News / Student Life

Behind The Scene: Hunter College Film Club


Film Club President Brandon Denny speaking to members at a club meeting. (Photo Credit: Laurel Creighton)

Hunter College went five years without a film club until senior Brandon Denny took matters into his own hands last year.

Denny is a Math major who, not surprisingly, originally planned to pursue a field in mathematics. That all changed when he decided to minor in film due to his long-lasting love of media creation and film.

“I knew I didn’t have much film knowledge and that I needed more than a film minor,” said Denny. “At the same time, I found out from department advisors the film department needed a film club so I felt it would benefit both sides if I were to start the club.”

Over the previous spring semester, Denny and his team worked continuously to get the word out about the club. From promoting on social media to handing out flyers and talking in classes, the Film Club gained attention.

“Instead of going through the student government office like most clubs do, we decided to go through the art director and film department itself in making the club,” said Denny. “Things became much easier once we figured out we could talk to our professors and department heads directly rather than the student government office.”

All the hard work paid off when the Film Club officially started last September. Meetings are held every Wednesday from 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. in room 504 in the North Building. Meetings sometimes consist of a movie screening followed by a short discussion or an entire discussion on films and filmmaking.

Arlo Banta, the Head of Weekly Meetings, and Denny coordinate with each other the agenda for the upcoming meeting, which consists of students from various majors. Recently they watched Christopher Nolan’s first film “Following.” The Film Club fosters a comforting environment because everyone is there to talk about film.

“I feel that it’s very important for the student body to craft these kinds of community spaces because Hunter, like most colleges, doesn’t have these kinds of social spaces built for the making of things,” said Banta.

Banta focuses on the conversational aspect of each meeting because he wants everyone to be engaged whether it is someone trying to understand film production better or a spectator who loves films. Banta orchestrates the discussions, which usually consist of 10-20 students, to make all students understand despite their level of knowledge. The most passionate conversations have occurred when more people have spoken, he said.

Banta actively listening to a member as they express their thoughts. (Photo Credit: Laurel Creighton)

For a first-year club, the Film Club has experienced success due to finding its footing and structure. Denny and the Flim Club is organizing more screenings along with the production wing planning a student film festival and animation events.

This semester club Treasurer Laurel Creighton started the production wing of the club to help students gain hands-on experience in making films and to build their network.

“I think we should be gaining a sense of pride and freedom in our artistic worth,” said Creighton. “I hope this space can facilitate every person’s artistic journey.”

The production wing just finished its first short film “Good Futures.” Creighton said she hopes it will be shown in a student film festival.

Any screenwriters should be on the lookout for a screenwriting challenge hosted by the production wing in the future. The top five short screenplays will win money and the top one has a chance at getting produced.

Although Denny’s time at Hunter is almost over, the Film Club is only getting started. Many people have stepped up over the past few months leaving no doubt in Denny’s mind the club will be in good hands.

“I’m hoping to do some bigger events now that I know we have the manpower to get them done,” said Denny.

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