Panther Film Festival Ready For Action!

The time has come, Panthers! Next Tuesday, April 17th, we will be hosting the inaugural Panther Film Festival! This first of its kind festival is a combined effort by the Film Studies Program, The Film Initiative, and Sigma Tau Delta — one which has been in the works since last October when we held our first meet and greet event. Since then, we’ve held several workshops which have drawn in several FIU filmmakers and helped create connections among the filmmaking community. 

Panther Film Festival will be held in Graham Center (GC) 140 and doors will open at 6:00 PM. Audience members will be able to enjoy some complimentary food and refreshments ahead of the opening remarks set to begin at 6:45 PM.

At 7:00 PM, we will begin screening the eight short films and documentaries. We kick off the night with Jorge Coll’s A Mime of a Time, a mockumentary which follows Detective Chris Walton as he tries to solve a mystery involving a mime who works as a hitman. Following Mime is Karina Forler’s documentary A Bird and Some Bees, which gives an inside look at the horrifying results that a lack of sex education in today’s school system has on younger generations.

As a special guest screening from members of the Honors College, Murder On Pepper Lane follows two detectives as they attempt to catch a murderous puppet, all while teaching viewers about leadership.

Catherine Berendsohn’s TRAFFICK recounts the story of a young woman who has found out that her friend has gone missing and follows her as she further investigates the very real dangers of human trafficking. TRAFFICK is followed by Mauro Merconchini’s Population Inc, a dark yet profound short which comments on the effects advertising and consumerism have on the masses.

 Next on the schedule is Mario Avalos, Jose Gil, Stephanie Janania, and Jose Ramirez’s Working Title. The short follows a group of young filmmakers as they struggle to come up with a film that will decide the course of the rest of their lives. Jon Actual, another production by Karina Forler, gives an inside look into the life of Army veteran Jon Dufresne and what he does to maximize his life after returning home to South Florida.

Closing out the festival are Mackenzie Kram’s Phony Pop-Up and Catherine Berendsohn’s Rising Tides. Kram’s Phony Pop-Up gives viewers a look into the dangers fake pop-ups can have on unsuspecting victims. Rising Tides will move you to action as Berendsohn delivers a heartfelt plea to save the oceans.

The night will end with the announcement of winners for several categories including Best Performance, Best Cinematography, Best Original Screenplay, Best Technical Work, and Best Picture, all of which were judged by a small committee of FIU faculty members. We hope you will be able to join us at this monumental moment in our program’s history as we celebrate the future of filmmaking here at FIU!

Mario Avalos is a senior at Florida International University, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, along with certificates in Film Studies and Professional and Public Writing.