University Film Organization

BGSU film students celebrate their movies, the Gish, & Ralph Wolfe

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Bowling Green State University film students, the Film and Media Festival is their Oscars. Walking into Gish Theater, the trophies for best drama, comedy, documentary, experimental, and horror, and for the various crafts that go into making these – special effects, musical score, costumes, makeup, and cinematography – are lined up. The festival is a decidedly more low key affair – and it should be noted, a tighter show, lasting less than an hour from the end of the mixer to start of the after-awards socializing. At the Oscars, you wouldn’t have Adam Panter, who would pick up best actor award on Sunday night, hawking t-shirts at the theater on Saturday morning. But then that’s all part of being in a creative community. That sense of camaraderie, even among ostensible competitors, was evident. They appeared in each other projects, and cheered wildly when a classmate won. This community, though, will be losing its ‘home,” or at least the venue where so many of the films produced on campus were first screened, said Keisha Martin, president of the University Film Organization, which presented the festival with BG Reel. Martin said that the experience of screening films in the Gish connected current students with those who came before them. To show their appreciation the student groups honored Ralph Haven Wolfe, the professor emeritus of English, who founded the theater in 1976. Wolfe said that growing up on a farm, he always wanted to go to town because that’s where the two places he loved, the library and the movie theater, were. Those ignited the intellectual passion that led him into academia, and BGSU, first as a student and then as a professor. Wolfe spoke about how he got Lillian Gish to come for the dedication at a time when film studies at BGSU was in its infancy. Though he has been outspoken in his displeasure about the removal of the Gish from Hanna Hall – the theater will be relocated to the Student Union (see story http://bgindependentmedia.org/university-promises-gish-name-will-live-on-bgsu/) – he struck a philosophical note on Sunday night. The theater and what it represents will survive in a new form, he said. Then befitting an English professor he recited poetry, a long section from William Wordsworth’s “Intimations of Immortality,” with the lines: “We will grieve not, rather find / Strength in what remains behind.” And like the poet, he is was now of a “philosophic mind. “ The Gish was one of the features that attracted Diana Hoffman to BGSU. Hoffman’s “No One’s Little Girl” won best of festival honors. She was initially interested in BGSU because of the reputation of its film program, and then when she visited she was impressed by the facilities, both the new Wolfe Center for the Arts, and the vintage Gish Film Theater. Her film is a child’s view of a divorce in progress, and stars 12-year-old Sophia Nelson, of Bowling Green, Hoffman said she was fortunate to find Sophia, who had both the acting skills and experience in dance that the role required. And she came to the set “ready to work.” After Hoffman graduates in May, she hopes to find a job as a film editor in New York and continue to work on projects on the side. She hopes the festival prize will help in that effort. She’s also entering “Nobody’s Little Girl” in other film festivals. Two scholarships were also awarded at the ceremony. Brett Holden, coordinator of Learning Communities, presented the Gish Prize for writing on film. Holden said that the prize is only given out when…