For this year’s Up&Coming Student Film Festival, and looking forward, I decided to include this annual event in the Filmatic Festival. The mission of the Filmatic is to embrace the future of film going and making, and to support and celebrate the creative digital media work of UCSD students and faculty.

Students are a major inspiration for the Filmatic - they are making and watching films on their smart phones, and texting in the movie theater. The Filmatic encourages audience members to bring their phones into the film space to interact with a film or a gaming performance.

This year ArtPower! received a record breaking amount of submissions from UCSD students for Up&Coming- double the amount (on average, starting in 2008 when ArtPower! Film inaugurated Up&Coming). Not surprisingly, themes that explore the role of technology in our lives seemed to dominate this years narrative investigations. Another motif that surfaced again and again were stories about societies’ outliers - feral cats, border stories, and societal violence.

It is always extremely difficult to determine who should be recognized with a prize - each person’s response to art is subjective after all. The stellar panel of judges and I referred to this rubric and collectively agreed on eight films that exemplified these points of criteria:

1. Does the film give us something to think about or analyze?

2. Does the film visually and thematically creative?

3. Can we believe in the character (s)?

4. Does the utilize sound in a creative way?

5. Are we emotionally engaged?

6. Thoughtful production design

7. Creative editing to enhance the narrative or imagery

I encourage you to watch and enjoy all of the films highlighted on our Up&Coming web page!