|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Stage and screen open Arts Fest
By Sandra Bialystok & Mark Lewandowski
Western artists past and present will be out in droves this week to kick-off the University Students' Council's Fine Arts Festival. The sixth annual event, organized by Melissa Johnson, features various events on campus throughout the week, including a double-header of fun on Monday in the Film Retrospective and Talent Night.
"[The Film Retrospective] will be a reprise of last year's Ford Film Festival entries, plus a film by Zoran Maric (a Western film student) about the story of a friend from the former Yugoslavia," explains Janina Falkowska, a Western film professor.
Last year's festival featured 25 short works by aspiring Western film buffs and this year's festival is presumed to be bigger and better.
"We are expecting close to a hundred entries," Falkowska says optimistically. This should shatter last year's number and push many young filmmakers into the real world of film production.
"This kind of festival is important because it's hands-on experience and you participate in a festival so you know how it works and what to expect." Falkowska says about last year's festival and this year's edition on March 16.
The entries for this year's festival, due by March 2, are judged in one of three categories narrative, documentary and experimental. The films are about anything and last under 20 minutes in length.
"Another good thing about this festival is the artists can spend their time producing a good edit instead of drinking," quips Falkowska. If the Film Retrospective does not inspire, the Wave is offering an opportunity for any artistically inclined students who want to put their personal thumb print on the school year. This special open-mic event, loosely entitled "Talent Night," is open to anyone who wants to show-and-tell their artistic skills or those who would just like to watch. This year's show will feature the five presidential candidates displaying their charm and moxy and prizes will be awarded to the truly talented.
The main locations for performances and exhibitions are in the University Community Centre's atrium, the Wave and the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre. This festival is not only meant to serve Western, but also the London community. People from every corner of campus are encouraged to participate and enjoy what the festival has to offer. "This festival", says Melissa Johnson, "is not just for arts people."
The opening ceremony for the festival is Monday at noon. Later that day, the first event will be an Arts Advocacy Panel beginning at 4 p.m. in the Social Science Centre. The panel will be comprised of Western professors, members of the London arts community and student representatives. The panel will discuss the role, importance and funding of arts and the arts community.
Tuesday night will see one of the most popular events of the Fine Arts Festival, the Battle of the Bands. Starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Wave, eight bands will play. In terms of visual art, there will be an exhibition of student art at the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre on display all week. Student writers and Western's writer-in-residence Bonnie Bernard will also be participating in the festival next Thursday night at Delaware Hall in an evening of literature.