At the M-agination annual film festival last Thursday, student filmmakers, actors, directors, producers, photographers, and composers truly impressed. M-agination, a student-run organization, allows students to spearhead their own creative projects, producing 8 short films a semester, 16 total every year, that are showcased at an annual film festival held at the Michigan Theater. For student filmmakers, it was an incredible success and a culmination of everything they have accomplished over the year. For the audience – family, friends, and just interested students – it was an amazing viewing experience.
M-agination left no parts of the human condition untouched. There was love. There was sorrow. There was partying. There was death. There were mobsters who believe in astrology. Although you could definitely tell that the short films were being run by students, I was awed at the creativity of some of the concepts. The audience certainly was too. After every joke, there was roaring laughter; after every sad scene, hushed murmurs. And with several people leaving after every short film finished, it was clear that some people were there to support friends who had been working on this project for a whole year.
My favorite show of the night was a hilarious and truly touching depiction of a man after a breakup. Directed by the star actor, this unfortunate soul consults a rabbi (a 19 year old rabbi) for advice on how to turn his life around. After being dumped, he had posted a nihilistic tweet online – only to get more than 100,000 views. Realizing that social media was turning him into a pessimistic, likes-obsessed person, he deleted his twitter account. Denouncing religion itself, he sets off to form a new life. For a student creator, it’s a giant achievement to create a short film that’s funny, sad, and sincere all at once.
If I had one piece of advice for M-agination student filmmakers: don’t shoot your movies in an echoey room. If you absolutely must, turn on subtitles. Other than that, congratulations on yet another year of making movies and taking names.