After watching Alex Bretow avert a film equipment crisis by positioning a couple pennies in a mic stand to hold it up right, it’s easier to understand why so much is getting accomplished under his leadership as SSU-TV’s general manager.
Bretow and junior communications major Anna Luna have taken the idea of a traditional film festival and transformed it to become a platform for students to show their community what they are truly capable of.
“It’s also an outlet for people who really have a passion for this stuff,” said Bretow. “Or for people who want to give it a try…There’s the potential for recognition, exposure and to discover your talent.”
CineNoma has been the brainchild of this duo for months, and come Thursday, their vision will be made a reality.
“With every classroom I’ve gone to talk about [the festival], I’ve seen at least one or two people light up,” said Luna. “There is hidden talent at Sonoma State, and people don’t know we have the programs we have.
SSU-TV’s original film festival, SSU Film Fest, has proved to be less than successful. CineNoma is the resulting product of the re branding of the event.
“I’ve known since that first festival I went to, that it deserved to be something bigger,” said Bretow. “On part of the application [for SSU-TV general manager], I wrote: One of the things I want to do is make the film festival bigger, badder and better than ever before.”
While Campus MovieFest is one opportunity for students to submit work, CineNoma’s rules for submission are much broader and allow for more creativity.
With no regulations on when a film was made, how long it took to create or even the genre, the festival is built to accommodate those who like creative control.
On top of providing a night to screen the best films the students of Sonoma State University have to offer, the duo says they hope to create a better sense of community between filmmakers.
“The community exists, but we’re scattered. We don’t know each other,” said Bretow. “What we’re doing is trying to bring everyone together. And with a strong enough community, we can do things like get a film department built here.”
While this goal might not seem exceptionally difficult for this ambitious pair, it’s proven to cause some frustration. However, what Luna and Bretow have in store for filmmakers and enthusiasts alike is exciting.
The red-carpet affair should mimic that of the Academy Awards, with a charismatic host and even surprise music acts.
An event of this magnitude would not be possible without the passion and leadership of the two students. They believe in each other as well as themselves, and it shows.
“She’s really shown up and provided a lot of strong organization and leadership skills,” said Bretow.
“I even offered to be his secretary,” said Luna. “I looked at his phone and he had over 5,000 unread messages, and I was like ‘this is unacceptable, I will take care of this for you.’”
With these two heads combined, a bigger and better SSU Film Fest is inevitable. CineNoma promises to set a stage for aspiring filmmakers and deliver an entertaining show for everyone in attendance.
The festival will be held on Thursday from 7-10 p.m. in Ballroom D of the Student Center. Tickets are free and formal attire is encouraged.