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Film Culture in Keene

Filmmaker Ken Burns discussing his craft with Keene State Film students.

A rich culture of film is thriving at Keene State. Here are just a few examples that illustrate the vibrancy of film production, screening, and discussion outside the classroom:

Film Society: Film Society is a student organization through which Keene State College students organize nightly screenings of films in the Putnam Auditorium. The Film Society meets on Wednesday nights for a screening and other film-related activities that often fill the Putnam auditorium. Films that are chosen and rented by film society for public screening make an important impact on the film culture of the Keene community. Film society, started in 1971, also has a history of bringing filmmakers to campus, and screening in 16mm, 35mm, 70mm, and digital formats.

KSC Film Festival and additional student screenings: Each Spring, selected film students screen their most promising films for an audience of students and the larger community. In the past two years, Film Faculty have redesigned the process through which the festival is organized. Whereas in previous years, every student screened a film. Now a selection process results in an afternoon program that features a dynamic set of films. Many students bring their families to see the films that they and their classmates have created. The films made by graduating seniors earn special community recognition at this event, and there is a question-and-answer period after the film screenings. In addition to screening these specially selected films, students organize other end-of-semester screenings.

Critical Studies Conference: Each Spring, Critical Studies faculty invite paper proposals and solicit work from their most engaged students. Students are able to present their own research and thinking on topics that they have chosen. The resulting Critical Studies Conference has grown over the past six years. For the past two years the event has included not only film majors but also students from across the curriculum who have studied film in their ISP film classes. The mix of ISP students, film students and graduating seniors leads to a dynamic event that has attracted the interest of students in the program and demonstrated intellectual engagement with the critical and historical study of film. This event is open to the public.

The Monadnock International Film Festival brings world-class film and filmmakers to New England’s beautiful Monadnock region, combining the area’s twin traditions of great art and social awareness. The festival’s goal is to bring great movies and their film makers and actors, to the Monadnock Region. The focus is on films that inspire as well as reinforce the beauty and power of film. MONIFF seeks to feature international, national, and NH-made films. The festival offers film screenings; two panel discussions with film makers, actors and directors; and parties on each evening of the event.

7-day Film Competition: In 2010–11, one of our graduating seniors organized a “7-Day Film Competition” with the support of a Pepsi Grant. As part of this continuing event, students at Keene State College are challenged to create, shoot, and edit a five-minute film—in one week. The winning films were screened at the Colonial Theater in downtown Keene (open to the public).

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Film Studies
Cheryl Martin
Administrative Assistant

Admissions Office
229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435