by Lidia Grande-Ruiz
The Humboldt International Film Festival (HIFF) team hosted a night of film sharing at the Van Duzer Theatre on November 3. The films were pulled from the HIFF archives and all have a common theme: discomfort and exploring it more through that feeling.
The films shown were “Simon” (2015, directed by Camille de Galbert), “Dancing with Scissors” (2019, directed by Steven Vander Meer), “Gone Sale” (2018, directed by Matt Meindel), “Aviary” (2021, directed by Lauryn Blottin), “Prey” (2018, directed by Jing Sun), and “The Quiet” (2019, directed by Radheya Jegatheva).
“Change occurs at the point where it outweighs risks,” said Sarah Lasley, assistant film professor at CPH. “So when you are so uncomfortable that the fear of risks in change is no longer scary, we are kind of forced to make change.”
Lasley continued to speak about the night.
“A lot of new wave films are intended to make the audience feel some kind of discomfort and these films occurred in a huge shift and change in sociopolitical climate,” Lasley said. “When you think about how that mixes in with discomfort, you know this idea on how discomfort outweighs risk, this change is occurring.”
Students in the audience thought that the festival was cool and visually appealing. There were some who mentioned how certain films made them uncomfortable and freaked out, especially the film “Gone Sale,” which brings back memories of going to the mall but touches on consumerism.
“These nights are very successful nights because it is nice to see a variety of films coming to the school and the school has become a hub for all these international films,” said Ralph Valle, a film student and one of the co-directors of the film festival. “It is very honorable to be part of something like this. We get to distribute these films to a variety of people and it brings me joy because I get to see how people view life and movies that try to have some kind of message that they are trying to convey is pretty awesome to see.”
All kinds of people, not just film majors, came together to see films that can resonate with everyone in some kind of way. The films emphasized that, while we may come from different backgrounds but we have one thing in common. We are impacted by what we see around us. From historical perspective to animation, at the end of the day, film brings us around and we discover at times not just people we never planned on meeting, but also a new side of ourselves.