In 2009, Samuel Valenti made a New Year’s Resolution to watch one movie every day, and he promised he’d watch two in one day if he missed the day before.
Five years later, he decided to pursue his passion for film at Temple.
On Nov. 5 at CineMug, the Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival screened films directed by students and alumni to “highlight some of the Temple films” that didn’t meet the deadline for their main festival in October, said Alex Gardner, the co-director of PUFF.
Gardner and Madeleine Koestner started the festival last year to hold monthly film screenings in Philadelphia. They noticed a lack of film screenings in Philadelphia focused on genres other than drama or comedy, and they wanted to “bring unreleased genre films to Philly and support local filmmakers,” Gardner said.
Valenti, a 2016 film and media arts alumnus, had his film “Youth, Go to Waste” screened at the event.
Valenti describes the film as an “anti-film-school movie.” He was trying to “break every single rule” he learned while studying film at Temple.
“Part of me wants to be like … you don’t need [film school], but at the same time it was so crucial to my development,” said Valenti. “You gotta know the rules to be able to break the rules.”
“Sam had a lot of crazy influences for this film,” said Bri Beltrán, the producer of “Youth, Go to Waste” and a 2016 film and media arts alumnus. “Sam is very eccentric, he’ll have so many different ideas and throw them all at you at once.”
Beltrán said her love of writing got her interested in screenwriting and directing films, but she turned to producing after taking a class at Temple.
“That class really showed me that what I actually love to do is to take other people’s work and make it better,” Beltrán added. “It’s a collaborative art form and I only like to see it in that way.”
Graduate film student Aaron Immediato’s film “D–k Eaters” was also featured in the screening.
Immediato said he wanted the title to be “outrageous and pushing the limits,” but said the film itself has no nudity or excessive gore. The film is “a mix of horror and comedy,” so Immediato wanted the title to reflect that and “keep people’s interests.”
Aside from creating an entertaining film, Immediato said he wanted to use his work to comment on gender performance.
The film stars four Philly-based drag queens who play genderless vampires.
“There’s an element of drag that destroys gender or does away with genitals,” Immediato said. “They’re destroying the physical aspect of gender by combining male and female into something different.”
“I like to approach film as an extension of performance art,” he said. “I am more drawn to the performers and capturing human performances and using film to present the performance in a different way that you wouldn’t be able to experience live.”
Alex Kinter, a senior directing and copywriting major, showed his film “Doomed” at the screening. Kinter said he had previously written a short film for class that was “a little more avant-garde version of ‘Doomed,’” which is about a nameless character who gets stalked and kidnapped before having his heart cut out.
The final product was a film that focused more on a dark tone and feeling instead of any specific storyline, Kinter said.
“‘Doomed’ was the byproduct of about four months of depression,” he said. “And yes, the movie is based off an actual breakup.”
“I’ve been told the movie is very me,” he added. “I’m not going around cutting people’s hearts out, but at the particular moment in time … the best way to describe how I’m feeling is literally having [the character’s] heart taken out.”
Devon Lamb can be reached at email@example.com.
Editor’s note: Alex Kinter is a former photographer for The Temple News. He played no role in the reporting or editing of this article.