Tag: city of lubbock

Shorts, feature films screened at Flatland Film Festival

by Autumn Bippert

Lights, Camera, Action.

The 16th annual Flatland Film Festival, which took place on Sept. 19 through Sept. 21 at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts in Lubbock, aims to create an appreciation for film and video, while also supporting artists creating these films.

Jonathan Seaborn, a South Plains College graduate, served as chair of the festival.

“It means a lot to the community,” Seaborn said. “Our sponsors that make this possible are LHUCA, Texas Film Commission, Texas Tech Public Media, Texas Tech Department of Journalism & Creative Media Industries, Thomas Jay Harris Institute for Hispanic & International Communication, Noah David Wakefield Studio, Texas Commission on the Arts, Pioneer Pocket Hotel, Premiere Cinemas, City of Lubbock, Civic Lubbock Inc. Griffin Wink, Advertising, Two Docs Brewing Co., Tech Star Graphics Inc., McDougal Realtors, and Walk On’s Bistreaux & Bar.”

Seaborn also explained that David Wakefield made the awards for Judge’s choice and Audience choice.0Q6A7370

“They are more than we could have asked for,” Seaborn said. “He did an amazing job and are very appreciative of him.”

Day 1 of the festival included a red carpet and filmmaker meet-and-greet in the LHUCA Firehouse Theatre. Following was the screening of the first feature film and a Q&A, in the Firehouse Theatre, “Building the American Dream,” written and directed by Chelsea Hernandez.

Hernandez said that the film took five years to complete. “Building the American Dream” is her first full-length feature film.

“Building the American Dream” tells the story of several immigrant workers in the Texas construction industry who face hardship and are taking action to change the political system in order to protect workers.

“The idea for the film came in 2010,” Hernandez explained. “I grew up in Austin and was going to school at the University of Texas, and on campus, there was a student luxury condominium being constructed and three workers had fallen to their deaths when the scaffolding they were working on collapsed. That was when I recognized that the people who were building the new buildings that were changing the Austin skyline were experiencing exploitations within the construction industry.”0Q6A7421

Day 2’s events began at 6 p.m. at Premiere Cinemas with the first block of short films for the short film competition. The films competed for the Judge’s choice and the Audience’s choice awards. Block one included “Nightshift Screensavers,” “Texas Snow,” “The Beach,” “Hearing the Homeless,” “Abscessed,” “Horrorscope,” “Overnight,” “Revival,” “Made in Heaven,” “As Through Fire,” “Tightly Wound,” “Chicle (Gum),” and “Xctry.”

Following the short films was a screening of the feature film, “Extra Ordinary,” directed by Enda Loughman and Mike Ahern. “Extra Ordinary” is about a woman who has supernatural abilities and must save a possessed girl. A driving instructor, Rose, has a love-hate relationship with her abilities. But she decides to help Martin and his daughter Sarah. The movie was originally released in Ireland, where it was made, and is planned for release in the United States theaters on Sept. 27.

The evening of Day 2 ended with a special screening of the film, “Make Out Party,” and a Q&A with director and writer, Emily Esperanza. “Make Out Party” is a no-budget, high-style comedy that follows three vibrant characters through a day of misadventure as they set out to attend hostess Mary Woah’s Make Out Party.

“I wanted this film to give you an eye cavity,” Esperanza explained about her film. “I wanted it to be so sticky and sweet. I wanted you to feel like you need to brush your eyes afterward.”

Esperanza also explained during the Q&A that she only uses technology for her films that are mid-90’s or older. She also discussed her film inspiration, timeline of the film and how she hopes to one day teach a class on how to make DIY gorilla films.

The final day of the festival began at 11 a.m. at LHUCA with a screening of the feature film, “Jaddoland,” directed by Nadia Shihab, in the Firehouse Theatre. “Jaddoland” explores the meaning of identity and home across three generations of the director’s Iraqi family in Texas. After the screening, there was a Q&A with Shihab.0Q6A7368

The third day continued at 4 p.m., with block two of the short films, including, “Studio,” “Dreams and Visions from the Llano Estacado: Salt/Permeable Earth,” “Rosalind,” “Creeping Autumn,” “Dance With Me, Mija,” “Potential,” “No. 19,” “Origin,” “Now You See Me,” “Chrome Girls,” “Tonight,” and “Panic Attack!” shown in the Firehouse Theatre.

Seaborn served as moderator for a Q&A for the short film makers after the second block. The short film makers answered questions about their film inspiration, casting process, their criticism on their final products, and future plans.

Following block two was a panel discussion on Women in Filmmaking, which was moderated by Casey Ellingson. Panelists included Angela Patters, who was the co-editor of “Seadrift,” Emily Esperanza, Shelby Knox, who starred in “The Education of Shelby Knox,” Nadia Shihab, and Lisa Barrera, writer and director of  “Chicle (gum).”

