The Claremont Colleges Come Together to Form Film Society

Dr. Maria C. Martinez, a professor in the Modern Languages Department at Claremont McKenna College, is also a board member of the Riverside International Film Festival. When her students caught wind of her association with the festival, many of them wanted to become involved as well. Some students, who were already getting academic credit through media studies as interns, brainstormed with their professor on ways they could use the help of the other student volunteers who had shown interest. “That’s when the idea of creating a film club came up,” said Dr. Martinez. “My students, the volunteers and interns, created the Claremont Colleges Film Society for all the 5C’s for which I’m the faculty adviser. We have talented students who are film studies majors and non majors who love to make films, act or write.”
The Film Society creates a student-focused film community. Toward fulfillment of this vision, the film society will provide an informative and creative forum for students, from all five colleges who are interested in film, including filmmakers, screenwriters and film fans, to meet periodically in film-oriented activities. These activities may include, but are not limited to, film screenings, informal discussions of films and talks with filmmakers

An important component of the Film Society focuses on inspiration of students to work on their own creative film projects. Students will be mentored as they submit their work to local film festivals. Specifically, opportunities exist for submission of student films and/or for work experience in the film industry through internships with the Riverside International Film Festival.

College Night, an evening dedicated to college student filmmakers at the Festival, needed a promotional video. Dr. Martinez encouraged her students to produce one that would capture the spirit of college student filmmakers. The concept they came up with is a series of famous movie scenes and it includes the Mariachi Serrano playing and a Bollywood dance at the end. The scenes were acted out by CMC students Jacob Bishop 15 Jack Grodahl ’15, Katie Echavia 15, Rochelle Welsh 13, as well as Calvin Masterson from Pomona College. The Bollywood dance was choreographed by Lauren Henderson ’15 and Ann Fleming 15 of CMC. The video was filmed by Shannon Burns and Kulsum Ebrahim both Pomona students.

Also, Professor Martinez will be premiering in the Riverside international Film Festival her documentary, Danzones: Stories of Valor and Courage. Filmed during parent classes in a California elementary school, “Danzones” brings to light the determination of six mothers who want more for their families then they had in their country. This documentary tells the heartbreaking, yet hopeful stories of women who open up about their journey from Mexico to the United States. It was born of their desire to share with the rest of the world their stories of desires, hopes, dreams, valor and courage.