A new independent film series is opening for students and the public through the Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery. Through The Shaw Gallery & Utah Film Center present the Utah Film Circuit – Ogden attendants will watch and discuss independent films as part of an informal education program.

Katherine Lee Koven, the gallery’s director, has sparked the initiative for the project. She said she is excited about the opportunities this program will offer to students.

“The Film Society aims to give people an experience that they don’t get elsewhere,” she said. “We’ve seen a lot of interest in independent film here, and we want to encourage that.”

Lee has gathered an interdepartmental panel that will pick which films are shown. Professors, staff and students from around the university are working to make the film series an engaging experience for students and the Ogden community.

“We want to offer subjects that are relevant to what people are doing,” Lee said. “If we have a film about women’s studies, environmentalism, business or history, we want a faculty member there to add their insight.”

One student on the panel is Charlotte Ross, a history major with a passion for cinema.

“I feel that there is something for everyone with the films that we’ve chosen,” she said. “The real benefit here is exposure to different ideas and viewpoints that normally a student might not get the chance to experience. With these films, and the way we are tying them in to current classes or activities offered on campus, students get to learn and enjoy a well-made and interesting movie.”
Ross found her niche on the committee as a perspective from outside the arts department, and said she has enjoyed her time as an intern.
“As a student representative on the committee, I provide an alternative viewpoint (as a history major) as to who these movies to appeal to, and how we can diversify and get students involved,” she said. “Since part of the funding came from Student Affairs, Katie (Koven) has a strong dedication to make this film series appealing and beneficial to students, and so chose me to get a perspective on what students would enjoy. I am currently interning in the Shaw Gallery, with the intent of gaining experience in how a gallery/museum is managed. Since Katie is my supervisor, we already had an established relationship, and she felt I would be a good addition to the group. I agreed because it sounded fun!”
Aisha Childs, an alumna of the WSU Department of Visual Arts, said she feels excited about the opportunities film could bring to WSU.

“It’s awesome! It’s something different than we’ve had here before. It’s one more avenue for students to see that they can work in. There are very traditional ways of thinking about art, and this will introduce students to other mediums. There’s a tunnel vision in what people think art is . . . I feel like having film in this venue will open up people’s perception of what art is.”

Lee said she also looks forward to the potential of film within the visual arts department.

“I hope that this program sparks interest within students, and that they may be able to add it to their studies in the future,” she said.

A relatively new director for the gallery, Lee said she hopes for discussion following the films to be the meat of the series.

“We’re looking to have the director watch with us, and then have a question-and-answer session afterwards. If someone doesn’t like the film, it may be because they don’t understand it. To hear another person’s perspective, or why the director chose to do something the way that they did, will change how people watch films.”

Lee expressed her desire for student attendance, saying, “We really want students to come and watch. It will be kick-ass, and we want them to be a part of it.”

“Uranium Drive-In” will be the series’ first film. It will play at Peery’s Egyptian Theater at 7 p.m. on Sept. 19, with “Searching for Sugarman” playing in the same venue at 7 p.m. on Oct. 24.

More information on the film series is available at the gallery’s website, www.weber.edu/shawgallery.

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