On May 12, 2022 the Sesnon Underground Gallery hosted it's inaugural film festival featuring 19 films by 20 UC Santa Cruz students. The program included everything from 27 second animations and experimental media to feature length narratives, and together they encompassed a wide range of filmmaking techniques that reflected the creativity and diversity of the UCSC student body. Learn more about the films below!
Elijah Solow Ohashi (Porter College, Art)
sympathy forever, 27 seconds
Animated segment of an interview with a marriage counselor
Edie Trautwein (Cowell College, Film and Digital Media & History of Consciousness) & Isaac England Asplund (Porter College, Film and Digital Media)
Monstera, 34 seconds
A short film featuring a monstera plant, shot on an X-Box Kinect.
Carolyn Mock (Porter College, Anthropology & Community Studies)
Nightswimming, 2 min 45 sec
This short video and accompanying poem were an exercise in vulnerability. For me, I had to be vulnerable enough to create the first piece of work that I’ve directed, and to put original poetry out into the public. Friends featured in the film had to be physically vulnerable as they appear in the edit (sometimes unclothed). Vulnerability and the intimacy that stems from it are central themes of the video and poem, enhanced by the supposed cover of night, the rejuvenation of water, and the freedom of confidence in the naked self, especially in the face of judgement.
Kevin Artemio Menez (Film and Digital Media)
Project F13, 4 min 28 sec
Experimental/Document film .... about Los Angeles but more about South Central... on my community !!!
Nathalia Meer (Cowell College, Economics)
Dream, 5 min 54 sec
Young dancer is overwhelmed by her life and starts seeing things that aren’t there.
Duane Peterson III (Kresge College, Film)
Even in Paradise, 10 min
Serene forest groves and opaque Silicon Valley windows provide the visual framework for an assumption-challenging essay film taking a critical geography approach toward a new way of seeing the costs of warmaking as they are found in the very flesh of California.
Alessia Cecchet (Film and Digital Media PhD)
corpi di balena (whale bodies), 10 min 4 sec
A stranded whale meets its simulation as human interlopers observe, collect, dissect and take selfies. Blurring documentary and fiction, the film explores the changes brought by human progress and advancement through an experimental lens: the time has come to mourn the whale.
Will Bortin (Cowell College, Film and Philosophy)
Bugs Have Feelings Too, 1min 1sec
Some videos of insects shot by Andreas Kay, rotoscoped and with a little emotional flair added in.
Aja Bond (Cowell College, Art & HAVC)
The Decomposers, 2 minutes
At a strange picnic, a death's head, black dog and embodiments of microbial decomposers feast.
Julian Kenji (Art)
Take it Slow, 2 min 21 sec
Music Video for my song Take it Slow.
Abel Goy (Computer Science & Game Design)
The orange & the egg, 2 min 35 sec
Stop motion short film about an orange on a journey to save his friend.
Lissa Retamoza (Literature & Film)
a letter for myself, 3 min 31 sec
i started this project the summer of 2020 when I was at an all time low -- i was spending way too much time alone and despite all of the time i had to reflect, i felt i was beginning to lose sight of who i was and everything i've ever dreamed about. it's a personal and therapeutic piece that brought me piece of mind in a time of chaos and although i never originally intended to share or screen it publicly, i've grown to feel really connected to this piece and can't wait to hear what others think about, or if they can relate to it!
Janeen Davoodzadeh (Porter College, Art & Philosophy)
new messages, 3 min 39 sec
Ian Anderson (Film and Digital Media)
LIZ, 4 min 57 sec
A silly short film I made for my final in intro to film production last quarter. Pray for Liz :(. Trigger warning: Drug use and explicit themes.
Jeff Aquino (Merrill College, Film and Digital Media)
An A-Peel for Justice, 5 min 10 sec
Short comedy shot and edited in the span of two days during the very beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thomas Robinett (Porter College, Film and Digital Media & Sociology)
All or Nothing, 8 min 07 sec
Scooter is thinks he could win it all, but he’s really at the end of his rope due to his gambling addiction. Watch the downfall of Scooter in both his relationship and fight for his own life in this immersive 4 screen experiment.
Allison Dean (Porter College, Film and Digital Media
Time Capsule, 10 min 12 sec
A small portrait of the important people in my life, as they detail their hopes, dreams, and memories.
Jackson Sweat (Film and Digital Media)
The Ballad of the Plague Doctor, 39 min 17 sec
Mockumentary about an amateur superhero (Batman on a budget).
Allen Riley (Film and Digital Media PhD)
Doomed, 58 minutes
The lead singer of a rock band falls under the spell of a magical tree while his bandmates struggle with their incomplete music in a remote cabin. Doomed is a handmade mythology of the grunge era featuring practical effects, puppets, and a dark ambient soundtrack made with cassette tapes. Filmed with inexpensive point-and-shoot cameras on location in the hills and swamps of rural Pennsylvania in 2009 and completed in 2021 after a hiatus.