Students benefit from WIFI Film Festival

The 2022 WIFI Film Festival, April 29 through May 1 brings with it many opportunities for students on campus who have a passion for film. Students and creators from around the world are allowed to submit their films with the possibility of being selected for screening at the festival.

While the films themselves bring excitement to the festival, students are working on many different things to ensure the success of WIFI.

The Department of Mass Media allows students to get hands-on experience through classes that directly contribute to the WIFI Film Festival.

Mass media professor and WIFI Film Festival Public Relations Director, Kristen Grimmer, says MM-433 Film Festival and MM-420 Event Planning and Management have a direct impact on the success of the festival.

“MM-433 and MM-420 are taught in the spring, which is helpful to give students an opportunity to help plan and run the WIFI Film Festival as well as the Keynote Speaker event,” Grimmer said. “The two classes work together to promote the events and create promotional materials. They also gain firsthand experience managing two well-attended events. Students also came up with a brand new logo for the film festival and created many different types of content for social media.”

Students are able to work on WIFI’s social media accounts, judge and help select the films submitted and make sure the festival runs smoothly.

Hayden Kalp, a mass media major, appreciates the involvement Washburn has with the WIFI Film Festival.

“Working on films that have the potential to be involved in the WIFI Film Festival is a dream,” Kalp said. “When I heard about the film festival it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. This film festival is a big deal. The way the university allows students to be involved in the festival is special, and I think it’s really neat that Washburn does that.”

When the WIFI Film Festival made its debut in 2019, nearly 2,000 films from almost 90 countries were submitted. Student judges did an incredible amount of work during that first year. The Department of Mass Media made some changes for subsequent years. While students at all levels, junior high through college can still submit their films for free, other filmmakers are charged a modest entry fee.

“It’s important for students to be involved in the keynote speaker event and WIFI Film Festival,” said Leah Jamison, senior majoring in mass media. “Without student involvement, the WIFI Film Festival wouldn’t be able to happen.”

Without the classes that Washburn University provides, the film festival wouldn’t be the success that it is today.

“Students get the opportunity to get real and important work experience,” Grimmer said.