Thanks to sophomore filmmaking student Peter Di Prospero, film majors and other students got to come together in Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media (SCM) to celebrate the work they have created.
Taking place on the first day of classes for the 2022 fall semester, many students and film enthusiasts gathered in the SCM’s Presentation Hall to watch hours’ worth of Montclair State student films.
This was the festival’s first year and it was a success.
Hosted by Di Prospero and junior communication and media studies major Nick Najarian, the hilarious pair gave quite the show.
The festival started out giving thanks to those who have helped the festival take its feet off the ground: faculty and staff members Frank Martinez, Stuart MacLelland and Krystal Acosta; the BMO Cage; Montclair State’s Video Production Club; The Montclarion and sophomore filmmaking majors Sean Thrunk and Aidan Ping.
One of the highlights of the first block of films was sophomore filmmaking major Izzy Love’s “The Horse,” a mockumentary starring the host, Najarian, and his character’s journey to discover what a horse truly is.
It is a genuinely hilarious project that was executed by Love as a freshman, which is quite impressive.
The entire crowd was laughing and enjoying themselves, it was a great start to the event.
After a few films, the students enjoyed a quick 10-minute break where they gave insight into their opinions of the festival so far. There was a break between each block of films, with snacks and water outside or a question-and-answer session with the filmmakers being showcased.
Samantha Bussinger, a freshman film and television major, and Salvatore Sciascia, a freshman filmmaking major, were lucky enough to experience this newly-found festival on their first day of classes.
“I think this film festival is very well organized,” Bussinger said. “There are lots of different films, and it’s really cool. I think it’s really creative as well.”
Sciascia commented on how the festival impacted him.
“I think it’s a really cool way to get a feel of some of the films you may be helping to make here,” Sciascia said. “It’s a really good way to meet some new people as well.”
The second block of films had hilarious shorts such as “Lets Ride” by senior filmmaking major Hunter Dunn and “There will be nugs” by senior filmmaking major Alex Glover. Both received lots of laughs from the audience.
“Spin Cycles” by junior filmmaking major Colin Hankenson was missing some of the humor that the other films had, however, it stole the spotlight as it was hard to believe it was a film by only student filmmakers. It focused on a laundromat employee getting caught in the middle of a murder who uses the business to save himself and get out of trouble with the felons.
One of the best films shown was by Raina Cagiao, who graduated in May of 2022. Her film, “Oh Children, My Children,” is about a Catholic teenager who finds herself pregnant and has to navigate life while no one is there to help her.
It was moving, shot beautifully and a perfect closer to its block of films.
In all, the Silver Slate Film Festival had a great first year, and it is expected to be an annual event for Montclair State students to show their hard work and dedication to their craft.