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Rutgers film club brings movie fans together

The Rutgers Film Club is composed of several students who enjoy watching films. The group hosts a few screenings every semester, but budget cuts and policy changes have made it more difficult for them to continue. – Photo by Marielle Sumergido

More than 6,000 films are produced every year around the world, according to Chartsbin. Many of these go unseen, but a group at Rutgers hopes to expose some to its members.

The Rutger’s Film Club pursues the industry with an objectifying eye and aims to share the best films with all members of the University.

Austin Renna, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences sophomore, said the club provided him with a place to explore his interest.

”I really like movies," he said. "I thought it would be cool to also find people that enjoy the same activity as I do.” 

The club explores all genres of films and is open to all majors — the only requirement is that attendees want to watch a movie. 

The club focuses on film appreciation rather than filmmaking, creating an environment that is open to everyone, said Herbert Morgan IV, the club's co-president and a School of Arts and Sciences senior.

Although the club's membership and funding have dropped, Morgan said they continue to preserve the culture of film.

“People watch films to be entertained, but at Film Club the goal is to also challenge you and your emotions,” Renna said.

Renna joined the Film Club in early February when they had their first screening of “No Country for Old Men.” Since then, there have been few screenings. 

The co-presidents explained that the Film Club only had enough money for three more screenings and would be spreading them out through the semester. 

“We should at least get funding for two more screenings a month,” Renna said.

Aside from funding issues,  Renna said the Film Club has been fighting for the use of the 16-millimeter films that the Rutgers University Libraries own. The library is preventing the Film Club from using the films because they are concerned about copyright laws and possible damage.

Morgan has continued the legacy of the Film Club three years after its establishment. Since the club's founding, the library has changed policies the film club relied on. 

The library removed all equipment used to care for film, Morgan said. Because of the removal the films have become incredibly fragile. Caretakers now require special training in order to play these films.

Despite their difficulties, the club continues to depend on the creativity and the passion of their members to continue their objectives of  keeping film culture alive, he said.

“It was a good community at the time. It’s dwindled a bit, but we still have some good members," he said. 

The Film Club hopes to have more screenings, get more exposure and run a more active social media campaign, Renna said. 

All screenings are free, and outside snacks are permitted. The clubs also holds discussions about the directing and cinematography of films for anyone that shows interest, Renna said.

"We’ve been getting more people, so hopefully it’s been on the rise," Morgan said. 


Alexandra Tangarife is a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student majoring in psychology, English and cinema studies. She is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum. Follow her on Twitter @AlexandraReadIt for more.


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