‘Women are the future in film’: Archer holds eighth annual film festival


Photo credit: Nicki Rosenberg

Junior Casey Nuss scoops popcorn at the film festival. “We got here at 12 today, set everything up, dealt with catering and popcorn, cotton candy, cameras, everything,” junior Lily Price said. “It was very stressful, long and lots of manual labor but worth it in the end.”

In the film elective class, students learn more than cinematographic elements or how to use a camera. Each year, students have the opportunity to curate and showcase student films from around the globe at their very own film festival.

On Wednesday, May 22, students, faculty, families and friends flooded into the Writers Guild Theatre for the eighth annual Archer Film Festival. Throughout the year, over 700 films from 57 countries were submitted. A student board selected eight to be screened at the festival.

“We have been planning this almost since the beginning of the school year. We just put in a lot of planning hours and effort coming up with questions, coming up with themes and with just every single little detail,” junior Emma Alperovich said. “It’s really our choice because it’s a student-run festival.”

This year’s keynote speaker was Victoria Alonso, the Executive Vice President of Production for Marvel Studios, who, throughout her keynote address, emphasized that “women are the future in film.” For the past two years, the festival’s theme has been “Her Lens. Her Story,” which connects to its mission of “empowering female filmmakers.”

“It’s really important to have women in film in order to make strides for equality,” sophomore Kylie Chryss-Connell said. “The Archer film festival is a really good way of implementing young women into that atmosphere.”

Along with promoting female voice through film, the festival promotes the voices of other minority groups. Some of the topics of the films this year included disability, toxic masculinity and race identity. Junior Lily Price, who served on the festival’s leadership board, also presented her film about fellow junior Sophie Pollack’s experience with sexual assault.

“It’s really hard making a film like that because it’s like, ‘Where is the line?’ … It is a really heavy topic but it is such an important issue to share with the world,” Price said. “We have a lot of pride in the work that we did.”

Senior Ruby Colby said seeing her work “pay off” was one of her “favorite parts” of the festival.

“There were bumps in the road, and there were periods that were more stressful than others, but being here all day and watching everyone come in and seeing the joy on everyone’s face […] that’s definitely my favorite part,” Colby said.  

Alonso spoke to the festival attendees about being successful in Hollywood and the film industry in general.

“In Hollywood, at the end of the day, no one remembers how you got in,” Alonso said. “[Hollywood] remembers how you become you when you’re in.”