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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Letter to the Editor: IndieLouies a student festival through and through

Published: April 9, 2010
Section: Editorials

IndieLouies a student festival through and through

To the Editor,

In preparation of the coming festival, and in light of the recent controversy, the IndieLouies committee would like to explain our purpose more clearly to Brandeis community. We are not withdrawing the statement on our Web site. We believe in what we said. It was important for us to state it, not because we wanted to hurt the image of SunDeis, but because we wanted to explain the origin of our festival. IndieLouies was created because a group of students didn’t believe that a student film festival should be department-run.

We are not claiming that the SunDeis committee doesn’t assume any responsibility in planning the festival. We are perfectly aware that the majority of tasks fall on their shoulders. What we’re claiming is that the majority of decision-making doesn’t. Yes, they built a Web site, but did they have the final say as to what went on it? Of course they are the ones who are contacting alumni. Alumni will always respond better to students calling. If an administrator calls they’ll already be checking to see if their wallet is in place. However, in spite of supplying the work force, the talent and some of the funding that operates the festival they don’t have a vote equal to that of Prof. Alice Kelikian.

At the same time, we would like to make it clear that in spite of the fact that we wish that the SunDeis members didn’t enable SunDeis to be taken by the administration, we are not trying to boycott the festival, or sabotage it in any way. We are planning to attend ourselves and submit our own films. We appreciate their efforts to promote film on campus, even though we don’t agree with their politics.

We would like to finish by answering a couple of questions we’re frequently asked.

How is the now department-run festival different than the previously Student Activities facilitated festival?

Student Activities exists to facilitate student initiative on campus. That’s their purpose. A department has its own interests.

Why is it important to have an entirely student run film festival?

It is very important to have a student run film festival for many reasons. A student organization has much more freedom than any administrator/faculty member. We do not work for the university, and we do not get our funding from it. Therefore, we can avoid a lot of pressure from the administration. A few years ago, the university decided to pull down Palestinian students’ art project “Voices from Palestine.” It was clearly done due to fear of alienating donors. Something like this would never happen in IndieLouies. As a student organization, we don’t have to compromise.

– The Organizers of IndieLouies