The best works by UNM student filmmakers will be on display at the Guild Cinema on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Cinematic Arts Student Showcase is a free annual event and has a program every day, each featuring about 15 students, according to Deborah Fort, an associate professor with the department and the coordinator of the showcase. She said that two jury panels convened to select the two programs.

“The work had to meet certain criteria in terms of creative talent, and demonstrating ability and demonstrating skills that are taught in cinematic arts,” she said. “And then, beyond that, it was looking for work that maybe challenged certain approaches to the cinematic arts, or were representative of certain areas.”

All works selected are high quality, and panels don’t hand out prizes or pick winners among the works selected, Fort said.

“That is prize enough — to get your work shown,” she said. “It’s not really a contest, but it is definitely an honor.”

She said works were selected based on a variety of criteria, and the jury also tried to make a balanced selection of styles to show the diversity of work produced in the program.

“It’s not necessarily just picking the best work that was produced,” she said. “It’s looking at the overall work and picking a representative selection of work that shows what’s really done in cinematic arts.”

Nina Fonoroff, an associate professor in the cinematic arts department, sat on the jury that selected works for Thursday’s program. She said her jury chose quality, innovative works.

“It depends upon how well-executed they are, the ways that they may fit into the arrangement of the program and what is artistically exciting — interesting — that reflects personal vision on the part of the filmmakers,” she said. “The ones that I selected all stood out.”

The showcase used to be held in the Fine Arts Center on campus but was moved to the Guild several years ago to gain more exposure for student filmmakers, Fonoroff said.

“I would say that it’s because we want to invite a larger part of the public to the show and let them know what we are doing as a department. We have some excellent students who are doing exciting work in filmmaking,” she said. “We wanted to bring it off of campus and to bring it into the world at large. And we also want the students to know that their work has consequences beyond just what goes on on campus — that they can actually show their work in a public venue.”

Fort said each piece had a time limit of 15 minutes, and most pieces in the program are eight to nine minutes long. She said that, on top of short films, the showcase will display screenplays and critical-studies papers.

“With the screenplays, I’ve asked them to do some kind of staged reading … For the critical studies papers it might be more the way a paper is presented at a conference,” she said. “We don’t often get the opportunity to read or hear those papers presented, so I think that’s one of the unique things about the screening this year.”

Fort said every piece selected for the showcase is strongly produced and shows the high quality of film produced in the cinematic arts department.

“There was a lot of really great work,” she said. “Everything that was selected is, in its way, unique and really demonstrating an understanding of filmmaking skills.”

Department of Cinematic Arts Annual

Wednesday and Thursday
12:30 – 2 p.m. each day
Admission is free
Seats are limited