By Cathryn Lien, Staff Writer
According to the festival’s official website, Highbridge Film Festival is “dedicated to expressing and exploring the human condition through the power of the visual story.” Essentially, it’s a festival that showcases and awards the best of Asbury University’s Digital Storytelling programs. But what happens to the submitted projects that the judges reject—the outcasts, the failures, the losers? For those whose red carpet dreams have been shattered, is it fair that their long hours in the editing suites have been reduced to a forgotten file?
In 2010, a group of students answered that question by hosting their own showcase of Asbury’s “finest.” From a backyard bed-sheet projector to a packed out Student Center, Lowbridge has raised as many eyebrows as it has student morale. Originally just a showcase of losing films, Lowbridge has grown into a fun, casual event where students can appreciate the hard work that goes into producing films.
“Highbridge is a serious event. Lowbridge allows people to see that filmmaking can be fun,” explains Philip Lambert, a senior film student, previous Highbridge winner and last year’s contributing host to Lowbridge.“Filmmaking is a very hard process. We want these films to be shown for the students’ sake.”
This year, seniors Harry Fogle and Ian Huxham, along with junior Andrew King, join Lambert in organizing the event. Huxham says, “Lowbridge’s initial intent is to showcase the good films that didn’t make it into Highbridge. It’s place to view silly films that aren’t high-quality, but that took just as much time and effort to produce [as the Highbridge selections].”
Lowbridge celebrates mediocrity, which can be viewed as offensive to the Highbridge vision. However, Lowbridge is not officially Asbury sponsored or funded. It’s a strictly student-led event funded by student donations.
“We’re not trying to do anything ‘under nose’,” said Lambert. “Some people don’t understand the spirit of Lowbridge. They think it’s a rebellion, but it’s really all about the students.” Professor of the Special Events class Greg Bandy gives the rejected material directly from the judges to the Lowbridge committee. While Lowbridge does not reject any submitted material, only projects that have been screened by Highbridge judges are eligible. This means that students must first submit to Highbridge before their work can be showcased at Lowbridge. Huxham agrees, “We want to keep it casual, unofficial and lighthearted.”
This year’s Lowbridge festival took place on April 19.