Lights, camera, action. ASP Films is accepting film submissions until April 27 for the 7th annual Western Student Film Festival showing on May 22 and 23 in Viking Union 552.

The annual festival happens every May. The festival is intended for Western students who enjoy filmmaking or would like to experiment with the medium, and are interested in showcasing their work on the big screen.

“It’s closed to the general public because we don’t want it to be drowned out by people in the community who may have been doing this for years,” said Ben Paplow, publicity coordinator of ASP Films. “We want students here to be able to get their voice and get some experience. We are giving them a chance to see their own work on screen.”

The submission guidelines can be picked up from the Associated Students Productions Office in Viking Union 422. The forms are also available for deadline on the ASP Films Web site at http://films.as.wwu.edu

Short films must be less than 45 minutes, while feature length films must run 45 minutes or longer. The film cannot be completed any earlier than April 2006, or have been produced, made or distributed by any major motion picture studio.

Submitted films could win a Jury Award or an Audience Award. Other categories include Best Picture, Most Innovative Best Picture, and an Audience Best Picture Award.

Student filmmaker Chris Koser won Best Short Film for his collaboration film High Stakes at last year’s festival. The previous year he won an award for Best Production for his two shorts entitled Knit Club and The Syntax.

“The most exciting part of the whole experience was seeing everybody else, seeing what is going on outside of school, and what other students are working on, the caliber they’re working on and their style,” said Koser. “It was mainly participating in a collaborative event in which there were a bunch of other filmmakers present so that was really wonderful.”

Koser began making films at an early age. He’d borrow his parents’ camera as much as possible. The first time he did any major collaborative was his freshman year at Western. He is a Fairhaven student having a concentration in filmmaking, creative writing and psychology.

“I enjoy making films that explore more subtle emotions of humanity. Mainly, the human experience,” said Koser. “For me, psychology is the window into the human soul and also a wonderful place to understand human behavior. Films are all about human behavior so it’s a wonderful thing for me to explore.”

Koser plans to submit at least one film to the festival this year, but his plans don’t stop there. He is going to start submitting films to other larger festivals such as local film festival NW Projections and the Seattle International Film Festival.
The Western Student Film Festival is a starting point for many student filmmakers in addition to Chris Koser. Other student filmmakers whose work has been seen in previous Western Student Film Festivals include Jimmy Marble, David Dori, Caleb Young, Lindasy Keunnen, and Ariel Zakanison.

“I’m a firm believer that art imitates life,” said Koser. “I feel that a lot of the experiences I’ve had through this school have given me a lot of good work, so that’s been fun.”