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B.A. in Communication majors showcase their work at NSU’s 2018 Student Film Festival

Films created as part of video production course

In April 2018, five NSU undergraduate communication students were given the opportunity to showcase their short films at the university’s Student Film Festival as part of NSU’s Undergraduate Student Symposium, an annual event hosted by the Farquhar Honors College showcasing the outstanding scholarship of NSU undergraduate students through student poster displays, oral presentations, performances and film presentations.

Film festival

The short films showcased by Maha Barakat, Toussaint Campbell, Anthony Laboriel, Michael Lynn and Aidan Rivas were primarily completed through COMM 3800: Advanced Field Video Production taught by Eric Garner, an adjunct professor in the Department of Writing and Communication within NSU’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

“As an educator, I feel it is vital for my students' works to be able to live inside and outside the classroom environment, and that growth comes from not only hearing one professor's critical analysis, but the collective whole of the community,” Garner said. “I believe this showcase puts a spotlight on up-and-coming communicators, whether it be through more traditional forms of filmmaking like documentaries or the more esoteric pieces. I am proud that NSU continues to support the artistic endeavors of all of my students.”

Barakat, a first-year communication major, said her short film focuses on Arab-American stereotypes, inspired by her own struggles as an Arab-American.

“It’s a subject that’s really important to me, because I always grew up with certain labels just because of where I’m from … It was also a way of expressing myself without making it solely about me. It’s more about the people in my community.”

The sense of community and pride that Baraka experiences in the communication major helped enrich her experience at the symposium, she said.

“It was really nice to be a part of such a small group that doesn’t usually have a huge presence at the symposium. Being able to get up in front of a crowd of people and proudly present my work as a first-year communication student felt really good.”

Laboriel’s film, on the other hand, was lighthearted and comedic.

“My film is about a student who is clueless about fashion and receives the help of a genie who doesn’t actually seem to be very helpful” said Laboriel, a junior communication major. “Getting the chance to showcase my work as a communication major at the festival was a great opportunity to show others that we have a much more hands-on approach in our field. I feel like I was able to proudly show what a communication major is capable of and that felt great.”

Lynn and Rivas created a film they hoped would resonate with the average college student, they said.

“The premise of the film is a parallel of all of the possible realities that an average college student can have while at school,” said Lynn, a sophomore communication major. “No matter what happens or what he does, he always seems to find himself in a bad spot. However, at the end of the day, he realizes more about himself and strengthens his own character through his struggles.”

Lynn enjoyed working with and competing with his peers in the communication major, he said.

“I wanted to see what they all made and support them, so that we could all grow and learn more together. But at the same time, I wanted that rush of competition to see who could come out on top.”

Learn more about the Undergraduate Film Festival here. Learn more about COMM 3800: Advanced Field Video Production and the B.A. in Communication curriculum here.

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