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Sunday, March 3, 2024

The 12th Annual UC Davis Film Festival:

The UC Davis Film Festival began Wednesday night and will run again tonight at the Davis Varsity Theater. This will mark the festival’s 12th Annual showing in Davis. Produced by the Department of Theatre & Dance, presented in association with UC Davis Cinema and Technocultural Studies and co-sponsored by Art Studio, the show will run from 8:30 to 10:30 both nights for $7.

“It’s an awesome showcase of student work and a chance to see films that otherwise are only viewed in a small classroom,” said Todd Kaiser, a student Technical Director for the festival. “We have a lot of experimental films in this year’s program. Submissions of comedy, drama, documentary and animation have led to a well-rounded show.”

The Irrelevant and Shallow Life of Birdie Peacock, a student-produced mockumentary about a washed-up child star, is one of several experimental films submitted in this year’s lineup. Put together by last year’s winners Anna Hossnieh (best documentary for Standing Compassion) and Meredith Sward (best experimental film for Oh Dear), the film revolves around a has-been child star struggling to make a movie of her life.

Ngoc Le, Lead Student Producer of the festival, will also contribute to this year’s lineup. Her documentary submission centers on Janet Liang, a UCLA student suffering from leukemia looking to find a perfect bone marrow match.

According to the festival’s press release, the film was inspired by Le’s own recent struggle.

“When I was diagnosed with a lifelong autoimmune disease last fall, I was told that I might eventually need a bone marrow transplant,” Le said. “During my treatment, I became inspired upon reading media accounts of Janet’s story. Her YouTube cry for help brought me to tears because she only had a few months to live and that made me think, ‘that could have been me or that will be me one day.’”

“Nothing is more encouraging than an audience’s response,” Le said in an email interview with The Aggie. “Every student has been working hard to showcase their talent and interest in cinema. It would be a great encouragement and accomplishment for them to see their hard work on the screen viewed by an audience in a theatre setting.”

If you couldn’t make it to Cannes this year, the UC Davis Film Festival is a prime alternative. Dozens of filmmakers will be displaying their work.

JAMES O’HARA can be contacted at arts@theaggie.org.

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