Emerging Filmmakers on the Big Screen

psychedelic still from animated student film

Does the back half of a severed worm have any say about whether or not it reconnects with the front half? What if the slushy machine at the local convenience store actually connected to a vast underground reservoir fed on by ancient, mysterious beings? What if Cupid’s arrows didn’t make us fall in love with heartbreakers but instead injected us with a healthy dose of self-love? 

The answers to these essential questions (and many, many more) were revealed at opening night of the RISD FAV 2022 Senior Show. Presented live in the RISD Auditorium for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, the four-evening screening continues tonight at 7 pm and will also be streamed online May 20–21.

two young salesmen at the door of a potential client

sepia-toned still of an old-timey train conductor from below
Stills from the live-action EZ Office by Aidan Gale Burke 22 FAV and I Could Give You My Life in Arms by Gregory Ghilani Shark 22 FAV.

“Last fall each senior began the work on their degree project,” says Film/Animation/Video Department Head Sheri Wills. “It’s a yearlong process that is always full of learning, progress, inevitable setbacks, occasional flashes of joy and moments of clarity.”

The Class of 2022 used live-action films and a wide array of professional-quality animation techniques to reflect on family life, existential loneliness, the many facets of self and—of course—aliens.

a woman with an orange balloon stands at the doorway

a punk babysitter sings into the mirror using a hairbrush for a mic
​A new kind of mortuary service in Still Alive by Jaehee Cheong 22 FAV and the punk babysitter role model in Punk It Tender by William Blythe 22 FAV. 

In the realm of live action, Minneapolis native Aidan Gale Burke 22 FAV serves up a sweet and evenly paced tale of brotherly love and office supplies in EZ Office. The 10-minute film offers an authentic slice of privileged teenage life. Gregory Ghilani Shark 22 FAV slows things way down with I Could Give You My Life in Arms, a dreamy, romantic piece featuring old-timey trains, sea creatures and a gorgeous piano score.

Still Alive by Jaehee Cheong 22 FAV is anchored in the present, reflecting on our shared sense of isolation during COVID and imagining a creepy new kind of mortuary service. Through Your Lens, by multidisciplinary Dominican artist Michelle Collado 22 FAV introduces a young photographer attempting to figure out how she fits into the art world.

an animated repairman takes a break

two animated kids gaze into their screens
The slushy repairman from the whimsical Albi by Aiden Ouweleen 22 FAV and a moment of screen time for the kids in Happy Horseys by Amonda Kallenbach 22 FAV.

On the animation front, Korean-American filmmaker Will Pak 22 FAV needs less than three minutes to brilliantly express multicultural, intergenerational family tension in Just an Ordinary Dinner, while French-German student Eva König 22 FAV spotlights technology’s intrusion into our privacy in GIRLBOT

stop-motion scene of a neighborhood in the rain
Still from WO RM by Julia Chien 22 FAV. 

“Each of these projects reflects an artistic practice and creative process rooted in the vision of its maker,” says Wills. “By experiencing these works together, the audience completes that process.”

You can join the audience on campus this weekend or watch the films virtually May 20–21. Visit favshow.risd.edu to meet all 44 of the artists earning BFAs in Film/Animation/Video this year and learn more about their projects.

Simone Solondz  

May 12, 2022

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