A Feature of student Artists and Filmmakers
By Jaina Kelly, Staff Writer
On April 9th, the Orillia campus will be holding its annual media showcase at the Orillia Public Library. Complete with catering and art displays, the showcase offers a chance for visual art students and media production students to show family and friends their favourite assignments from over the duration of the year.
This year, the showcase will feature “diary project” films produced in the fourth-year experimental cinema course taught by filmmaker Chelsea McMullan. These films are meant to tell personal stories about each student’s life. They are intended to give the audience a glimpse into a transformative moment or time that has been experienced by each student. In order to prepare for these diary projects, the class spent a semester watching all different types of experimental and independent cinema. Earlier in the semester, the experimental cinema class also created inanimate object films which covered a wide variety of topics, including art supplies gone militant (all to a Star Wars soundtrack) and a portrait of the Queen traveling to various landmarks around Orillia’s downtown core.
Media production gives students a chance to present their creative ideas at full blast while using all the techniques they have learned over the years. Setting the space to share each other’s work and discuss ideas is one of the most important parts of the whole process. The Argus spoke to Professor McMullan, a seriously accomplished filmmaker whose body of work includes a recent 2018 smartphone commercial featuring Olympic athletes. Her films have been screened at Sundance, TIFF, and The NYC Photography Festival. She has also had her work featured through Vice, Vogue Italia, and Nowness.
McMullan told The Argus about the significance of taking the time to appreciate your hard work and to share it with your loved ones. “Screening your work in front of an audience is the whole reason filmmakers make films. It’s everything”, she said. “To be able to have your work connect with people is incredibly satisfying and makes all the blood, sweat, and tears you put it into your film worth it. That’s why the media studies showcase is such a fun and important event at Lakehead. It allows the students to see their work through other people’s eyes and connect with other students and the larger community.”
Indeed, without the showcase, media production would feel like a waste. While essays tend to come and go with little attention, a whole film or an art piece demands an audience. It requires the chance to be shared and recognized for what it is: a unique creative expression that can never be exactly replicated by anyone else. Art is not meant to be kept to ourselves, although sometimes we do things just to express our feelings. Art, like love, like friendship, like humanity, is better when shared. It fosters connection, unity, and understanding.
Media students encourage anyone who enjoys art or film to check out the media showcase on April 9th in the program rooms at Orillia Public Library from 5:30-7pm.