Although McGill is primarily a research institution, individuals from any background and interest can most probably find a community that fits their identity. Whether you are looking to pursue your passion for a certain sport, wish to learn a new language or want to make friends who share a common cultural background, these are all likely possible at McGill. The diversity of opportunities here reflects the diversity of individuals who build the community, which allows for an inclusive environment that thrives on a wealth of knowledge and undying creativity. The Fokus Film Festival is an example of an on-campus event that reflects one of these diverse opportunities the school has to offer.
Hosted annually by Television McGill and now in its 13th year, Fokus is the only festival for student films at McGill that showcases nominated submissions in a public viewing at Cinema du Parc. This event is not only open to McGill students, but also to the wider Montreal community, with the hopes of encouraging individuals to participate in the celebration of student creativity. At the core of Fokus’ purpose is the desire to offer a space where individuals of diverse backgrounds, not only that of a Cultural Studies major or World Cinemas minor, can come together to enjoy an evening of inspiration and artistic imagination.
The screened films are allocated into five categories: Experimental, Drama, Comedy, Horror and 72-hour Competition. At the end of the night, the series of judges will be announcing the winning film from each category. The 72-hour competition is a sub-category of the festival that took place in late February, where participants were provided only 72 hours to write, shoot, edit, and submit a short film under 15 minutes based on one of the following given themes: Bedtime Story or Attention. This competition was aimed to push the creativity of student teams upon the understanding that time is a constant, looming obstacle that all filmmakers face on set but can also be a catalyst for new original ideas.
The after party will take place at Bar Le Coin Social in the same building as Cinema du Parc where audience members will have a chance to exchange thoughts directly with the student filmmakers and judges.
This year’s Fokus Film Festival will take place on March 18 at 7 p.m. at Cinema du Parc (3575 Avenue du Parc, Montreal, QC H2X 3P9). Tickets are available online and at the door.