Short time for shooting short film

In Arts & Entertainment, Film & TV

Students from all backgrounds have the chance to compete in the first ever 96 Hour Asian American Short Film Contest.

The contest will officially begin on April 19 in the Asian American Pacific Islander Resource Center in University Hall 211B at noon. Students are encouraged to arrive at 11 a.m. because the competition will start promptly.

Contestants will have 96 hours to create and fully edit a short film. Students are to write, film, edit and submit a three-to-ten minute movie. The movie must be centered around the given theme, which is to focus on vampires, werewolves or zombies. The contestants must also infuse some aspect of Asian American community or culture.

“I know it’s a really short period of time but I guess we just want to catch … that raw energy,” said Nina Nguyen, 23, an Asian American studies major and one of the contest’s promoters.

Dr. Dom Magwili, the contest’s administrator, says in the promo video that the contest hopes to stimulate more student involvement exploring, understanding and viewing Asian American film, video, media, as well as completing the creative process of producing a short film using their own resources.

Nguyen said that the contest was created in order to form more of an Asian American presence.

“… More Asian American students get involved on campus and be more creative especially with film and directing,” Nguyen said.  “I mean you kind of see it as a trend that more Asian Americans are merging in the media but, at the same time, to have that type of energy on campus — we really want to showcase that.”

The contest was first brought up during a discussion between Magwili and a colleague of his about the upcoming Asian American heritage week. Originally, Magwili was planning on only allowing the allotted time to be just a weekend but after more conversation with students the time was changed to 96 hours.

“Hopefully those who participate will appreciate that kind of challenge,” said Magwili.

Magwili’s personal goals for the film competition is create more storytellers.

“The event itself is to make more storytellers. My interest is in cultivating Asian American subject matters and storytellers,” Magwili said.

Nguyen wants to see this event grow and become a long lasting event within the Asian American community.

“I really want this, even it’s small and we only have a couple contestants to see how this can evolve in the future and be even greater because I know it’ll be great if we can have a future Asian American film festival,” Nguyen said.

Henry Tang, 22, an Asian American studies student and another promoter of the event, hopes that this contest will bring more representation to the Asian American population.

“I think it’s a great way to expose the API population on campus,” said Tang. “I think we are kind of under represented and we are kind of stuck with this whole model minority thing where API students, all they do is study and stuff, but being able to put on this contest where we have the availability to show a different side.”

When all is said and done, the event is more than just a simple contest.

“This is a very small and humble event,” Magwili said.  “But in doing this we hope to, one, get a lot of participants, but, two, in those participants, the fact that they can knock out a very short and small film in about three or four days may lead them to consider writing stories of their own kind and (allow them to) become storytellers.”

On April 27 the top-10 films will be announced at noon. Finally, a screening of the top-10 films will be held on May 1 at 7 p.m. in the Kinesiology and Health Science Building Room 199, where the winner of the contest will be revealed.

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