Black Glasses Film Festival spotlights best, brightest of student film

The 22nd annual Black Glasses Film Festival will feature the best of student filmmaking and screenwriting on April 29. Photo courtesy of Jim Kendrick

By Emma Weidmann | Staff Writer

The Black Glasses Film Festival will showcase the best of Baylor student filmmaking and screenwriting at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Waco Hippodrome Theater. Films will be eligible for awards in cinematography, editing and audience choice. Tickets to Friday’s festival are available through the Waco Hippodrome Theater box office.

Previous audience-choice winners, Arlington graduate student Adam Karlson and Tulsa, Oklahoma graduate student Joe Hayes, are returning to the film festival with their short film, “Never Trust a Man in a Hawaiian Shirt.” According to Hayes, the film is based on a true story.

“It’s about a guy who has a job that he hates, and he’s trying to leave in his car and get out of the parking garage, but before he can leave the parking garage, a mysterious man in a Hawaiian shirt stops him,” Hayes, the co-director, said. “The rest would be spoilers.”

Karlson, also a co-director, gave a further glimpse into the themes of the film.

“It’s about capitalism, love-bombing, gaslighting, cult mentality, what the modern day does to a normal guy,” Karlson said. “Also ‘Fight Club,’ cool Hawaiian shirts, Jimmy Buffett, Margaritaville, the ubermensch and what that means in today’s society.”

“With Love,” a film created by Katy junior Faith Wheeler, was shot in one take with one camera angle, focusing on a conversation between two women around a piano. Wheeler said the film was inspired by a conversation she had in real life with her roommate, and she wanted to bring that realism and emotion to her film.

“It’s about two girls songwriting around a piano, and they have two opposite views on relationships. That’s the humor in it,” Wheeler said. “They just have different perspectives.”

One of the girls, according to Wheeler, takes a more pessimistic view, and the other is an optimist. Wheeler likes to think that she’s the optimistic girl in the film, having been inspired by her partner.

“I like to think of myself as the hopeful one because I recently started dating someone that I feel inspired by,” Wheeler said. “That was the whole premise of the story.”

Loosely based on “The Canterbury Tales” rather than a true story, Lubbock senior Shaler Keenum’s short film, “The Exile,” takes an excerpt from the Medieval classic as inspiration and centers around an exiled knight and a bid for the throne. Keenum said it’s hard to make a convincing period film in Waco.

“It’s a lot of work to make things accurate,” Keenum said. “The hard part was costumes and props and locations. We mostly shot outside, so that helped with locations.”

Keenum said acting and directing at the same time was a particularly challenging experience for him, as he had to keep notes on his own performance as well as that of his cast mates.

“I am the exiled knight that returns,” Keenum said. “Acting and directing at the same time is difficult. I had to watch playback to see what I wanted to do differently for myself, and I tried to communicate to my actors that I was giving notes to myself and paying attention to things.”

Emma Weidmann is a junior English major from San Antonio, with minors in news-editorial and French. She is excited to start her third year at The Baylor Lariat and continue to make friends and meet new people through journalism. She hopes to be a music journalist after graduating from Baylor.