Brody Pierce –

Students interested in showcasing their own creative short films get the chance at the University of Wisconsin-Stout 4:51 Short Film Festival. The fourth year of the festival is scheduled to take place Friday, April 12. It was originally started by Stout’s own Joan Navarre. The professor was inspired to create this film fest after attending a conference at the British Film Institute (BFI).

The 4:51 Short Film Festival name came from the first adaptation films the students did on the book “Fahrenheit 451.” The focus of the film changes with each passing year, but it’s always an adaptation of a creative work. This year’s focus is to create a short cinematic adaptation of any published piece of literature by a female author and the film itself cannot exceed four minutes and 51 seconds in length.

     The film fest will also have a panel of judges that will score the films and determine a winner at the end of the fest. Judges include Matt Rassmussen, the executive producer at Sundown Picture and the News Director at KBJR-TV in Duluth, Minnesota; Andrew Steidtmann, a UW-Stout graduate and Emmy Award-winning compositor with Ingenuity Studios in Los Angeles, California; and Charles Backus with Midwest Documentary Center, Inc. in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

In an interview with Backus, he speaks of how delighted he is to see what the UW-Stout students have to bring to the community. When asked on why he is participating as a judge in the film fest, he said, “Since we are going to be a home for students for 3, 4, 10, 12 years of their lives, I think that we, as a community, have an obligation to make them feel welcome; an obligation to assist them in reaching their goals, and if that goal is to become a better filmmaker then I want to do anything that I can to assist in that.”

     News of the 4:51 Short Film Festival has already spread to some students on campus such as Elliana Lone, Ben LeDocq and Emily Delo who have already begun the process of creating three separate film adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. When asked about their filming process, each one chose a separate scene or point of view from the novel to build a well-thought-out short film on the points they picked. “So far the film process has gone well,” said Ben LeDocq. “However, figuring out how we were going to do it, when we were going to do it and where we were going to do it [has] all played a main factor in making this production possible.”

Elliana comments, “I think it’s a really cool event, especially this year. We are including two other art programs kind of working together with us on the whole festival,” when asked what she thought of the film fest.

Emily had a similar comment, “I think it’s exciting that all the students are getting to do this,” she said. “It’s gonna be interesting getting to see everyone’s take on their chosen stories.”

The due date for submissions is March 22 for those interested in creating a short film. Contact Joan Navarre for further information on the submission process.