Lindenwood gets its first film festival

In Nov. 2020 Lindenwood University's first film festival will premiere on campus. <br> Logo by Brandon Perkins, courtesy of Andrew Millians.

In Nov. 2020 Lindenwood University's first film festival will premiere on campus.
Logo by Brandon Perkins, courtesy of Andrew Millians.

Daniel Bell-Nguyen, Reporter

Lindenwood University’s first film festival is coming to campus in November 2020.

It’s called the Hellbender Student Film Festival, named after a salamander only found in Ozark Mountains, Missouri.

The film festival is accepting entries from high school and college filmmaker to compete in various categories. Submissions from any country will be accepted, but the festival will be emphasized on St. Louis-area filmmakers.

These categories include best documentary, best narrative and best animated film. All submissions are asked to be no more than 30 minutes in length and high school and college filmmakers will be judged separately.

The student-led film festival will take place on Nov. 19-21 on Lindenwood’s campus.

Andrew Millians, an associate professor of cinema arts, is the festival director of the Hellbender Film Festival. He said the film festival has been in the works for awhile. He said he believes this will be a way to promote the cinema arts program at Lindenwood and showcase student talent.

Millians said he wants to have students involved in every aspect of the event. All content submissions will be critiqued by a panel of Lindenwood cinema art students.

“This is not only a student film festival,” Millians said. “I want it to also be a student-run festival. My goal is to have as much student involvement, not only in running it, but selecting and being invested in the [films] that we will show. I think it’s beneficial for our students to see good content that they wouldn’t normally see.”

One of these student judges includes Lupe Medina, a sophomore cinema arts major at Lindenwood. Medina said the panel of judges will be specifically judging the “story, structure, production value, editing and sound” of each submission.

“I’m excited to see all the work that students have been putting into their projects and films,” Medina said. “Since this is the first year that we are doing this, I just hope that everything goes as planned and that we get a decent amount of submissions so that we can continue with this in the years to come.”

The name

Millians said there was plenty of brainstorming to produce a creative name for the event. Ultimately, Hellbender was chosen as the name due to its prominence in the region.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, the “fully-aquatic amphibian is the largest salamander in North America.”

“I think we always had in mind to have a name that spoke to the region,” Millians said. “The Hellbender has two species, both of which are in Missouri. It brands us as unique, but also roots us to where we are.”

How to enter

The entry fee to participate is $10 for college students, but is waived for high school participants. Films can be submitted through Film Freeway. The final deadline for submissions is September 18, 2020.

All screenings will be open to the public and will be held in the theater at the Library & Academic Resource Center. For more information, email [email protected]