CU Film Society’s Web site is up!

At long last, the CU Film Society formulated by Luke Boyce and Brett Hays of local firm Shatterglass Studios has taken its first concrete step towards public engagement. An informational Web site went live Sunday at this URL, laying out the group’s master plan through impassioned essays written by Boyce as well as listing its earliest events. These include screenings at the Art Theater, 126 W. Church St., downtown Champaign, of Alfred Hitchcock’s game-changing thriller PSYCHO (1960; Sat. Oct. 22, 12 p.m.) and Universal Studios’ horror crown jewel FRANKENSTEIN (1931; Sat. Oct. 29, 12 p.m.), followed immediately by discussion groups that will meet down the block at Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works. CUFS has also scheduled their first production workshop, “Intro to DSLR Filmmaking,” to be taught Saturday, November 12, by Chicago commercial photographer Scott Regan in the M2 building, also home to the Shatterglass offices.

These initial outings illustrate how CUFS will follow the contemporary approach to what a “film society” provides its members and, by proximity, the surrounding community since many branded events will be open to the public. The model encourages film lovers to enjoy the theatrical experience of watching a fine film in good company and then interact with one another after the end credits roll, while also empowering hands-on creators with knowledge, instruction, and tools to join the ranks – if not immediately the uppermost stratosphere – of artists and storytellers who make movies. C-U Blogfidential believes a big motivation here is to provide foundation for a continuous movie culture shared with Champaign-Urbana citizenry in ways that other institutions, specifically the University of Illinois, have not been willing or able to do outside of the annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival or the occasional showcase such as the Latin American Film Festival, concluding tonight at the Art.

If you support the aims of the CUFS, then put your money where your mouth is and hit the Web site’s “Membership” page, where one-year rates begin at a ridiculously low $15 for individuals. This money floats the society by paying bills, but the status will entitle you to such things as discounts on CUFS sponsored events and early registration to future programs. The “Leadership” page introduces you to the guiding lights, almost all of whom have appeared in some capacity on CUBlog: Myles Beeson (Web and Social Media), Luke Boyce (Screenings), A.J. Christensen (Events and Student Outreach), Brett Hays (Workshops and Professional Outreach), Bill Kephart (Secretary), Anne Lukeman (Treasurer and Membership), and Chris Lukeman (Public Relations and Administration). You can thank them all later when attending your first CU Film Society function.

Doesn’t the phrase “CU Film Society function” sound just glorious?

~ Jason Pankoke

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