Black Glasses Film Festival to show skills, hard work, community

The Black Glasses Film Festival is an event that showcases original works from film and digital media student. It will take place at the Waco Hippodrome at 7 p.m. tonight. Tickets are $3 for students, children, and the military and $5 for general admission. Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

By Kassidy Woytek | Reporter

Several talented Baylor film and digital media students will showcase their best work at 7 p.m. in the Hippodrome Theatre for the 18th annual Black Glasses Film Festival.

Dr. Jim Kendrick, an associate professor of film and digital media, is one of the faculty organizers who put together the festival. Kendrick said the festival is a chance to connect Baylor students to the rest of the Waco community through an appreciation for quality films.

“Films are a communal experience,” Kendrick said. “They’re made to be seen.”

The theater will screen 16 films encompassing a variety of genres, including comedy, horror and drama.

According to Kendrick, the Black Glasses Film Festival is a way for the Baylor FDM department to show the public how proud they are of the work these students have done over the course of the semester.

A panel of faculty members evaluated all student submissions to choose the most impressive films. Several films will also receive awards at the festival for screenwriting, editing, cinematography and other aspects of production.

“We’re basically just looking for excellence in quality, story, visual technique and innovation,” Kendrick said. “Different films excel in different ways.”

Chicago graduate student Aaron Carter has won awards at Black Glasses for his screenwriting before, but he said the most important reward is hearing the reactions of the audience.

Carter created an animated love story called “La Postina” for the festival. This was his first experience with creating a stop motion film, a time-consuming process which involves stopping the camera frequently to adjust small figures.

Carter said his favorite part of the process was working on the sound design. He voiced all of the characters himself and thought of creative ways to record sounds for the film.

“It’s amazing how much adding the right sound effects to an animation can make it come to life,” Carter said.

When Carter was an undergraduate student at Baylor, the Black Glasses Film Festival took place in a classroom. Carter said the move to the Hippodrome two years ago makes the experience feel more like a legitimate film festival.

Corpus Christi senior Christina Gray has had at least one film in Black Glasses every year she’s been a Baylor student. She said the first time she heard one of her films would be featured, she felt shocked and honored.

“It was actually the craziest experience ever,” Gray said. “It was so fun to get to see that, and that only motivated me to try even harder for the next year, and the years after that.”

One of Gray’s films from last year was accepted into two other film festivals, and she said being a part of Black Glasses helped to prepare her for that next step.

Her short film this year, a drama titled “A Night at the Theatre,” is what Gray describes as a culmination of her experiences at Baylor.

Gray said Black Glasses is comparable to final presentations by pre-med students or a performance by the Baylor theatre department. She views it as an opportunity for students in other majors to appreciate what their peers have accomplished.

Tickets for Black Glasses sold out for the past two years, and Kendrick said he hopes this year will be the same. As of Thursday, tickets are still available on the Hippodrome’s website for $3 with a student discount.