Inter-Rational explores the intersectionality of modern life through the lens of an international student at a time where culture, race, and class seem to play a large role in the definition of one’s character and future. Beyond this, Roxanne Branford tackles issues of isolation, loneliness, and anxiety that stem from the pressures of being a student in a new environment.
She narrates and performs the piece with stunning composure juxtaposed with expressive narration. The resulting piece represents the conflict that international students face when struggling with these issues internally, while continuing to perform in school and work normally. As an international student herself, Branford offers a unique and powerful window into the struggles of international students and opens the door for larger discussions about race and class in America.
Who Are You Now? is a video animation that deals with personalities. In this work, Emily Fariello explores how people choose different personas in different societal scenarios on a daily basis. Through her work, she wants to highlight that it is human nature to present oneself this way. Fariello expresses her ideas through hand-drawn scenes that are based off of real-life situations, but transforms those scenes in to a video game.
By adding elements of a game interface, Fariello effectively shows that personalities are options. The main character, a faceless girl, moves from scene to scene and decides who she thinks she should be at key moments. Her personality options drive how the scenes unfold.
“Life can be boring and repetitive, until one does things they love, and that’s when it starts to turn into color.” In her video, Beyond the Emotions of the Beholder, Kate Follett expresses the different sentiments that she experiences when dealing with the monotonous, overwhelming, or joyful moments of her life in the city. Using a GoPro, Follett captures “through her eyes” different activities of her daily routines and eventful moments in her life to give her audience an immersive experience.
The artist uses black and white visuals to depict the dullness and lack of excitement of living a repetitive and bustling city life. Meanwhile, colorful visuals are used to highlight the remarkable moments that have more meaning and excitement while doing the things that one enjoys and loves.
That’s How I See Me is a film that about unsupportive friends, “those who only drill holes under your boat to get it leaking and discredit your ambitions and pretend to love you.” Roksolana Kotskovych explores this issue through the lens of humor, by employing the melodramatic acting of silent film. The main character, Mike is an ambitious guy who wants to be a DJ.
He struggles even though he has the skill, desire, and appearance because he has no support from his close friends. Those friends who he thought were real turned out to be unsupportive. Through this work, Kotskovych discusses what makes friendships genuine or not. By using humorous strategies, Kotskovych allows the audience to enjoy the film without emotional pressure.
Dark Vision is a suspenseful short film in which the artist, Irene Zhang, recreates nightmares she had in the past. As a young child, Zhang watched numerous horror movies. As an adult, this has caused her to have nightmares, losing sleep and often waking up trembling. Zhang wants to bring awareness of the psychological impact of watching horror movies for children when the films may not be age appropriate.
Dark Vision was recorded on iPhones, giving it a natural feel. The video has several twists and suspenseful moments intended to let viewers inside Zhang’s dreams.