Maura Keary ’22
Although the Trinity Film Festival will most likely not take the same form as previous years, Jessica Jones ’21 is confident that the staff is dedicated to putting together a successful event for the 10th anniversary of the festival.
Jones is the Head of Event Coordination and Head of External Relations for the festival. She has been involved with the festival since her first year at Trinity College. “It was actually one of the first organizations that I joined,” she said. “I have always had a passion for film and wanted to make sure that engaging with the film community at Trinity was at the top of my priorities.”
Trinity Film Festival is a volunteer organization run by students, for students. Throughout the school year a team of student volunteers meet to coordinate festival logistics, market the event, and learn about what is involved in producing a festival. In normal conditions, the films created by accepted filmmakers would be screened at Cinestudio, with an awards ceremony taking place immediately after. This way, students from around the world are able to share their love for filmmaking and have the opportunity to engage with each other. The event normally draws a large audience from the Trinity College community as well as students from all over the northeast region of the U.S.
For the 10th annual festival, the staff has made a specific commitment to begin discussions to increase the presence of BIPOC films and filmmakers. “We want the festival to truly reflect the values our team stands for, and that we acknowledge the substantial systemic barriers and hurdles that BIPOC artists face when navigating our industry. We want to be part of the solution,” Jones explained. On this initiative, the Trinity Film Festival 2021 Organizing Committee said, “We acknowledge the substantial systemic barriers and hurdles that BIPOC artists face when navigating our industry.” They hope this award will bring the campus and the film industry closer to “the world they aspire to be in.”
To fulfill this commitment, the festival team has created an award that is dedicated to celebrating the works of Black, Indigenous filmmakers and filmmakers of color: the BIPOC Excellence in Film Award. “This,” said Jones, “is merely a small step toward achieving the equal and just world we aspire to live in, but we hope that this initiative pushes us a little closer to it.” The initiative is being introduced with the hopes of increasing the presence of BIPOC filmmakers. This award will hopefully increase the diversity within the Festival and reflect their team values in order to become part of the wider solution.
With the 10th anniversary of the festival comes the responsibility to create a once-in-a-decade celebration. Jones explained that the festival will still run, whether it be in-person or virtual. It will be a “re-invented” experience but will still celebrate young filmmakers from around the world. While following safety and health guidelines, the Trinity Film Festival team is looking forward to seeing all films and filmmakers in May to “celebrate undergraduate film excellence.”