Weekender

Rolling out the red carpet for the Blue and White Film Festival

“Changing Channels: Monica the Medium,” about Penn State medium Monica Ten-Kate, by co-directors Marisa Bippus and Chelsea Weidanz, will be screened at this year’s Blue and White Film Festival.
“Changing Channels: Monica the Medium,” about Penn State medium Monica Ten-Kate, by co-directors Marisa Bippus and Chelsea Weidanz, will be screened at this year’s Blue and White Film Festival. Photo provided

After hours spent editing in front of computer screens, Penn State student filmmakers are anxious to see their work on something a little more silver and a whole lot bigger.

The State Theatre will roll out the red carpet Saturday for the Blue and White Film Festival 2015, a collection of 20 short student films dabbling in genres ranging from animation to live action narrative.

“It’s basically a big showcase for the best student work from the past year,” Caleb Yoder, president of the Penn State Student Film Organization, said.

This year, almost 50 student-produced films were submitted for review by the festival’s panel of judges, a collection of film and video program alumni and faculty from across campus.

Yoder said he is happy with the variety reflected in the 2015 slate of films, a program that includes at least one animated short, documentaries and narrative fiction.

“We hope to really show off the talent of Penn State filmmakers,” Yoder said.

One of those burgeoning auteurs is film and video major Ian Logan, whose shorts “Carrie Hope” and “Until Death” both will be featured Saturday evening.

“Carrie Hope” began life in a narrative screenwriting class Logan took last spring, while “Until Death” is a newer addition to his resume, shot in a day over Easter weekend.

Logan said that because film and video majors work so closely together, many of them already know one another’s projects inside and out.

The Blue and White Film Festival is an opportunity to see all of that potential and talent fully realized.

“When you see people taking risks and trying new things and doing things that you can’t do, it’s fun to tell them how much you like it,” Logan said.

His strengths lie in narrative filmmaking, but he can appreciate the efforts of documentarians like Marisa Bippus who co-directed the short “Changing Channels: Monica the Medium” with Chelsea Weidanz for an advanced documentary class.

“Changing Channels” tells the story of Penn State student medium Monica Ten-Kate, who recently began production on the reality series “Monica the Medium” for ABC Family. The co-directors began filming with Ten-Kate in March and grappled with the editing-heavy nature of the documentary format.

Bippus, who also has the narrative short “We are Not Alone” screening at the festival, said she enjoys the diversity that each genre offers.

“They both have their own challenges,” Bippus said.

After all the shorts have been screened, a reception will be held at the State Theatre for filmmakers and audience members.

Bippus finds the gathering useful for garnering reviews.

“I think it’s just nice to have feedback, both positive and negative,” Bippus said.

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