The Film and Pro­duction Club held a student film fes­tival on Tuesday night as part of their 48-Hour Film Chal­lenge. Three faculty judged the com­peting films at the event. Pexels

“The Wendigo” short film took first place in the Hillsdale College Film and Pro­duction Club’s 48-hour film contest. 

Sophomore Dan Grif­ferty said “The Wendigo” was inspired by a Native American myth about cannibalism. 

“It’s kind of like a Native American vampire,” Grif­ferty said. “We decided to do some­thing a little the­mat­i­cally unique.” 

The Hillsdale College Film and Pro­duction Club held a 48-hour film contest on March 1, in which five teams had 48 hours to record and edit a short film. Each film had to be between one and seven minutes and had to be about mythology. 

More than 20 stu­dents gathered at the Club’s film fes­tival on March 5 to watch the films that had been created during the contest. 

A panel of three faculty members – Assistant Pro­fessor of Rhetoric and Public Address Ethan Stoneman, Dis­tin­guished Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of History D.G. Hart, and Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of Pol­itics Kevin Slack – judged the films on a 50 point scale, where each team could earn a pos­sible 150 points. 

“The Wendigo” earned 122 points from the judges and a $50 gift card prize. Sophomore Tom Southwell directed and wrote “The Wendigo,” while Grif­ferty con­tributed to the writing, and sophomore Ethan Lehman edited the film. 

The goal of the film, Grif­ferty said, was to get at the core of what the Wendigo myth is about.

“It’s this idea of what food looks like when it’s per­verted and what the sin of gluttony looks like,” Grif­ferty said. 

The film con­cludes with the Wendigo, played by Grif­ferty, chomping away at raw meat. Southwell said the goal of the final scene was to get a reaction from the audience. 

“Some reaction was better than no reaction,” Southwell said. “We didn’t want to make some­thing mediocre. We thought, ‘Let’s just get a close-up shot of a dude eating raw meat.’” 

Even with its shocking con­clusion, Stoneman said he liked the genre and tech­ni­cality of “The Wendigo.” 

“I like things that are horror or comedy,” Stoneman. “But tech­ni­cally, it was put together really well. The cin­e­matog­raphy, the sound, the acting, and the plotting.” 

Stoneman said he awarded the second place winner, “Echo,” the same number of points. The second place winner was decided by an audience vote, but it hap­pened to cor­relate with the judge’s voting. 

Directed by sophomore Gabe Listro, “Echo” earned a total score of 119 points from the judges and a $15 gift card prize. Senior Shiloh Carozza, an actress in the film, said she and Listro orig­i­nally had the idea of making the film about Ovid’s myth of Echo and Narcissus. 

“As our thought process developed, it became more about Echo,” Carozza said. “Echo falls in love with Nar­cissus, but she is cursed so she can’t speak, and she’s never able to com­mu­nicate ver­bally her love.” 

Stoneman said he didn’t expect to be as enter­tained as he was with the films. 

“I thought they were all really pro­fes­sionally done,” Stoneman said. “The cin­e­matog­raphy in all of them was great. The plotting with a lot of them was pretty impressive, and they were all entertaining.” 

“The Edge of the World,” directed by sophomore Maggie Ryland, earned 115 points. “Asphodel,” pro­duced by senior Jordyn Pair, earned 105 points. “The Labyrinth,” pro­duced by junior Samuel Musser and sopho­mores Collin Lehmann, Michael Whitman, and Jack Hall earned 102 points. 

Vice Pres­ident of the Film and Pro­duction Club senior Lydia Reyes said she was most impressed with the orig­i­nality of each of the films and thought the contest went well. 

“This is going to bring a lot of attention to the club,” Reyes said. “I’m really excited about it.” 

Reyes added that the club is hoping to col­lab­orate with dif­ferent clubs and orga­ni­za­tions on campus to organize more events. 

On March 21, Reyes said the Film and Pro­duction Club is part­nering with the Dow Jour­nalism Program to hold on a viewing of “Moynihan,” a biopic about Patrick Moynihan in Lane 125 at 6 p.m. There will be a lecture and Q&A with Joseph Dorman, the writer, director, and pro­ducer of “Moynihan.”