As each spring semester wraps up, seniors in MSU’s film program showcase the labors of love they spend all term devoting themselves to. This year the School of Film and Photography is presenting the senior class’s short films from both the fall and spring semesters at the Paul Monaco Awards. The event will feature everything from drama, to mockumentary, to commentary, to documentary. 

The films being shown at the event encompass the best of the film program and only a handful of pitches are chosen each year. “Gaia,” directed by Ashley Moore, discusses problems related to climate change presented as a metaphor for familial conflict. “I enjoyed getting to work with other seniors and film students on one last film set to collectively bring our vision of Gaia to life,” Moore said. 

Comedies this year include “Immaculate Rejection” and “Bondage.” “Immaculate Rejection,” a mockumentary, explores a light-hearted take on heavy topics such as religion. “What I loved most about working on “Immaculate Rejection”?… Definitely how funny the set was. The actors would make me laugh with all the goofy shit they tried, but also the crew would riff in between takes. It was just so much fun to work with everyone,” Director John Holbrook said. 

Other projects include documentaries, such as “Small Rez Fashion,” which follows a Native fashion designer creating looks on a local Montanan reservation, and “Rising Voices,” a documentary on up and coming local bands. 

“This Be the Verse,” a recipient of the Bozeman film fund, is a Lynchian horror about a man going home to a literal nightmare of a house. “I think ‘This Be The Verse’ was the film that made me believe in myself as a filmmaker, and where I found a crew that I wanted to work with for the rest of my life,” Director Noah Hense said. Senior films are a great learning opportunity for all members of the film school and provide great experience to those hoping to work on sets in the future. “Working on Dead Girl taught me how collaborative film can really be, and the importance of a friendly set environment,” Jake Marston, director of “Dead Girl” said. 

Check out the Paul Monaco Awards for a look at what the film school has to offer. The list includes: 

  • “Bondage”
  • “Dead Girl”
  • “Gaia”
  • “Immaculate Rejection” 
  • “In Your Arms”
  • “Masc Up”
  • “Reanimated”
  • “Red Compulsion”
  • “Rising Voices”
  • “Small Rez Fashion”
  • “This Be The Verse”
  • “You’ll Want To Burn This”

Be sure to be in attendance at the Ellen Theatre in Bozeman Thursday, May 12, to support these films. The event is at 7 p.m. and is free to all.