Denver Film Festival hosts showcase for student films

Photo: Kalob McConnell - CU Sentry


After nearly 10 years of students submitting films, CU Denver received its own night at the 40th annual Denver Film Festival. It was a request made by the College of Arts and Media when they started sponsoring the festival this year.

Photo: Kalob McConnell – CU Sentry

In the past, students submitted their films and anxiously hoped they would get the chance to have their projects screened at the Film Festival. Now, CU Denver gets a non-competitive night at the McNichols building where they can show students films selected by CAM faculty.

The night highlighted the work and passion that CU Denver film students create. The films ranged from silent films to documentaries. The night was also an opportunity to recognize films that won awards from last year’s campus festival. The Denver Film Festival allows these films to go beyond a learning experience, and makes them into career starters.

“Here’s a venue for your films, show them,” David Liban, Film and Television department head, said. Liban wants to encourage students to do something with their work.

Short films don’t have a huge market. Once they’re done, that’s it. Students will put tremendous amounts of work in and then not know how to showcase it. Often, the most  exposure the films receive comes after students post them online.

Liban wants the showcase to encourage students to submit their work to other festivals and get their names out there. He hopes to continue the relationship with the Denver Film Society so the Student Showcase can become a regular part of the event. That relationship is crucial for the Film Department at CU Denver. It gives students an opportunity to have their film screened at a high profile screening before they finish their degree.

CU Denver students are acknowledged for their dedication, talent, and creativity by successful filmmakers at a well-recognized venue. These students get an unprecedented opportunity to show their films and prove they are on par with the work being done in places like Hollywood and New York.

This night shows that CU Denver has a film department worthy of attention, which in turn, benefits the entire film industry in Colorado. It has been apparent throughout the Denver Film Festival that Colorado makes exceptional films, has great film schools, and the state needs to whatever it can to keep these talented people in Colorado. Having nights like the Student Showcase shows young filmmakers that the state supports and values the work they do.

Those who missed the showcase at the Denver Film Festival can still support student filmmakers. The annual Cinefest, hosted by the CAM Department, features student films and showcases work from all classes and happens in May during finals week.

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