It all started in a GroupMe

In the days leading up to the start of the fall 2022 semester, students in the upcoming film and media program have been hard at work creating a club. Finally, in mid-October, the Entertainment and film club officially held its first meeting.

Club president Noah Reyes described how students communicated in film and media Group Me to want to create a club as soon as possible.

The group traveled to student activities and began the logistical process of registering a student organization.

“We just sort of got together and put it all together. [of] our ideas together,” Reyes said. “[We] assigned our positions based on what we thought would work best, and tried to enforce what would become the Entertainment and Film Club.

Reyes hopes people joining the club can find a sense of community and diversity.

“[We hope] other people bring their own experiences and knowledge, and we can learn from each other,” Reyes said. “And who knows, someone might find his future career, which could put him on a really good path in life.”

Agents Emily Flores and Ireland Robinson discuss the film ‘In the Mood for Love’ during a meeting. (Photo courtesy of Max Acosta)

Learn and create

Vice President Emily Flores described what the early days of the club were like and conversations with leaders about the structure the club should adopt.

“We talked about our motto [and] what we wanted the club to look like,” said Flores. “People wanted to learn, and they also wanted to create; we therefore proposed “learn and create”.

Flores described that at the base, the club believes in collaboration.

“The [are] a lot of things that I think we all bring and can all do together,” Flores said. “This club is a perfect example of students coming together and building something beautiful.”

Students can expect activities throughout the semester from the Entertainment and Film Club. The club meets in room 3.01.28 of the McKinney Humanities building on the main campus. Considered the “film production center”, there are several adjoining rooms, including their equipment space.

The club meets two days a week. Monday’s meeting would consist of a workshop or lesson, and Wednesday would be an opportunity for students to practice what they had previously learned.

“Wednesdays are definitely my favorite days; these are production days,” Reyes said. “I feel the most at peace when I’m working on something.”

The fact that the club met twice a week during their first half was impressive. But, for club adviser and director of the film/media program, Dr Paul Ardoin, it was a matter of urgency on the part of the students.

“They just made an incredible amount in one semester,” Dr. Ardoin said. “They meet twice a week which is crazy compared to most clubs. They teach each other things… and they make films together.

The division of meetings reflects the different objectives of the film and media program for prospective students. There are courses for those interested in history and theory, while there are also courses for those interested in practical production.

The Santikos partnership

Vivien Pachecano on the set of her short film “Hong Kong Garden”. (Photo courtesy of Vivien Pachecano)

On November 30, 2022, student filmmakers took part in the film festival experience: their projects were projected on the big screen. The program’s partnership with the local theater chain Santikos turned out to be an indispensable relationship. A fall screening was held at the Palladium Cinema and featured films by UTSA students, Say yesthem Alamo College District and the Northeastern School of the Arts.

Vivien Pachecano, a graduate in film and media studies, was one of many UTSA students to show her first film at the screening. Pachecano, like many students, took courses adjacent to film before the program was officially offered to students last fall. Take a Digital video production course taught by Adam Rocha — the founder of the San Antonio Film Festivalenabled him to direct and screen his first short film, “Hong Kong garden.”

Pachecano believes the partnership between Santikos and the Film and Media program is critical to student success.

“UTSA and Santikos just want to make students and education their top priority,” Pachecano said. “So giving students the opportunity to have something to look forward to and to see their films screened is so cathartic in a way.”

Students entering the film program can now see a concept from start to finish through scriptwriting and production classes. And, through collaboration and networking, this movie could end up on the big screen.

The script of the short film by Vivien Pachecano. Pachecano screened the film as part of the Film and Media Studies Student Screening at the Santikos Palladium. (Photo courtesy of Vivien Pachecano)

In the future

Although still in its infancy, the film and media program already gives students a working knowledge of history, production and experience. Recently, named San Antonio was named as one of the best cities in which to live and work as a filmmaker. For UTSA students venturing into post-graduate work, having a foundation is essential. This club and program provides students with that opportunity.

Reyes believes the second half will build on the foundations of the first half.

“If the first semester was student-based, building each other up, [then] the second half is like the sequel that everyone loves,” Reyes said.

Check out entertainment and movie clubs instagram for information meetings and events.

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