Waco film fans will have the chance to see work by Baylor University film and digital media students this year as the Black Glasses Film Festival makes its online debut this weekend.
COVID-19 shutdowns last spring canceled the annual student film fest for the first time in 21 years. “It broke our hearts,” said Baylor film professor Jim Kendrick.
With time to plan and the online experience of Waco’s Deep in the Heart Film Festival to draw upon, this year’s Black Glasses will screen its short student films online with a Thursday through Sunday window of availability.
The festival will feature 21 films running from less than 3 minutes to 14 minutes, with the majority falling between 5 and 7 minutes, Kendrick said. Some of the films were made last spring as COVID-19 precautions were drastically changing the location and process of film shoots for students. This year’s films operated under many of those protocols, but with more time for filmmakers to plan accordingly.
“People will see real creative endeavors with students shooting in houses or using small casts,” the film professor said.
Deep in the Heart Film Festival co-directors Louis Hunter and Samuel Z.P. Thomas took the lessons learned from putting their Waco film festival online last September and helped create the online experience for the Baylor student one.
Films will be grouped into “Green” and “Gold” blocks for viewer ease to access with filmmaker Q&As and an awards ceremony added to the material available. The festival is carried for free starting at 8 p.m. Thursday at blackglasses.eventive.org.
Waco’s Deep in the Heart festival will return to in-person screenings and activities July 22-25 in a hybrid format that also will allow online viewing for festivalgoers.
Thomas said the venue hasn’t been formalized yet, although organizers are interested in returning to the Waco Hippodrome, home to previous DITH fests.