Some of the topics that the panel discussed was how they got into their filmmaking career, the difference between being in front of the camera and behind the camera, intended audiences and when beginning a new project begins and ends.

They also gave advice for other women wanting to get into filmmaking.

“To up-and-coming documentary filmmakers, tell the story that is most authentic to you, not the one that you think is going to be the most sensational or the next social justice subject,” said Knox, who attended Lubbock High School. “Stories are what connects us as humans. And if you don’t have sort of a personal stake in the story that you’re telling, it’s going to come off as inauthentic. No matter who you are, where you live, what your identities and identifications are, there is a story that is authentic and is it important to you. Why not tell it? All the people in the world who are saying, ‘Well, why would you be the one to tell it?’ It’s probably oppressors telling you not to. So why not? You be the one to tell that story.”

The final feature film, “Seadrift,” is a documentary about the fatal shooting of a white crabber in 1979 in a Texas fishing village that ignites a maelstrom of hostilities against Vietnamese refugee communities along the Gulf Coast.

The three-day event wrapped up with a closing reception and awards party in the LHUCA Plaza.

The winner of the Judges’s Choice Award for the short film competition was “Tightly Wound,” which is an animated short about a woman recounting her experience living with chronic pelvic pain and how health professionals have failed her, men have rejected her, and shame, anger, and hatred have plagued her body.

There were two winners for the Audience Choice Award,  “Made in Heaven” and “Dance With Me, Mija.”

New downtown center will benefit students, Lubbock

By Autumn Bippert

The City of Lubbock and South Plains College have finalized the sale of the current City Hall building to become a new campus. 

The sale comes just after of the 12-month time frame was set aside to explore the possibilities of using Lubbock City Hall as a future campus for South Plains College, as part of  the Memorandum of Understanding between the college, the City of Lubbock, and Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA).

Dr. Robin Satterwhite, president of South Plains College, recently explained that the cost of the building was $2 million. He also said that the expected cost of the construction is $15 million. SPC has received $16 million in commitments from LEDA to support  the purchase and remodeling costs.  SPC will receive an additional $3 million in operation support for the first five years of operation.  Overall, the college will have $19 million in financial commitments for the project.

city hall

The Lubbock City Hall buliding will be remodeled to be the college’s Downtown Center.
The new campus will house Arts and Sciences classes that are currently at Reese
Center and is anticipated to open for Fall 2021.

“There were a number of factors that influenced the decision to move forward with the Downtown Lubbock Center,”  Dr. Satterwhite said. “Among the greatest of these was the long- term decline in enrollment at the Reese Center and the potential for SPC to be located closer to Texas Tech and our other university partners.”

Dr. Satterwhite said that he anticipates that this will benefit the City of Lubbock because it will establish a more permanent and comprehensive community college presence in the heart of  the city.

Lubbock was previously the largest city in Texas without a college campus downtown. The Downtown Center is expected to enroll 2,500 students a semester. Dr. Satterwhite also explained that the downtown campus is important for employment preparation and creating a more robust workforce for the city and the region.

“Being more closely located to our largest transfer partner, Texas Tech, we believe we will have a greater number of students co-enroll at SPC and TTU,” Dr. Satterwhite said. “This    will allow us to serve a greater number of students.  Currently, many of these students cannot commute to Reese or Levelland and maintain their necessary schedule at TTU.  However, since we will only be approximately seven blocks from TTU, we expect that students may choose to enroll in many of the courses offered  at SPC at a fraction of the cost of attending the university.”

He also said that the plan to completely remodel the building in Lubbock will result in very high quality and attractive educational facilities.

Dr. Satterwhite explained that they know that SPC will eventually need to make substantial capital improvements at some of the Reese Center facilities, and the college’s investment could be more productive at a location that will better serve the students.

That the current plan is to completely remodel the Lubbock City Hall building, according to Dr. Satterwhite. This will require removing almost all of the current infrastructure of the building to change the function from an office facility to an educational facility.  Additionally, SPC hopes to create a very modern and vibrant educational environment to best serve students.

Dr. Satterwhite anticipates that the building will be complete for coursework to begin in the Fall of 2021.  He also said that they do not have a completed design for the building, and won’t be  able to begin construction until the current Lubbock city management moves out of the facility.

“The current plan is to move the Arts and Sciences classes that are currently being offered at the Reese Center to this new Downtown Lubbock Center when it is complete,” Dr. Satterwhite explained. “The Arts and Sciences classes include those courses that are offered as part of the AA or AS degree plans.  It is important to note that not all AA or AS classes are planned to be offered at the new center, only those currently offered at the Reese Center.”

Dr. Satterwhite said he’s most excited about the potential for increased enrollment at South Plains College.

“One of the major factors in students attending college is accessibility, geographic and financial accessibility,” added Dr. Satterwhite. “I believe that this new center will provide greater accessibility through lower costs than the other Lubbock options and  ease of access. Additionally, I am excited about the opportunity to create a new location that is supported by our private industry partners that will be attractive and appealing to our students.”