San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Love was in the air at the Valentine’s Day film festival

The SDSU television and film media department hosted its seventh annual Valentine’s Day film festival and brought joy to students and community members
Corinne Davidson
Gabe Asilo and Alex Faltado share a moment, looking over the program.

Valentine’s day is celebrated in a variety of ways. On Feb. 14, San Diego State University’s television, film and new media (TFM) department celebrated with the seventh annual Valentine’s Day film festival. 

The festival highlighted 11 student-made short films that all centered around love and romance. Whether it was the act of falling in love or the tragedy of falling out of love, the films aimed to tell a unique story.

The TFM department hosts four film festivals throughout the school year: the Halloween Film Festival, the Best of the Best festival at the end of the fall semester, The Valentine’s Day Film Festival and the Emerging Filmmakers Showcase at the end of the spring semester. 

The Best of the Best and Emerging Filmmakers festivals showcase films from all TFM students while the Valentine’s Day and Halloween films are chosen by Rich Underwood, lecturer of film and new media.

“I look specifically for the genres of love, romance, relationships, problems with the relationships — anything that could sort of fit into Valentine’s Day,” Underwood said. “And then, of course, anything to fit into the Halloween festival.” 

Many TFM classes assign students to attend a film festival or production at least once during the semester. Students like Gabe Asilo, a first-year TFM major with an emphasis in production, attended the film festival for class.

“ I have THEATRE 100, and it’s an assignment to go to the film festival. I’m also a TFM major and even if I didn’t have the assignment, I would still want to go because I’m really passionate about filmmaking,” Asilo said.

Underwood said that the film festivals aim to provide a break for students academically. The idea of having holiday-centered film festivals was to give the community of SDSU a way to connect to film, including those who are not TFM majors. 

“It was just crazy; the highs and lows of the different emotions that each (film) had,” Aiden O’Donnell, a junior psychology major, said. “My favorite was ‘Love is no News.’ It was one of the biggest highs and one of the biggest lows.” 

“Just it being Valentine’s and all, and being a little in love myself, it’s just cool seeing different people’s perspective of what love is and how love can be portrayed and have those highs and lows,” O’Donnell said.

Another popular film was “Discharged,” directed by Bridget Taylor, which shed light on the stress surrounding sexually transmitted infections. 

“Discharged,” brought a unique spin to an otherwise heavy topic. It combined humor and romance while also breaking down the stigma surrounding STIs.

“My favorite story was Discharged. I thought that it was one of the highest quality films and I thought that the storyline was quite funny,” Alex Faltado, a first-year criminal justice major, said.

“You watch (the theater) in front of other people, on a big screen, and you’re sort of brought in with the rest of the crowd, with what they’re feeling and how they’re reacting to the film, and it’s a different experience,” Underwood said.  “It’s really nice to see people leaving the theater and smiling and having it be like, that was a happy thing.”

While all the films revolved around love and romance, there were a variety of tones.

“I liked the variety, not all of them were happy. There was some sad stuff that ended sad and it was good. They weren’t afraid to just make a sad ending,” Asilo said.

The film festivals are equally important for filmmakers and teachers.

“It’s always fun for me to watch the films and see where people laugh and where they take a breath and sort of chuckle a little bit and when it’s serious,” Underwood said. “ Because sometimes in the classroom, the filmmakers really don’t know when those moments will happen.

This is part of the experience that students take away from SDSU. Ten years down the line they talk about like, ‘Oh, remember that film festival? Gosh, that was funny. What was that film?’ And heck, if they’re saying that then yes, great.”

About the Contributor
Corinne Davidson, Staff Writer
Corinne Davidson (she/they) is a first year journalism major from Castro Valley in the Bay Area. Davidson was the editor in chief for her high school paper: The Olympian. Davidson is also a writer for Trash Mag, a queer-run magazine. She wants her writing to make a change and is passionate about writing articles that highlight current issues and cool things going on on campus. Outside of writing Davidson enjoys singing, dancing, journaling, listening to music, and hanging out with friends. If anything, she’ll be making an oddly specific playlist when she isn’t writing or doing homework.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Love was in the air at the Valentine’s Day film festival