Nice Shorts!

shane.nyman and shane.nyman

When students are seeking entertainment, three options are usually going to the movies, checking out live music or going to live comedy. All three options will combine into one event on Monday, Sept. 24 when NMU’s campus welcomes the Film on the Run festival.

The festival, currently touring the United States, features several award-winning, internationally promoted short films, plus three films submitted by NMU students. The event also will feature a live DJ and is hosted by comedian Michael Kosta.

Film on the Run began as a collection of people who had traveled to film festivals around the world, including Cannes in France, the Sundance Film Festival in Utah and Tribecca Film Festival in New York, said Film on the Run’s festival director Logan Hale. “[After having] access to all of these great films and all of this ground-breaking talent,” said Hale, “[we] just kind of thought about what’s happening in colleges and that a lot of this great work is rarely seen across the country.”

The show will feature around 15 different short films ranging from comedy to drama, each running between five to 10 minutes, Hale said.

“All of the films are very short and to the point. They all evoke a particular quick emotion whether you laugh or cry or scream,” he said. “We have a nice mix between films that are funny and serious and visual so that there’s a little something for everyone.”

Some of the films to be shown include “The Pity Card,” directed by former “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” writer Bob Odenkirk and “The Bicycle Messengers,” which features a combination of live-action and animation.

In order to make the festival more accessible and entertaining to a wider audience beyond the actual films, Hale said they recruited other forms of entertainment to liven things up.

“As you come in, music is pumping, there are visuals on the screen, you’re instantly greeted by something you haven’t seen before,” Hale said. “Once the show starts, we bring on our host Michael Kosta and he gets everybody charged up. Our idea is that we don’t want to just turn out the lights, show some films and say goodnight.”

The festival, which also has stops in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, was sponsored by Northern Arts & Entertainment (NAE). Jordan Gibbons, NAE vice-chair, said one of the biggest selling-points in bringing Film on the Run to campus was its originality.

“We thought it would be something new and unique. We’ve never really done something with this format before,” she said.

NAE has done a lot of promotional work for the event, including printing T-shirts and hanging full-sized posters. “I’m pretty confident that it’s going to be well received,” Gibbons said.

This is the first year for the Film on the Run tour, but Hale said he hopes to continue it in the upcoming semesters and eventually expand. In the future, he said Film on the Run may become a touring all-day event, where the crew not only plays films, but helps make them.

For now, Film on the Run will continue their campus tour around the United States and hope for a solid reaction to later build upon. In the end, the goal of the festival is to allow great short films to be viewed by audiences that normally wouldn’t get to see them, Hale said.

“It might be seen in some of the major cities, but our idea was to find a way to bring this cutting-edge work to young people across the country.”

A total of six films were submitted from Northern students for the festival, but only three will be selected and shown. The finalists are yet to be determined by the Film on the Run crew.

The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. in room 102 of Jamrich Hall. Admission is free.

For more information, visit the festival’s Web site at www.filmontherun.com.