School of Fine Arts: First ever film festival

Fine arts student Ryan Glista's video on the unicycle trend on campus was featured in the film festival. (Ryan Glista/Vimeo)

This weekend the School of Fine Arts presented its first ever Film Festival to showcase the work of students at UConn. Each night had a different category: Friday began with animation; Saturday was short fiction and Sunday presented documentaries. The documentaries shown on Sunday followed the themes of identities and reflected on UConn communities. The student-made films were followed by a presentation of a short animated film titled “Equinox” by Alison Paul, a professor of Illustration/Animation at UConn.

The short films that followed themes of Identities were presented first. These included “Who Am I?” by Kiana Cao, “Untitled Reflections” by Jose Angel Ortiz Jr., “Dispatcher Oliver” by Cody Oliver and “Young Hunger” by Cindy Recinos and Justin Nicoletti. The films were emotional and allowed viewers to see how various students of the UConn community identify themselves. There were moments that were very deep and at times sad, and moments that were inspiring and hopeful.

Following the documentaries following the theme of Identities were films that reflected on the UConn community. These included the short films, “UCMB-Marching Home,” “UConn by Unicycle,” “UConn Ooozeball 2016,” “UCTV-UConn Student Television Station,” “Sounds of ATION,” all by Ryan Glista and “Basic Studio Printmaking,” by Henry Stein. These films showcased the things that make UConn unique. They showed all the hard work that students pour into the things they are passionate about and how there are so many different ways on campus to show school spirit.

Lastly, the documentaries were followed by a short animated film by Professor Alison Paul titled “Equinox.” It was a five-minute magical realism film that was made on dyed paper. It told the story of a lighthouse guard who kisses an octopus, allowing her to turn into a woman and, in turn, becomes an octopus himself, loosely based on the story “The Gift of the Magi.”

“I tell stories and those end up being portraits of myself,” Paul said when describing her work. After the film, Paul discussed the process of filming and creating the art used for the film. The five-minute film took about three months to complete and required a lot of hard work and attention to detail. While filming, Paul said he lost all sense of time. The film itself and the look at the process of putting it all together truly showed how much time, effort and imagination goes into these films.

Melissa Scrivani is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at