Assignment leads to 2 awards at the Five College Film & Video Festival

March 11, 2016

When Chelsie Field, 23, of Shelburne Falls, signed up for GCC Art Department Chair Paul Lindale’s Video Foundation course, her goals were to hone her video production skills and to complete the credits needed to finish her bachelor’s degree at the University of Massachusetts. Little did Chelsie know that her film, One Day, created for one of Lindale’s assignments, would win two awards at the 2016 Five College Student Film & Video Festival. The Festival jury presented Chelsie with awards for “Best Narrative Film” and “Best of UMass” at the February 26 Festival screening at the University. Overall, 74 films were submitted to the Festival and One Day was one of 23 chosen to be screened during the festival.

Lindale’s assignment, called “One Day,” involved filming a single day in a person’s life. Drawing on her own experience as a survivor of sexual assault, Chelsie created a film named for the assignment that follows a survivor from waking until night as she carries the continuing burden of her experience of assault.

Before taking Lindale’s course, Chelsie took a film course at Hampshire College and served as a news producer at the University’s Daily Collegian where she worked on many multimedia projects. While making the film, Chelsie was also a member of the Coalition to End Rape Culture at UMass. Chelsie’s choice of theme for One Day was influenced by the work of Emma Sulkowicz of Columbia University including Carry That Weight (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattress_Performance_%28Carry_That_Weight%29). She completed production of the film – from storyboard to casting, shooting, and editing – in one week. Chelsie graduated from the University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and anthropology and works for the Wexler Oral History Project at the Yiddish Book Center.

Chelsie said, “I entered One Day in the Five College Student Film & Video Festival because I want it to be seen. It is important to me as a survivor and to others to know we’re not alone. Finding solidarity with fellow survivors has helped me heal and grow tremendously from my experience. I hope to submit the film to other film festivals and want it to be used as an educational tool.”

Delene Case White, Student Director of the Festival, said, “To select films for the Festival, we had two rounds of elimination, in which films with the majority of votes from the jury could go on to the next round. For One Day, the votes were unanimous, it was clear we all appreciated it. With no dialogue, this film relies on strong acting and the message, both of which were powerful. We agreed that the message in One Day – about the effects of sexual assault against women – was important to place in the festival. I will remember One Day for its story that did not directly show rape or any attacks, but made me think differently about long-term effects on women after sexual assault, and how such violence affects individuals and communities.”

Lindale said, “Chelsie made a great contribution to the class and set a standard for other students to aspire to. The Art Department’s Video concentration of the Visual Arts degree provides three semesters of study in the medium. These courses are not film production classes but rather explore the medium as an art form. Successful graduates have gone on to transfer to film schools such as that at New York University. Other students, like Chelsie, come to us to learn the fundamentals of the medium and then go on to build on these experiences at other schools or businesses. Over the years, we have had a variety of people take the courses – from high school teachers to artists now working within the medium.”

To see One Day, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zyj7rPGtX5Y

For information about the GCC Art Department’s Video concentration, visit http://art.gcc.mass.edu/ or contact Paul Lindale at lindale@gcc.mass.edu.

For information about the Five College Student Film & Video Festival, visit

https://www.facebook.com/5collegefilmfestival/ or https://www.fivecolleges.edu/film/festival/.

Mary McClintock, ’82