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Katies picked for inaugural ACTC film festival

Poster designed by Hillary Olson.
Poster designed by Hillary Olson.
Courtesy of Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities

Editor's Note: Two "Best of Show" awards were awarded to St. Kate's students following the Nov. 16 ACTC Film Festival. Tracy Sitterly '12 was selected as 1st runner up for "Millionaire" and Jenna Schaude '11 was selected as 2nd runner up for "Werther's Original," a short documentary.

When Tracy Sitterley ’12 found a panaromic photo taken in the 1940s of a beach in Hawaii, she wondered about the owner — had this person actually been there or did the image represent an unfulfilled wish to visit the Aloha State. Sitterley’s musings about this have been turned into a short film.

“Millionaire,” by Sitterley, an education major at St. Catherine University, is one of the 16 films featured in the inaugural ACTC Student Film Festival, November 16, at 7 p.m. in St. Anthony Main Theater in Minneapolis. (115 Main Street, S.E.)

Sitterley's piece started out as an audio project in Joshua Haringa’s summer course “Media, Culture and Society.” “But I thought it absolutely lent itself to visual interpretation,” says Haringa, St. Kate's assistant professor of communication studies. “So, I encouraged her to reinterpret it. 'Millionaire' is really a poetic and beautiful film.”

Haringa is among the faculty members on the festival planning committee — one each from the five schools in the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (ACTC). Carole Chabries, ACTC executive director, had set up the committee this past spring to brainstorm film-related projects.

“There were many ideas about how we can collaborate around film, including a shared curriculum and trips during our initial meeting,” Haringa recalls. “Then someone suggested the possibility of a film festival, and we jumped on that.”

The group met every two to three weeks in the summer to iron out the details. Among the rules it came up with: work by current ACTC students and recent alumni; films must be no longer than 10 minutes; all genres accepted, including animation and graphics, music videos, public service announcements and news stories.

A panel of film and television professionals was invited to pick the finalists.

St. Kate's students make the cut
“Four of our students got into the film festival, and this is quite significant because only 16 films were accepted,” says Haringa.

In addition to Sitterley, the St. Kate’s students are Jenna Schaude ’11 (“Werther's Original”), Katherine Curtis ’11 (“The Cupboard”), and Beverly Kumar ’10 and Naomi Mohammed ’10 (“Snack Attack”).

“The film festival is going to be quite nice,” Haringa adds. “We’ll have a reception and award presentation at the Aster Café near the theater immediately after the show — a great chance to meet the student filmmakers.”

He says the ACTC film festival is also “an excellent opportunity for students interested in film to network and be inspired.” “It would be really great if these students started making productions or collaborating across campuses,” he adds.

For the general public, Haringa says the event offers a peek at “creative voices and work” being produced at St. Kate’s, as well as the other ACTC schools. All the films have a running time of 10 minutes or less.

“By keeping them shorter, we’ll see more varied voices,” he explains. “And the voices are really impressive, particularly among St. Kate’s students. Our pieces have a vein of experimental narrative. They’re really pushing the envelope, and that might be in keeping with our culture and educational mission. We think a little differently here at St. Kate’s — and I’m happy to say that’s reflected in the work.”

Limited tickets
Tickets are free and are available to ACTC students, faculty, and staff on a first-come, first-serve basis. (Only 220 seats are available.) One ticket per person; pick up at:

  • St. Catherine: Information Center (Coeur de Catherine)
  • Augsburg: Comm & Film Studies Office (Foss)
  • Hamline: Student Center Front Desk
  • Macalester: Campus Center Information Desk
  • St. Thomas: Box Office (Murray-Herrick)

For the complete film list, see the ACTC website.

Nov. 9, 2011 by Pauline Oo

See also: Alumnae/i, Arts, Faculty, Liberal Arts, Students