Cornell’s Fifth Centrally Isolated Film Festival Showcases Student Films

Ithaca is often considered to be in the middle of nowhere, but the work of student filmmakers from across the Northeast were on display at the fifth Centrally Isolated Film Festival at the Schwartz Performing Arts Center last weekend. A wide variety of short films ranging from documentary to animation to live-action narrative by students from more than a half-dozen schools were screened. “In this area, there aren’t a lot of film festivals, especially for student filmmakers, which is the entire idea of the Centrally Isolated Film Festival,” student organizer Isabel Pottinger ’19 said in an interview. “This year we made a very concerted effort to be in contact with a lot of different schools to try to get as much diversity in terms of the people involved in the film festival as possible, and we really reaped the rewards of that.”

The student organizers from the Film Festival Production Lab course, which focuses on running the film festival, including learning how to objectively judge films, pared down a list of over 100 submissions. “We talk about things like: is the sound good, is the cinematography good, does the director accomplish their artistic vision, do we know what their artistic vision is?” Pottinger explained.

A Look at Twentyhood


Throughout your time at Cornell, you will meet a multitude of “writers”; people who are currently writing, but never seem to produce anything, or at least not enough to see their work fully actualized. But that is not the case for Anna Alison Brenner ’16, a senior who’s been penning some version of the play Twentyhood (which premiered at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts this weekend) for the last few years. According to the director of the show, Andrea Fiorentini ’16, Fiorentini  has watched this show become “pulled apart, created and recreated” as it grew from “a play about painting, to a play about Italy, to a play about self-discovery and college life.” There is no doubt this play has many faces, both literally and figuratively, and that is due in part to Brenner’s identity as a logophile. Actors learned to adapt quickly as lines were changed, re-molded or discarded, even during the week leading up to the show. Yet, neither the last minute line adjustments nor the sensitive, personal material of the play Twentyhood seemed to faze any of the actors.