Students gather for Common Reader Film Festival

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On Tuesday, November 7, dozens of students gathered in the Olson Auditorium to view films that have been produced by students at the 2nd Annual Mass Communication Common Reader Film Festival. Although the films were all incredibly different, they all had one thing in common: food.

The common reader book this year was The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities by Will Allen, a retired professional basketball player who purchased a plot of inner-city land to build an urban farm. Filmmakers were encouraged to center their films around this concept.

Mass Communications Professor Elisa Herrmann believed this was an important chance for SHSU students and aspiring filmmakers.

“I think that this is a great opportunity for students because many of them have never been part of a festival and this is sometimes their very first experience with this,” Herrmann said. “{Filmakers} have a very friendly environment to show their films where they don’t have to fear about being judged or critiqued too harshly.”

Awards given out were honorable mention, best film, and a special award. All winners were given a trophy, certificates, and were invited to a luncheon with the common reader book’s author. The honorable mention award was given to a film entitled Order 407, an animation where a man goes to a restaurant that isn’t what it seems.

The best film award went to the first film of the festival, A Recipe for Success, which showed various students competing for a culinary scholarship.

The grand, special prize, which came with a $500 Amazon gift card, went to Farming Followers. The film portrayed how farmers are revolutionizing the industry with technology. One of the two producers of this film, senior Agricultural Communications major Brackston McKnight felt that producing his film was incredibly beneficial.

“We met a lot of farmers along the way who said we use social media to connect to consumers and we think that’s going to be a big part of the future,” McKnight explained. “It’s a way to educate the public about where their food comes from.”

Photographs by Indya Finch.