Overlooked Film Festival returns for spring with mythmakers

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It’s back! This semester’s Overlooked Film Festival begins Thursday, February 23 with Southside with You.

The Overlooked Film Festival has been overseen by Professor Justin Young since 2010. The Festival, which will run for 6 consecutive Thursdays save the Thursday of the week of spring break (March 16), exposes students and members of the community to films that were not given a “wide release” at the time of their introduction.

The theme of this semester’s Overlooked Film Festival is “Mythmaking.” The films explore how some people (including former President Barack Obama) rise to stardom, and how the stories surrounding them can seem mythological to us.

Young explained that in a rural area like Angola, many people do not have access to certain types of films. Said films often do not feature well-known actors or were released at the same time as larger blockbusters and were therefore “overlooked.”

“Usually, if people want to see films like these, they have to drive to Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, or Detroit,” stated Young.

Planning for the Overlooked Film Festival is cyclical. As soon as Young completes the planning for one semester’s film series, he begins the planning for the next semester’s film series. When it comes to choosing the films that will be screened, Young stated that he keeps a list of all the films he watches during the months between the series then chooses among them.

“I’ll craft a theme and pick films that fit that theme,” Young explained, referring to the selection process. “Sometimes, I’ll pick the 6 films, and the theme will emerge organically.”

The planning process does not stop with Young’s selection of the films. He must purchase the rights to the movies, which involves contacting companies like Swank Motion Pictures and Criterion Pictures USA. The rights commonly range from $350-$450.

When asked why students and members of the community should attend the Overlooked Film Festival, Young stated, “It’s free, convenient entertainment, which isn’t something you get very often.”

The sisters of Phi Sigma will be selling snacks and beverages during the installments this semester. Attendance for each film is expected to range from 100 to 150 people.

For the schedule of this semester’s films as well as a description of each, check out the Overlooked Film Festival section of our site.

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Clare Danner is a communication major with an emphasis in public relations. She plays soccer for Trine University.