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ICDOCS takes over

BY HANNAH KRAMER | APRIL 15, 2010 7:30 AM

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Taking the class Alternative Films in the cinema/comparative literature department has given UI junior Tim Emery an idea of what his future could be like as a film producer.

“The great thing about this class is that it is exactly what I want to do after college,” the cinema major said. He hopes to be involved with the business end of the movie industry.

The class is centered on producing the Iowa City International Documentary Film Festival, which will take place today through Saturday at various times. Admission is free.

A series of screenings at the Bijou will display the 28 films selected by Carina Johnson’s Alternative Films class. Each session will show between four and nine films. Also, guest screenings of work by festival judges will be featured.

Johnson, the class’ TA, said the event is different from other festivals because students are working toward one common goal.

Leading the class “is kind of like being a boss,” the graduate student in film and video production said.

Emery, who is on the festival’s marketing team, describes Alternative Films as a great opportunity.

“We are not just doing a project, we are putting on a film festival,” he said.

Johnson and Emery agree that the biggest difficulty in preparing for the festival is the time constraint.

“Scheduling is the biggest conflict,” Johnson said. “Putting on a film festival that is connected to a class has to be crunched into a semester.”

After artists submitted documentaries, the class was responsible for choosing films they thought were best.

Emery said that although the process was lengthy and involved a bit of debate, he thought he and the other class members chose a “cool” selection.

The next step was to organize, promote, and raise money for the event. They held a “Dance for Docs” fundraiser at the Blue Moose Tap House, which, they said, was a success.

After nearly a semester of hard work, the festival this weekend will open and close with screening of the guest judges’ work. Clips from “Letters From the Other Side” and “Where Soldiers Come From,” by Heather Courtney, will be screened today. At 7 p.m. Saturday in 105 Adler, “Youth Knows No Pain,” by Mitch McCabe, will be the finale of the festival.

Working so closely with a group of other students has been another positive aspect for Emery. He said working as a team has helped him get to know other film majors better.

“I actually think that this is one of the most interesting and interactive classes I have ever taken,” he said.


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