“Fools Who Dream”: RTVF students plan film festival by artists, for artists


Courtesy of Jordan Panzier

“Fools Who Dream,” a film screening, will be held Thursday in Annie May Swift Hall.

Kara Peeler, Assistant Copy Editor

Content warning: This piece mentions gun violence.

From a stop-motion animation about a clown to a story of a dancer experiencing chronic pain, campus film festival “Fools Who Dream” will showcase films about the meaning of an artist this Thursday.

This festival was curated by a group of students in the symposium RTVF 398: Curatorial Practices. Six student organizers requested entries from Northwestern and the community beyond, with the only guideline being that the film must center on being an artist.

The organizers say the event is “by artists, for artists,” as it highlights the struggles and rewards that come with pursuing art. The event’s title, “Fools Who Dream,” is a reference to a song from the musical “La La Land.”

“Oftentimes, art that is about the process of art gets pushed aside,” said Communication senior Jordan Panzier, one of the event organizers. “It’s important to celebrate that art, even though it is very internal to a certain community, and to create a space where those stories got to be told, as well.”

After receiving more than 30 submissions, the organizers chose eight pieces to feature. These selections will be screened during the event Thursday at 7 p.m. in Annie May Swift Hall.

Following the screening, there will be a Q&A with the filmmakers. Communication sophomore and organizer Samantha De Chiara said this will give the audience insight into the filmmaking process.

“It’s something that’s about the essence of struggling to create, and finding joy and difficulty in it,” De Chiara said. “It’s something that can connect people in any kind of artistic or creative field, which is why we think it’s really important that we celebrate those connections.”

One featured filmmaker is McCormick sophomore Eli Richmond. His film “Triumpet” tells the story of his friend, who attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at the time of the Parkland school shooting in 2018, exploring his relationship with music and playing the trumpet.

Richmond created the film for a different RTVF class he took last year and submitted it after his former professor suggested he do so.

“It’s about somebody who’s pursuing their passion and the different obstacles that get in the way and … even a unique obstacle that we may not be familiar with could perhaps even facilitate that in ways you didn’t think it could,” Richmond said. “It’s really more about the artistic vision, and pursuing that.”

Communication senior and organizer Kyra Brands said many of the featured filmmakers are either students or operating on low budgets. She is looking forward to the community-building that stems from fostering connections between filmmakers at and outside Northwestern.

Brands also said the message is valuable to both the organizers and filmmakers themselves, along with the audience.

“The work is so hard. And yet … they don’t have any doubt about their ability to succeed and follow through on their dreams,” Brands said. “I hope that when people come to our screening, they feel inspired to create and to tell stories. It motivates me to follow through on my big dreams.”

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Twitter: @karapeeler

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