Students who attend UL with hopes of learning to become accomplished filmmakers now have an outlet with which they can share their artistic labors with the Acadiana community and anyone who appreciates the often overlooked medium of local films.

The first ULL Student Film Premier was held at Cité des Arts in downtown Lafayette Saturday night with a full house of eager moviegoers ready to drink in what UL film students and their vast imaginations can offer.

“You never know with these functions, in terms of the turnout, who’s actually going to be interested in student artwork and films,” said Thomas Wilson, a junior visual arts major at UL who premiered his sci-fi short film Subject 7. “Hopefully, based off of the body of work that we’re starting to build right now, we can get some more quality work and eventually get some more people. We could get a venue with a few more hundred seats. We’re going to try to get into the ACA next time so we can get more people over there and just build this film interest.”

The event was put together and hosted by Keaton Smith and Gary McCart, two students in the recently-created Mise-en-Scene Society and the Moving Image Arts program at UL.

“I was very surprised by how many people showed up,” said Smith, who premiered his film Push/Pull starring McCart. “I had expectations of at least 20, of just like family and friends, but then people from the street just started showing up and it came to be about 60 to 75 people. It was very good to see the different array of student work there is. You go from really artsy stuff like abstract to really funny and comedic.”

Smith and McCart also served as the leads in another filmed that premiered called Alone Together, written and directed by Stephen Meaux.

“Honestly, I thought it was going to sell out, but we had maybe over 50 and so that’s more than I was expecting,” said Meaux who is graduating from UL’s Moving Image Arts program next week. “Either way, I’m just glad a lot of people showed up, because it’s great to support the students. I’m just glad they had this many people show up to see student work, because it’s hard to even show your work anywhere. And we have all of these great artists and to show all of our work at once is pretty awesome.”

Other works presented included music videos by UL graduate Alison Bohl, Soup’s On by UL graduate Misty Talley, Quiet Place by Johnathan Reaux and animated shorts by various students in UL’s visual arts program including Smith, Wilson and Lanchtan Xie.

“It all started when Gary and I shared a beer together and talked about the future,” explained Smith. “Then we thought if we want to start collaborating and being better friends then we should start a movie festival, so this really helped us in a lot of ways because we started something that needed to be started and we got to show off our work and we got to be better friends because of it. UL’s needed this kind of outlet for a long time and it is finally here.”

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