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Morningside Student Creates Film Festival

By Kayla Samek—For many people, their hobbies merely occupy their spare time. But for Morningside Senior Nik Rasmussen, his film-making hobby has become an important part of his life. He wants to share his passion for underground movies with the people of Sioux City, so Rasmussen created S.C.U.F.F.—Sioux City Underground Film Festival.

S.C.U.F.F. was Thursday, April 7th at the Riviera Theater in Sioux City with show times at 7pm and then again at 8:30pm. Along with tickets to see the films, DVDs were sold to help support the film makers’ upcoming projects.

As a fan of many kinds of movies, I thought S.C.U.F.F. would be a different way to spend an hour or two away from responsibilities. It also felt good to support a fellow classmate’s endeavors.

Unlike the Siouxland Film Festival, this event has no winners or categories. However, there were a few stand-outs among the ten short films.

The beginning of the festival, like any movie-going experience, started with film trailers. One, a farce on B-movie horror, was a project done by Rasmussen’s former instructor. The other was “Haunted Cries”, which is currently in development and is in the writing stage, according to Rasmussen.

The short films themselves were a diverse group. They ranged from thriller, to drama, to comedy and even animated. The main event, Rasmussen’s “Cyber Enforcer,” stood out as the longest at approximately 30 minutes. It was not the most enjoyable, however. That was a film called “It Stalks the Field,” by another local film maker. This film starts as a horror/suspense but has a twist ending that left me with a big smile.

Another interesting entry was also one of Rasmussen’s project was titled “Stand Strong.” It showed the cycle of violence bullying causes, and also had some of the best storytelling.

With the good comes the bad, unfortunately. Some of the other films were either difficult to follow, especially when the subtitles did not end up on the screen, but were projected below. Not every film included a title, which made it hard to tell when one film ended and another one began.

Overall, it was worth the $2.50 ticket price to experience something you’d never see in conventional theaters normally. For its first year, S.C.U.F.F. did reasonably well, which is encouraging for its future. However, Rasmussen has other priorities right now.

“Currently, we are focused on pre-production on Haunted Cries…not planning a S.C.U.F.F. 2,” said Rasmussen.

But, if other local film makers informed Rasmussen that they they were interested in being involved in the sequel to the festival, he would be happy to put it together. For now, we’ll have to wait and see.