You don't know me; my name is Paolo Serino and I'm a film major at UNM. I'm emailing you because of your review of some of the student films in the article on Cherry Reel. Whether or not you choose to read what I have to say is up to you, but I found what you had to say about your fellow UNM student's films highly questionable. It's totally fine to have your opinions and to voice your criticisms, when necessary, but to publicly lambast other students' work (some of which is their first work to be presented in a public setting) felt very inappropriate.
To speak plainly, I found your article to be overly mean-spirited. Giving praise to the films you thought to be best — "highlights" — is great. However, to label the student films as "disappointments" in bold letters beside the name of the creators is off-putting. I'm not sure what the standards are at the Daily Lobo, but I don't think it includes ridiculing other students for their creative work that they put on display in contribution to a community event like Cherry Reel.
These peers of mine put a lot of effort into their short movies. Making a movie, even a couple minutes long with no budget, can take an immense amount of dedication, soul searching, and vulnerability. This article doesn't just put down some of the filmmakers, it up and demeans them.
"The images are far from hallucinatory, betraying a lack of creative vision on the director's part." I'd really like you to keep in mind that most of the movies presented were created originally for class projects and homework, but even so, this is needlessly harsh and just mean. I really want to remain respectful as I can, since you are a newspaper publication, but statements like this toward people on such a platform is a gross misuse of student journalism.
"If it sounds immature, that's because it is, all the way from the subject matter to the filmmaking. The camerawork is shoddy, the lighting flat, and the script inconsistent with its own logic." Again, whether you intended it or not, saying this about someone comes across as malicious. I'll forgo any further direct quotes, not because there isn't more, but because I would be talking in circles about how overtly demeaning they are.
It's not funny to say hurtful things to up-and-coming filmmakers under the guise of critique. The feedback was not constructive, and it didn't seem like it was trying to be. Maybe it would be helpful for professional filmmakers who are looking for that kind of feedback. But to the amateur filmmakers who submitted to Cherry Reel, articles like these cause lots of issues like hurt emotions, bullying, and low self-esteem.
I hope you found what I said helpful to see the perspective of those on the receiving end of this kind of article. As a UNM student and reader, please use your platform to bring up our art community instead of putting them down. It is honestly sad and so shameful to see our own school newspaper publicly tear down these rising artists in such a humiliating way.
Submitted by Paolo Serino
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