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What’s in a name? DVDfest vs. The Golden Schillers

<mbay became Mumbai. Dayton's became Marshall Field's which became Macy's. For a moment, KFC tried to become Kitchen Fresh Chicken. This year, Carleton's own DVDfest sports a new title: The Golden Schillers. The name change left many returning students pondering what it will mean for this year's festival.

A tradition since 2001, DVDfest allows Carleton students to create digital shorts and showcase them to the rest of campus. This year, it falls on Friday, February 12th, and, as always, will be presented in the Chapel.

“It’s the one shining ray of hope during the otherwise dismal and harsh winters here,” said Cinema and Media Studies (CAMS) Major Austin Hall ‘10. It should be noted that the contest is open to all students, regardless of major or experience with film.

“A common misconception is that this event only pertains to CAMS majors, when in fact that department has their own film festival that is completely separate,” said Janae Walton-Green ’10. A panel consisting of primarily students and faculty judge the films.

When DVDfest first began, Apple sponsored the event to promote the iMovie application, awarding winners of the film festival with cash and Apple merchandise. Two years ago, Apple revoked its funding, but the tradition continues on. This year, PEPS and Campus Activities have taken over sponsorship. PEPS will provide the equipment, and Campus Activities was asked to advertise and execute the event.

Both departments have also inherited the responsibility of re-naming DVDfest “to fit the times and the new hosts,” said Lew Weinberg of PEPS.

“The decision…came about due to the transient nature of technology. The ‘DVD’ was deemed too archaic of a medium to promote,” said Hall, referring to the fact that students no longer submit a DVD — everything is digital.

“We also want this event to represent more of a Carleton tradition,” Walton-Green said. “The most controversial part about this year’s festival has been the name change.”

“DVDfest was a nice established name. ‘The Golden Schillers’ seems kind of cheesy,” CAMS major Paul Carpenter ’11 said. A sophomore who wished to remain anonymous agrees: “It doesn’t roll off the tongue.”

“Personally, my problem with the name stems from our focus on Schiller – we already have one quirky tradition with him; I don’t think we need to double up,” Hall said.

“[The name change] kind of came out of nowhere in most people’s eyes, and they just figure DVDfest no longer [exists]…I would have probably made the student body aware of the desire for a name change before deciding on a name, so that they could participate and submit suggestions, vote, etc.”

“We solicited for names throughout fall term using emails and tabling; we even stopped random people in the hall. We did not get as many responses as originally thought,” Assistant Director of Campus Activities Nadine Sunderland said. Despite both of these claims, the struggle now is getting the name to stick.

“It’s not a huge deal,” said Kaitlin Randolph ’12, who is currently working on her short for this year. “But I’ve been referring to it as DVDfest.” If it catches on, it will take a few years to become established once the classes that knew and loved the old name have graduated.

Along with the name change, new things are being added, but not taken away, from this long-standing tradition. Prizes will continue to be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, as well as new awards for “Best Actor/Actress” and “Most Carleton.”

The prizes are not yet being revealed, but students should be assured that they will be quirky and appreciated by the Carleton community. While student and faculty judges are still being finalized, Campus Activities is pleased to announce that Colin Covert, a film critic for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, will be a guest judge this year. Even with these additions, Walton-Green promises that “nothing about the spirit of DVDfest has changed.”

Currently, in the wake of the shift to “The Golden Schillers”, other names for the event, such as “The VDfest” and “SchillerFest,” have been circulating around campus.

“We appreciate the enthusiasm,” Walton-Green said. “But officially everything pertaining to the event formally known as DVDfest is referred to as The Golden Schillers.”

Every year, there is also talk of limiting films. In the past, over 30 submissions have pushed the event to three hours in length. Weinberg ensures that they “intend to show all the submitted videos.”

It’s not too late to sign up! If you are interested in submitting a film to The Golden Schillers, formerly known as DVDfest, sign up and receive a copy of the rules from Campus Activities. Entries are due Friday, February 5. If you are interested in attending, the films will be showcased in the Chapel the following weekend, on Friday February 12. Any further comments or suggestions about the event, including the name change, should be submitted to [email protected].

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