Since its inception in 1991, the Reel Loud Film Festival has been pushing students to think outside the box. Initially inspired by the vaudeville acts of the early 1900s, the event pairs student-directed silent films with live music from bands, vocalists, and instrumentalists in the community. In addition, the event boasts a one-night-only art show, an always-inventive theme, and a laid-back, party-like atmosphere — like prom for UCSB’s young artists.
For the 19th annual Reel Loud installment, taking place this Friday, May 28, at 6:30 p.m. at UCSB’s Campbell Hall, students are building the night around the idea of Wonderland. And, according to publicity coordinator Cassi Garcia, no expense has been spared. “It’s been a year in the making,” she explained. “And the theme allows for everything to be really big and colorful — from the art to the decorations.”
Over the course of its run, Reel Loud has acted as a forum for some of the school’s most creative minds. In 2004, recording artist Crosby Loggins provided tunes. In 2001, famed cartoonist Don Hertzfeldt contributed to the fest. And it was onstage in 2003 that the seeds for L.A. indie rock band The Deadly Syndrome were first planted.
This year, 14 different films and 18 musical acts will take to the Campbell Hall stage, and the offerings are as diverse as ever. “Compared to previous years, we’ve got a really strong group of films,” said Garcia. “And they’re all different. It’s a random but good mix. I can promise that the audience will not get bored.”
In addition, the night will include a raffle and silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the Isla Vista Youth Projects (IVYP), which provide family and child resources to members of the I.V. community. Like many of its contributors, Garcia recognizes the inherent uniqueness of the night and encourages film lovers, both students and non, to attend.
“It’s not just for filmmakers,” Garcia emphasized. “We bring in musicians, we bring in visual artists — we invite anyone who wants to be a part of it — and I think that’s what’s really wonderful about Reel Loud.”
For tickets and information, call 893-2064 or visit reel-loud.com.