First annual Always Swim Left-Finned film festival

The first annual Always Swim Left-Finned film festival will be held on Dec. 3 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. and will showcase films created by UNIV 1000 students. This film festival will bring together more than 1,300 freshman UNIV 1000 students, their course peer leaders and professors in a celebration of their hard work throughout the course.

The films serve as the course final exam and are all based on the novel “Always Eat Left-Handed” by Rohit Bhargava which serves as the course textbook. Students were required to choose a chapter from the novel and create a film that captures the meaning of that chapter. Raven Smith, graduate assistant for experiential education, said that this will be the most fun final exam they will ever take in college.

The goal of the festival is for students to demonstrate that they understood the novel and know how to apply those lessons into their life.

“I’m expecting creativity first and foremost. I want to know that they truly understood what the chapters meant and the specific chapter they chose I want to see that they truly captured and understood it. I want to see fun because that was the point of this assignment for them to try and get out of their comfort zone, to break out of their shell a little bit and just really be creative,” said Smith.

The film festival will include an appearance by a special guest: Rohit Bhargava, author of the textbook. A student panel will ask Bhargava questions about his novel. He will share his experiences that led to him writing this novel.

“I think it’s awesome [that Bhargava is coming]. For me, it makes the idea of the book real. If experiential education is about connecting us to the real world in an authentic way. Having Rohit there, the author of the book, to share why he wrote, how he wrote it, what was his life like in his first semester of college. How can we become authors and publishers of our own thoughts, our own books?” said Teri Williams, the director of experiential learning.

The office of experiential learning wants the focus of the festival to be a celebration. Williams and Smith want the students to celebrate the completion of their first semester of college and to come together as new members of the NSU community.

“My hope was that this event really is a celebration of I made it through my first semester of college and I’ve found a community for myself. I know where I want to be. I know who to come to if I need help. This idea of kind of transforming over the course of four months or so in your first semester of college. It is such a transitional and amazing time for students. I think of it as a celebration, and I hope students see it that way. The goal is to really bring students and instructors together to help establish this new community. The whole idea behind first year experience and UNIV 1000 is to really help students find their community here at the university,” said Williams.

Raffles will be going on during the festival. Prizes that will be raffled off include gift cards, apparel and a gift basket for a peer leader and a faculty member. The film festival is only open to UNIV 1000 students, but the festival will be followed by an after party that is open to the entire NSU community. The after party will be held in the Shark Circle from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Food trucks, giveaways and music will be part of the celebration.

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