associate director whose most recent works include “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “American Horror Story.” WKU alumnus Eric Stemen will lead a workshop over the fundamentals of the art of timelapse at 7 p.m.

Student worker and Bowling Green senior Anna Beth Gillon works closely with the film faculty and students.

She said one of the most hands-on days for film students was yesterday, when the itinerary included shooting a short film based on a script written by film student Milo West and directed by professor Travis Newton.

“They’ll shoot the film all day tomorrow (Monday) until about 7 p.m. and then edit it,” Gillon said. “It’ll actually be screened on Friday during the awards night.”

Although a Monday-to-Friday turnaround rate seems pretty hectic, Gillon said in years past students have had only one day to edit.

“Last year I think they filmed it in one day and stayed up all night editing to screen it the following day,” she said.

Gillon is most excited for tomorrow’s Kat Candler activities. Candler is a writer and director who has screened at Sundance, SXSW, Los Angeles Festival and several other renowned festivals. Candler will speak at 3 p.m., and a screening of three of her short films will air at 7 p.m.

“She’s our main attraction,” Gillon said. “During our winter study away trip to Sundance, some of our students connected with her, so it’ll be really cool to have her here.”

WKU English professor Ted Hovet serves on the Film Festival’s faculty committee. He said one of the best parts about the Film Festival is that it allows students to interact with professionals in the industry.

“We’re bringing in several people who work in the film industry, so this is an unusual opportunity to see these people and learn about how they do their jobs and behind-the-scene parts,” he said.

“Everything we do has a question-and-answer session with it so students can learn as much as possible.”

Hovet said the entire festival is student run, and faculty members only offer supervision when necessary.

“We formed the students into committees and they’ve taken care of everything,” he said. “We just supervise and give support when they need it.”

Friday, the last day of the festival, finishes with an evening awards ceremony, during which finalists in each category will be announced and recognized, followed by trophy and plaque presentations to the award winners.

“It’s like a mini Oscars,” Gillon said. “We have a red carpet and everything.”

The festival is free and open to the public. All events take place in the Mass Media & Technology Hall auditorium, and a complete schedule of events can be found at the Film Festival’s website,