The aroma of fresh popcorn wafted through Upper Gwinn on Saturday night as formally dressed students posed for glamor shots on a red carpet. Across the walls hung banners shaped like strips of film, announcing the occasion as the Emerson Film Fest.
“This is pretty much the SPU Oscars,” said senior Celina Kituku, one of the Emerson alumni hosts for the evening.
Emerson Film Festival marks the last in the series of traditional dorm entertainment events for the year.
Each floor of Emerson Hall, with the exception of the Third West Bro Ho, submitted a short film, roughly 15 minutes in length.
A panel of judges, which included President Daniel J. Martin’s wife, Pam Martin, determined the winners for various categories.
The award for Best Picture went to the women of Second East for their entry, That’s So SPU. The film consisted of four segments, each depicting a different SPU stereotype.
The sections were titled “You Know You’re an SPU Student When: You Spend All Your Points On Ice-cream, Your UW Friends Don’t Understand What You Do on Friday Nights, You Dread Climbing the Stairs to 3rd Demaray, and Chicken Nuggets in Gwinn is the Highlight of your Day.”
In the final segment, President Martin took two large plates of chicken nuggets, leaving none for the frantic actresses of Second East. His cameo provoked cheers from the audience. After the conclusion of the film, the hosts summoned Martin to the stage.
“It’s all about the chicken nuggets,” Martin said. “They’re my life blood.”
“Did you really eat all of them?” asked Kituku.
“I’m the president,” Martin said.
The audience erupted in cheers once again.
Second West took home the trophy for Best Soundtrack for their film, Talent Show, which told the story of a group of aspiring hipsters aiming for a slot in the SPU Talent Show.
Garrett Mullett, peer advisor of Third Central, won Best Male Actor for his roll in Rough Cut.
The film was a meta-story about Mullett attempting to round up his floor to come up with ideas for the film festival. In one scene, Mullet woke up from a dream and said something that was censored.
“I didn’t swear,” Mullett shouted over the applause as he took his trophy. “They bleeped that out.”
Rough Cut also earned the prize for Best Cinematography.
Cheyenne Motes-Raffeld won Best Female Actor for her role in Second Central’s Untalented, another film about the SPU Talent Show.
Jessie Comfort and Ashley Mauldin received the award for Best On-Screen Duo, for their roles in Forth West’s #RingBySpring. In the film, the two tackled each other repeatedly because of a mutual crush on a boy from the Bro Ho. The film told the story of a group of girls determined to get engaged by Spring Quarter. Their ambition led them through a series of outrageous exploits, none of which proved fruitful. #RingBySpring also won Best Comedy.
The women of Fourth East submitted a film titled #Beasted, in which they stole the legendary “Box” from Third West Bro Ho.
Martin also made a cameo in this film, himself suggesting the theft. After reconnaissance and training, the girls launched their heist.
The film evoked numerous laughs and cheers from the audience and included the only blooper reel of the evening.
However, due to the fact that they actually stole the box for the making of the film, their floor was disqualified from the competition.
The evening concluded with the People’s Choice Award.
For a few moments, the room filled with quiet murmurs and the soft patter of cellphones as the audience texted in their votes.
The results for the People’s Choice awards were Third Central’s Rough Cut in first place and a tie for second between Second East’s That’s So SPU and Fourth West’s #RingBySpring.
Celina Kituku, quoted above, is a staff reporter for The Falcon.