The Daily Gamecock

Russell House hosts No Impact Festival

U101 classes create films about sustainability

The Russell House Theater was packed to the max Wednesday night for the first ever “No Impact Film Festival.” The film festival, which was presented by University 101 and Sustainable Carolina, was inspired by the book “No Impact Man,” and allowed students taking the class to create films dealing with sustainability at USC.

Eighteen films from various U101 classes were submitted to the festival, from which eight were chosen to be screened. The content of the 3 to 5-minute films ranged from “Ecoception,” a spinoff of the 2010 film “Inception” that dealt with the Bhopal disaster in India, to “Please Recycle,” a music video rap about sustainability set to the tune of Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow.”

Garrison Gist, a first-year graphic design student and participant in the film “Please Recycle,” said that he thinks that using a video format, like a rap video, to promote sustainability will make it easier to connect to people because of the entertainment aspect that it involves.

“If [people] are getting the message through something they really like, it will make it easier for them to pick up on it and do it,” said Gist.

After the screening, the films were judged by a panel and had the chance to win under three different categories: Best No Impact USC Message, Best Overall Film and a text vote for Fan Favorite Award.

Michael Koman, director of Sustainable Carolina and one of the judges, spoke of the great things that USC is working on to be a leader among universities in sustainability practices.

“South Carolina is ranked fifth in the country for ‘green’ buildings and that’s because of USC,” said Koman. “We will have 1.3 million square feet of ‘green’ buildings on campus and most of that is residence halls. Those buildings will save over 1.5 million dollars in energy and water usage every single year.”

Mary Elizabeth Sewell, the associate director of the U101 programs at USC, said that the idea for the film festival came out of a desire to highlight “No Impact Man,” which was the students’

First-Year Reading Experience text. Through funding from parent’s programs, the University was able to purchase Flip cameras and Apple laptops for the students to use to create the films.

“We hope that this brings an awareness to sustainability and also the resources that are already [at USC],” said Sewell. “I think so much is already being done, but people just aren’t aware. So we hope that through the films and students talking about sustainability will help bring an awareness.”

When asked whether there are plans to do another festival in the future, Sewell said that they would definitely like to put on another festival that would deal with the themes of whatever the first-year reading book will be.