By Yasmin Rubayo, Staff Writer—
From a widower experiencing labor pains to a student having an extreme episode of paranoia, Dr. Ethan Mills’ students showcased what many people love most about Halloween and, more specifically, horror films at UTC’s Philosophical Film Festival.
Assistant professor of philosophy Ethan Mills introduced this film project at the start of the semester and allowed students to have class and studio time to work together to create scripts, add sound and music, apply editing techniques, and direct actors.
This work continued until October 29, one day before the film festival.
Mills hoped that by assigning his philosophy students with this undertaking in September, his class would be encouraged to view film more critically.
What he did not expect was how well the dozen groups of students between his two classes would utilize the UTC Library Studio.
“I am impressed with what they have done,” Mills said. “This proves that anybody can make a movie—even philosophy students.”
The students were not working just for grades. There were prizes for first, second and third place as well as “Audience Choice”—a film that the attending students would vote as a favorite.
Judging the event were a panel of judges including UTC’s very own intro to film professor Angelique Gibson and Executive Director and Lead Programmer of the Chattanooga Film Festival Chris Dortch.
The judges considered the philosophical themes present in the films and chose the following winners: third place was “Wake Up,” a film that submerged the principal character into a world that became increasingly disorienting with every recurring sound of the alarm clock. The group also won Audience Favorite.
Claiming second was the movie titled “Awake.” The camera followed a trio of female roommates, one of which needed to sleep off her inability to hold her liquor, as they made their way to their dorm.
First place went to “Androphobia.” A single female, reading an alert about a member of her community being assaulted, became a victim of an attack as well.
Mychal Austin, Defensive Line for UTC Mocs, said that this was his first and only required philosophy course, but he would be interested in looking deeper into the subject based on his positive experience. In his group, he led the filming and direction for “Janitor’s Closet.”
Austin stated that the short warns us to never be too comfortable. The group also highlighted that there can be repercussions for treating others unkindly.