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From in-depth analysis to their own productions, the new Film Society intends to return as strong as ever.

Bikash Pokharel is a master’s student studying mass communications. He is also the president of the Film Society.

“I’m interested in all the processes of filmmaking,” Pokharel said. “During my undergrad, I was involved in many filmmaking projects and found that, as a human being and [having] to grow as a part of society, stories are very important. We learn and grow by looking at the stories from different people.”

From his time during projects, Pokharel discovered that he wanted to be a storyteller. He views film as a good medium for the art of storytelling, which is how he originally found the Film Society.

“After joining the master’s program at SIUE, I came to know about this Film Society,” Pokharel said. “I had my interests aligned with this society, so I think we have to restart the Film Society and get the work done.”

Bipin Banjara, a mass communications major, also shares similar views to Pokharel about filmmaking.

“During my undergrad, we worked on different documentaries and sent them to different film festivals,” Banjara said. “Film is a good medium of telling stories and learning culture, and many students are interested in film but there’s no good place for students to talk about and watch films.”

The Film Society plans on hosting sessions where students can watch various films. During these sessions, students will discuss in-depth all the processes that went into making those films, such as camerawork, scriptwriting and more.

“What we’re planning to do is look at films from different backgrounds and different countries,” Pokharel said. “We’ll see it through a different lens. How the camerawork is done, how the story is, how the actors portray different characters… all the aspects that make a good film. We need to do that kind of learning in the Film Society.”

According to Banjara, the Film Society has plans to create their own short films in the future using the techniques they learn in the meetings.

“They can come with their idea,” Banjara said. “If possible, we can work with them to make a film. Once a month we can look at the film and discuss all of the aspects of it.”

Musonda Kapatamoyo, chair of the mass communications department, fully encourages the students’ effort to restart the Film Society.

“We have four students that are very gung-ho about it,” Kapatamoyo said. “The four of them decided to restart this thing… they’ll basically be doing the same thing that was done in the past as far as requesting films from directors, bringing them here and then discussing every aspect of it ­­–– not just watching it and enjoying it, but going deeper into how it was made.”

When the previous president and founder Rahul Menon graduated, the film society became dormant. Pokharel has a plan to keep this from happening again.

“I came to know about the Film Society last semester,” Pokharel said. “I didn’t have a good team, I wasn’t open enough to get different people which could have helped the society keep going. Now, I feel like I have a good team, and a good team doesn’t just create a good working atmosphere, it also creates a good leader. I think that even after the president graduates, there will still be a team that will decide the leader themselves. I don’t think it will stop working after a semester.”

The Mass Communications Department is ready to aid the Film Society with snacks and pizza during their meetings.

“I’ve pledged to continue supporting them with snacks,” Kapatamoyo said. “I think it’s important to create that type of environment for the students.”

The Film Society is open to anyone that is interested in film or filmmaking. Ideas for how to keep the Film Society moving forward are also welcomed by any and all. They can be contacted through their president at bpokhar@siue.edu.

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