The theme for this year’s Pierce College Film Festival was student empowerment, which was meant to teach students how to succeed and make the appropriate decisions that will make them happy in life.
Pierce College students filled the Great Hall on Thursday to see the final movie of the three day festival: “Steve Jobs Commencement Speech,” featuring the founder of Apple Computer.
“This film is very inspirational,” said Jennifer Penton, instructor of media arts and faculty advisor for the Cinema Club.
Pierce has hosted annual film festivals since 2006, and this year it was hosted by both the Cinema Club and the Diversity Committee.
“We want members of the community to be enlightened through film,” Penton said. “We also want to provoke thought within the campus community.”
Last year’s festival was themed about food and a behind-the-scenes look at food corporations; this year’s theme was student empowerment because students need to be more confident in the choices they make, according to Penton.
“I have been informed by one of the health practitioners on campus that students have low self-esteem and are lost in the community college level,” she said. “It was important to me that the series [of films] is uplifting and inspirational.”
Approximately 100 students watched the movie, enjoying refreshments that were funded by the Associated Student Organization (ASO). Shortly after the movie, there was a panel discussion to discuss topics from the movie.
Barbara Anderson, dean of Academic Affairs, was one of the panelist that led the discussion. After the movie, she shared her experiences of being unsure of her career path and how she was a speech teacher at Pierce before becoming a dean.
“The search is half the fun,” Anderson said.
Many students volunteered to share their personal stories or to seek out some advice from the panelists.
“I am 21-years-old and have taken a handful of classes in the sciences and the arts, and I still don’t know what I want to do in life; do you have any advice?” said Nick Schafer, a Pierce College student.
Anderson shared her story and informed Schafer that she was 30-years-old when she decided to go to college, and that all experiences in life will only better you and put you ahead.
“Everything you do is not a waste,” said Anderson.
The discussion ended and was followed by an awards ceremony for students who entered the art contest. The contest had two categories: film and photography, and approximately 30 students entered.
Schafer won two awards. One was third place for best photograph and his prize was 75 dollars to the Bookstore, and he also won second place for best video and that rewarded him 150 dollars to the Bookstore.
“I was surprised; I am usually so down about myself,” said Schafer.
After winning two prizes, Schafer still does not know what career path he would like to take.
“I was once told by my hair dresser that I could do anything with this [hair], so I guess we will see,” said Schafer.