March 3, 2005 • Volume 13 Number 12

First Baldwin awards slated for March 18

Boston College student endeavors in the concert hall and on stage [see related story] regularly get the spotlight, so why not the silver screen?

On March 18, the University will host the first-ever Baldwin Awards, honoring outstanding student achievement in film and video. The red-carpet event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Heights Room of Corcoran Commons.

Named for the University's eagle mascot, the Baldwins will be awarded in 13 categories: Best Picture of the Year, Viewers Choice Award, Beginning Film and Video, Advanced Film and Video, Cinematography, Editing, Best Actor, Sound, Screenwriting, Drama, Documentary, Horror, and Comedy. Three nominees will be named in each category. Faculty from the fine arts and communication departments will lead the judging in all of the categories except Viewers Choice.

From March 14 to 17, the BC community will be able to view the nominations via the @BC Web site and vote for the Viewers Choice Award on the Baldwin Awards Web site.

Awards co-organizer Michael Civille, a part-time Fine Arts Department faculty member who teaches in the Film Studies Program, said last week that 44 official Baldwin entries have been received from the campus-wide open submissions. Combined with production classes' projects, which are automatically entered, some 200 films and videos will be judged.

Civille said he understands that for some the phrase "student filmmaker" may be synonymous with overly quirky, self-indulgent works, but he urges an open mind.

"I've been watching student films for six years," he said, "and I can say this with certainty: Every semester, I am pleasantly surprised by the thought, consideration, and effort that these students put into the making of their films. They are not sloppy, and more often than not, they do not have the self-indulgent qualities that you often find in filmmakers' early works.

"Sure, some films are 'showy,' but most early films are. Look at 'Citizen Kane.' It's the showiest film of all time, but it's great. Nothing is done without a lot of thought beforehand, and we have our share of both flashy films and subtle films.

"The jury will also nominate the best of the best, so the quality of the finalists is going to be high," he added.

Those lacking a tuxedo or Gucci dress for the awards ceremony need not be concerned, according to Civille. "The dress code is 'creative formal,' which leaves a lot to the imagination," said Civille, who is reportedly being outfitted for a spinning bowtie.

"We're hoping the students will take the opportunity to be garish, creative, or even extremely formal. It's in keeping with what we're trying to do - create a fun atmosphere for the participants and audience, and celebrate the students' work. We're going to have a good time."

-Sean Smith

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