On Thursday, the students got the guidelines for their film. Producing a movie in less than 84 hours, including three aspects: an object (either a keychain of green wooden clumps or a luggage tag), a character called dr. Tinbergen who could be a nurse or a doctor, and the line ‘Making Minds Matter’. After a sleepless weekend, seven out of nine participating teams managed to deliver their short films. On Wednesday evening, it is time to watch the movies together and choose a winner.

The Erasmus Paviljoen is decorated festively. Kirstin Feberwee, the presenter of Studium Generale, is sitting in a glittering jacket among a decor of red velvet chairs and wooden tables. The first students coming upstage are Anastasiia and Danaia. They tell about their film Creatio Piccati, an atmospheric film with colourful visual effects and compelling music. “The message film is that nobody is perfect”, Anastasiia explains. What they found most difficult? Danaia: “At some point, it was quite a challenge to cheer ourselves up at 3 AM.”

The winner: More Than Shades of Gray Source: youtu.be

Different genres and unique aspects

The second movie, Film Minds Matter, is made by two brothers and their friends. Their film stands out by being the only one with Dutch subtitles. “We had the advantage that the guy who did the subtitles could do it during the night, as he lives in a different time zone”, one of the students explains. The film shows a guy who signed up for a mysterious experiment by dr. Tinbergen, a doctor who is fascinated by the human brain and who wants to put memories, emotions and personality together to create a new experience.

The required line ‘Making Minds Matter’ is also the title of the third film. It focuses on the psychological process of making an important decision. The protagonist is a girl who gets stuck trying to submit an important paper and who is taunted by different voices in her head, represented by people telling her she isn’t good enough, that everyone is going to laugh at her and that life is meaningless anyways.

Next is the silent movie The Studio, which reminds of a classic romantic comedy filmed in black and white. Instead of talking, conversations are represented by dramatic text balloons that make the audience laugh.

Plot holes and twists

Ali, Teodora & Guillio
The students of the winning team receive their price. Image credit: Kirstin Feberwee

“The plot killed us”, a student from the fifth team says about their film The Little Things. “We had this major plot hole through the end of the movie, we only figured it out at 4 AM on Sunday.” This time, dr. Tinbergen takes on the role of a psychologist, visited by a guy with the uncontrollable tendency to steal small objects. “It started when I was at the bus stop and I saw a girl with a keychain of wooden clumps”, the character explains. “They were small, but perfect. I just had to take them.”

The movie More than Shades of Gray is of a whole different nature: it follows someone who only sees the world in shades of black and white. He goes on to describe the beauty of the contrast between light and dark in the sky, the autumn and the city of Rotterdam. When one day, an anonymous person delivers a keychain with green clumps on his doorstep, he can suddenly see colours.

The final film Oh Ana follows a detective interviewing different people to try and figure out who killed a woman who was walking the dog in the middle of the day, with an unexpected plottwist at the end.

Time to vote

At the end of the night, it is time to vote for a winner. The people in the audience are asked to vote for their favourite movie online. A difficult decision, because all the movies are unique in their own ways, but the clear winner is More than Shades of Gray. They happily left the room with a bottle of champagne and chocolate.

For anyone who is curious about the films: they are on the Youtube channel of Studium Generale (https://www.youtube.com/c/SGErasmus/videos).