Best of the Best Film Fest returns to campus

Courtesy of the School of Theatre, Television and Film

Courtesy of the School of Theatre, Television and Film

by David Ayala, Contributor

Lights. Camera. Action. The Best of the Best Film Festival is quickly approaching as the San Diego State School of Theatre, Television, and Film prepares to exhibit a compilation of works.

Not to be confused with the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase, which takes place at the end of the semester and showcases the best works of that semester, the Best of the Best Film Fest is an aggregate of some of the finest films that have been made by Aztecs.

The two-evening, 90-minute program includes short films produced, written, and filmed by SDSU students. Greg Durbin, a SDSU professor and the head of the film program, will present the films. The short films range from comedies to documentaries, between other varieties of fiction.

“I did it myself,” Durbin said. “I started the film festival when I came here in 1987 as a junior faculty member.”
The predecessor of the Best of the Best fizzled out for the next several years before Durbin came back and started the tradition again.

“(The film program) was kind of flagging. The faculty back then had been around from 10 to 30 years, and they were tired.
I came as a much younger guy with more energy,” Durbin said, describing the film program in the 80s, which came to flourish under his direction.

Unlike the Emerging Filmmaker Showcase festival, which is the result of jury selection, the films that appear at the Best of the Best festival are selected by Durbin himself, albeit sometimes to the opinion and recommendations of faculty members and students.

The big list is narrowed down to a select few that make up the hour and 40-minute presentation.

“I expect to see the best of student films produced thus far, and I can’t wait to see other aspiring directors, producers and actors like myself display their talents,” said film production junior. “I wouldn’t say I hope [to be included someday], but more as I expect myself to be included in the festival.”

The festival has previously included works from prominent filmmakers such as Destin Cretton, who went on to direct films such as “Short Term 12,” starring acclaimed actress Brie Larson.

The film was based on a short of the same title that had been showcased at the festival before. Cretton is currently working on a $25 million budget project, with Larson again attached for a role.

“The work often exceeds even the students that make the work, it exceeds their expectations in quality,” Durbin said. “It kind of gives the students something to aim for, a goal… Their work would pay off in a public forum. One of the purposes of doing this is to inspire students, this is what can be done is this program, this is what has been done [in this program].”

The Best of the Best Film Fest will be held at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday Sept. 14 and Thursday Sept. 15, at SDSU’s Don Powell Theatre.
Tickets can be puchased online or at the box office at SDSU’s Don Powell Theatre for only $10.