BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Hansen Student Center will host the fourth annual Phenom Film Festival showcasing the creative work of film and theatre students at Illinois Wesleyan University at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 29.

“We expect this year’s festival to be attended by 100 to 150 guests, including students, their families, their professors and members of the community,” said Associate Professor of Theatre Arts, and organizer of the film festival, Tom Quinn.

Collage of seven movie posters promoting student films for the upcoming Phenom Film Festival at IWU
Seven student films will be featured during the Phenom Film Festival at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 29, at Hansen Student Center.

Previously called the Guerilla Film Festival, Phenom is becoming a pillar of film studies at Illinois Wesleyan, giving ambitious students experience in film acting, writing, producing and directing as well as sound operation, color correction and all other aspects of production.

“The showcase is also where each of our films encounters its first audience, so it is highly instructional for us,” said Quinn, who is personally involved in the creation of each film. The screening is not only a learning opportunity, but the students will use feedback to revise their films in post-production before submitting them to festivals around the world. 

IWU students’ films have earned eight major awards already through various film festivals, including Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Dramatic Screenplay and Best Cinematography.

The films to be screened this year are as follows:

  • The Therapist - An egocentric psychotherapist gains a new perspective when she encounters a special client.
  • Band on the Run - A working-class college student searches for the right medication to help her cope with a world that feels increasingly bleak, until she meets a transformative new friend.
  • Unaware - Two young gay men encounter challenges as their relationship rapidly deepens, because one of them is “out” and the other is not.
  • Jocelyn - A young man asks his girlfriend to move in with him, but then they both suddenly learn that he has a five-year-old daughter, named Jocelyn, whose mother is dying of cancer.
  • Make It Reel - Six film students are struggling to make an important student film, when the passionate writer/director begins weaving a new script out of the unspoken, interpersonal dreams and desires of his unsuspecting collaborators.
  • Drama Queen - A high school sophomore lands the lead role in the school’s upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet, only to suffer through a terrible rumor started by some jealous classmates.
  • The Sock - A young hit man, regretting his early retirement from killing for money, decides to return to the trade, only to discover that it’s not as easy as it used to be.