For UNC students, many classes involve the production of demanding projects for success. These projects often serve no other purpose other than for the grade on a transcript. However, on April 13, the Swain Lot Film Festival returns to the Varsity Theatre, challenging this notion by offering a platform for students to showcase their video projects.
The Swain Lot Film Festival is entirely student-run and the films shown are entirely student-produced. The festival accepts submissions produced within the past year from UNC students of all majors. Films range in length, with a maximum run time of 20 minutes. The submissions are reviewed by a select panel of faculty and student judges who pick the top pieces, which are then screened at the Varsity Theatre for the showcase.
Nicholas Bafia, senior representative for the Swain Lot Film Festival, said the pieces touch on a multitude of subjects. Submissions can come from introductory communication classes, music videos, or even documentaries.
Bafia said the goal of the film festival is to promote and showcase the hard work of students producing films throughout the year. Originally, the film festival showcased only the work from communications majors. The name of the festival comes from Swain Hall, which houses the communications department and the Swain Hall parking lot. The first film festival was held in this parking lot with a projector and folding chairs.
Now, the festival has expanded in size by moving to the Varsity Theatre and in content by accepting submissions from all majors. The expansion increases the diversity of the festival, in that the works of students across a wide spectrum of majors are represented and shared with the rest of the community.