QFS rubs elbows with stars, directors

Christine Gertsch

Members of the Quinnipiac Film Society (QFS) ventured to Park City, Utah for the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23, along with their advisor, professor Rebecca Abbott. The Sundance Film Festival is the country’s largest independent film festival. Usually, excitement is highest during the last week, which QFS attended last year. However, this year they decided to go to experience the first week of the festival.

Sophomore media production major Caitlin Goldberg was one of the main organizers of the trip this year and is the treasurer of QFS. She said that an anonymous donor provided much of the money needed for the trip. Quinnipiac University’s Student Government Association also donated. This provided enough money for the 23 members and Abbott, who is a professor of communications at Quinnipiac, to go to the festival.

“This year’s Sundance Film Festival 2009 was the 25th anniversary,” Goldberg said. “Although the first week is hyped up on the celebrities and the paparazzi are everywhere, there are still opportunities to see some of the greatest film directors and learn techniques and experiences that a teacher in a classroom cannot teach.”

According to Goldberg, the students were able to not only meet and see famous actors, directors, and producers, but were also able to attend the world premiers of some of the greatest independent films and panel discussions.

Numerous students from Quinnipiac are currently working on an independent film titled “The Mercury Cycle.”

“It was an experience that helped the students in the film society who are working on the feature film, ‘The Mercury Cycle,’ because they learned about how to efficiently make an independent film on low budgets, as well as how to go about distributing the film after it is completed,” Goldberg said. “The experience as a whole was an amazing opportunity that many filmmakers truly wish to experience, but never get the opportunity to.”

Senior media production major and vice president of QFS, Zach Salsman also took the trip to Utah.

“Sundance was amazing. The atmosphere is almost indescribable. Everyone is just there to have a good time and watch as many films as possible,” Salsman said. “Between late night films, early morning screenings and rushing to Main Street to catch the next panel, sleep is your last priority.”

Salsman is also the director of photography and head editor of “The Mercury Cycle,” which is being directed by Cody Hoerig.

Although he did not enter a film this year, those working on “The Mercury Cycle” do plan on entering it upon its completion.

“Having gone to Sundance last year, I wasn’t sure if it would be the awesome experience it was the first time I went,” sophomore Joe Carugati said. “It was even better.