Students in the spotlight: Drive-in for Wright State’s Big Lens Film Fest

“Almost everything you’ll see on the screen was either finished or entirely created during the COVID-19 pandemic,” festival director Jeremy Bolden said.



Student filmmakers are in the spotlight as Wright State University’s Motion Pictures program hosts its annual Big Lens Film Festival Thursday, April 22 at 8 p.m. at Dixie Twin Drive-In, 6201 N. Dixie Drive, Dayton.

In order to accommodate COVID-19 requirements, this year’s event will be held outdoors with patrons viewing the assortment of premieres from the safety of their cars. The festival celebrates the culmination of the filmmakers’ four years as students in the Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures. Graduates of the program who have participated in the festival have gone on to win Emmy and Academy Awards as well as lead the film and television industry in Southwest Ohio and the nation.

“This year’s Big Lens will have films from 2020 graduates as well as 2021 graduates,” said Jeremy Bolden, festival director and motion pictures instructor. “Almost everything you’ll see on the screen was either finished or entirely created during the COVID-19 pandemic. A large part of the filmmaking process is problem solving, and our students have and continued to put in a tremendous amount of work to create content and tell stories that are important to them.”

In particular, the lineup is a reflection of up to two years of preparation and production, which has been a feat considering the aforementioned COVID climate. In fact, there were added requirements of following industry standards for COVID-safe conditions for filming, editing and preparing the premieres.

“The Big Lens Film Festival is always a great event,” added Joe Deer, chair of the department of theatre, dance and motion pictures. “But this year is special, seeing a group of students that have banded together to make films while much of their industry has had to go on hiatus. I have such admiration for them and for their gifted faculty and staff, who have gone so many extra miles to make this event possible. I don’t think any of these filmmakers will ever forget this festival.”



This year’s lineup includes:

“Will I Make It Thru the Springtime,” Music Video, Directed by Adam Clark

“27 Pages of Notes,” Documentary, Directed by Parker Bowling

“MAGGIE & SARAH,” Short, Directed by Ella Price

“Meat,” Animation, Directed by Vincent Short*

“Sick and Tired,” Music Video, Directed by Adam Clark

“CANVAS,” Documentary, Directed by Ryder Caldwell

“The Disaster Mitzvah,” Animation, Directed by Brandon Were*

“DEON,” Documentary, Directed by Danny Fain

“You May Feel,” Animation, Directed by Joe Greenwell

“I’m Lonely Even Though I’m Not Alone,” Music Video, Directed by Parker Bowling

“APOTHEOSIS,” Short, Directed by Ella Price

“Gooey Goats,” Animation, Directed by Ben Young*

*Denotes 2020 graduate

The festival begins at 8 p.m. but gates open at 7 p.m. A suggested cash/check donation of $10 per person can be made at the gate. Patrons are expected to follow COVID precautions while viewing films at the Dixie Twin Drive-In.

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