ASU Film Association spotlights its students

Since its creation, the ASU Film Association has worked hard to create engaging and innovative opportunities that allow students, newbies and the public to connect to their love of film. 

Members of AFA pay a $25 admission fee, but the organization offers early-bird tickets and other deals in the beginning of each fall semester. Many students are unaware of the benefits and advantages of an AFA membership. From socializing to festivals, the film association has a multitude of opportunities for its members. 

Networking

Members of AFA say that one of the biggest reasons why students join the film association is to network and make connections.

“AFA creates a community of people who all really enjoy the same art medium,” film and media practices senior Margaux Brown said.

For students who want to pursue a career in the entertainment industry, the age-old phrase, "it's not what you know, it's who you know" rings true. Brown said the AFA allows students to meet others who they can build friendships, possible collaborative partnerships and future business connections with.

The organization's members have a wide variety of skills including performing, editing, marketing and cinematography. Due to this, students are often able to work together on projects, creating a collaborative outcome that combines each person's talents, Brown said.

Members can also participate in the frequent "crew fairs" the organization hosts. At these fairs, students can pitch ideas, recruit volunteers and find extras for their movies.

Events

Over the years, AFA has gained a reputation for hosting a plethora of creative events for members and non-members alike to participate in. Some of its well-known events include a 48-hour film challenge, horror movie screenings and movie screenings.

Additionally, the student association often works together with Hollywood Invades Tempe. The group presents interactive events where attendees can meet various professionals and top filmmakers in Hollywood. Past guests include the creators of noted films such as "Moneyball," "The Help" and "The Hangover."

However, the annual AFA Film Festival is possibly the event members look forward to most. Students are invited to submit short films that will be played in a two-night screening, which includes a non-juried and juried process.

"The film festival is the most beneficial because for many students it’ll be their first time seeing their film on screen," Patrick Overton, AFA president and film and media production senior, said.

Overton, who said his dreams include pursuing a career as a studio executive, explained that those who are not members can still submit to have their films included, but they must pay a submission fee. 

He also said AFA aims to put ASU on the map for producing the next big names and faces of film. By having events like the film festival, the organization is able to give students the advantage of having already crafted their work and competed in contests.

At the conclusion of the festival, awards and prizes are given out for different categories such as best actor/actress, best director, best score, people’s choice and more. This year's festival will be held on April 20 at the Harkins Theatres Tempe Marketplace.

Equipment rentals

Typically, one of the biggest difficulties for any student, regardless of major, is financial. Film students, however, face a special challenge as many classes require them to create their own films and scripts. Naturally this means students need to find access to decent film equipment, which is when AFA swoops in to save the day. 

Members are able to rent state-of-the-art film equipment for personal and academic projects by contacting board members. AFA students said having equipment accessible is invaluable to members as they are able to create art without fear of breaking their bank.

When asked of the biggest benefit members have, filmmaking practices senior Ricco Machado-Torres filmmaking said, "Without a doubt, it is the equipment that the ASU Film Association provides to students."

Machado-Torres said not all majors in the film program are given access to Herberger's equipment so having it available through the AFA is extremely helpful. Machado-Torres, a seasoned actor who hopes to attend a conservatory upon graduation, said the organization rents out boom microphones, lighting kits, cameras, dollies and stabilizers among other things.

"It just really makes your final product extra polished," he said.

Related Links:

ASU film students take over Jerome Indie Film and Music Festival

ASU Film Spark ignites students' dreams of making it in Hollywood


Reach the reporter at nlilley@asu.edu or follow her @noelledl on Twitter.

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