Evan Bode, a second year film student in the Transmedia department of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), was selected as one of the five award-winning filmmakers of the Gotham Film and Media InstituteThe third annual Focus Features & JetBlue Student Short Film Showcase, which is designed to discover and empower a diverse group of emerging filmmakers and foster the multiplatform distribution of their work.
Bode won for his animated film “Your own me», Which he created last spring as part of an online film graduate course taught by Kara Herold, associate professor and program coordinator. The film was shortlisted for the Focus Features & JetBlue Student Short Film Showcase by a special jury of filmmakers, curators and critics, who reviewed projects from more than 20 graduate film schools.
“It was a zero budget project that I did on my own in my bedroom when classes were online last semester,” says Bode. “I put all my heart into it, and I’m so humble and grateful to know that I’ve created something that resonates with others.”
As one of the winning filmmakers, Bode was recognized at the 2021 Gotham Awards in New York City on November 29. He will receive a $ 10,000 grant and his film will air for 12 months on JetBlue’s seat entertainment systems in the “Gotham Selects” film category and on Focus Features digital streaming platforms. Throughout 2022, he will also benefit from mentorship opportunities and workshops from Gothams.
“It’s really amazing that Evan made the most of his situation during the pandemic and created an animation in his bedroom in Colorado that took him on a stage at the Gotham Awards in New York,” Herold said. . “The film reminds me of the abstract animations of the 1920s and 1930s, but with a message of modern social justice. The movie is really great and I’m so glad it can share it with a large audience.
In addition to creating the animation for “Thine Own Self”, Bode composed his music. Its artist’s statement describes the film as representing “… a resistance to hegemonic constructions of the genre, expressing a desire for collective liberation from restrictive conceptions of identity”.
“As an artist, I tried to speak through images and music as language,” Bode adds. “There are no words in the film and the story is quite abstract. I’m proud to have been able to take an experimental approach and express myself in a way that others can connect with.
In addition to Gotham’s Focus Features & JetBlue Student Short Film Showcase, “Thine Own Self” was shortlisted at several international festivals this year including MicroActs 8 Artist Film Screening, OutSouth Queer Film Festival, 10th QUEER-Streifen Regensburg Film Festival, Seattle Queer Film Festival, Syracuse International Film Festival Student Showcase, and 15th FOR RAINBOW Festival of Cinema and Culture of Sexual and Gender Diversity. See more of Bode’s work on his website.
“We strive to foster a VPA cinema program where each student’s unique voice can emerge,” says Herold. “Evan’s film is a perfect example of that, and we are very proud of its success.”