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The Bruin Film Society aims to provide an inclusive space for film discussion

Now the Bruin Film Society is playing at the James Bridges Theatre.

Head of the Film Screening Club, President and ascending Devin Bosley, a third-year English student, wants to continue the Bruin Film Society’s legacy as an inclusive place for students to discuss all things film. The Bruin Film Society hosts screenings at the James Bridges Theater with guest interviews from writers and producers to support their weekly discussions. Bosley said the club hopes to revive its tradition of in-person speaker events and continue offering free screenings for students after an era of virtual screenings.

“Film can evoke so many different emotions,” Bosley said. “This can make you laugh. It can make you cry. It can inspire you. I think seeing this in a group setting makes it all the more impactful and effective.”

[Related: Moral questions spring up in student superhero short film ‘The Grasshopper’]

In order to present a diverse selection of films to club members, The board selects a mix of popular and lesser-known films that can also correlate with current events like Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Black History Month and Pride Month, Bosley said. She added that the organization selects its themed film selections at the beginning of the fall quarter, showing, for example, Wes Anderson’s stop-motion flick “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” to reflect the exciting energy of back-to-school on campus.

Although movie Criticism might sound daunting, Bosley said that the Bruin Film Society welcomes all viewers, whether they’re film students or casual filmmakers Observer. Bosley said the club invited both virtually and in person Guest speakers, such as voice actor Jim Cummings and actor/producer PJ McCabe, to provide more perspective in her Discussions about the film that was shown that evening. Usually the club creates discussion questions for its meetings, she said, but encourages members to comment on any aspect of the film, such as their favorite actor or a particular plot element.

“We want people to feel heard and for the conversation to continue,” Bosley said. “There’s always something valuable and really interesting to say to keep the conversation going. Something I didn’t notice – someone else might have noticed. This is why conversation is so important when discussing art.”

Interest in dissecting films with other students, increasing Laura Lee, a fifth-year Global Studies student, said the Bruin Film Society gave her a place to discuss more nuanced thematic elements in films like social comments. During the screening of Pan’s Labyrinth, Lee told her Sharing with other club members allowed her to understand the film’s allusions to the war and how various historical elements influenced the film.

In addition to incoming reviews, increasing Emiko Levings, a fourth-year history and humanities student, said the energy of watching films in a group turns the solo experience into one of excitement and anticipation. Levings said the mix of members who have seen a film multiple times combined with first-time viewers creates an environment for more fruitful and diverse discussions. The beauty of the Bruin Film Society, she said, is that students are able to see a film at a theater for little to no cost, especially if they go to one Cinema is getting more and more expensive these days.

“The theatrical experience is one that… is unparalleled in any other medium,” Levings said. “Unlike the performing arts, where most performances require a certain level of decency, film is a little different. I find it interesting to see how an audience’s energy builds and how we all react to things, especially when we’re seeing things for the first time.”

Leveraging that energy further, Levings said the club hosts an annual event called BFS Armageddon where members can either make a presentation or a performance based on their favorite film. Presentations like these can break the ice between members, spark conversations and build a stronger sense of community within the club, she said.

[Related: UCLA student finds passion for filmmaking process despite pandemic setbacks]

When Bosley first joined the Bruin Film Society via Zoom, she said she was welcomed by the past members’ passion for film, although virtual screenings were her only option. Bosley said joining the club was one of the first times she found a community on campus, and she longs to share that experience with others. On the way to the 2022-2023 During the academic year, Bosley said the Bruin Film Society will continue to foster an inclusive environment that allows for stronger connections to be made between students who all share a love of film.

“Even if you hate it (the movie), you can find someone who hated it and talk about it. If you liked it, you can find someone who loved it,” Bosley said. “It’s a connecting thing. You will always have that experience of watching this movie together. … I think that’s a beautiful thing.”

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