Reel Teal is Really Extraordinary


Students line up to get their tickets for Reel Teal.

By Casey McAnarney, Contributing Writer

UNC Wilmington’s Lumina Theater hosted the Reel Teal Film Festival on Friday. The festival, now in its ninth year, is a student run film festival that offers filmmakers the opportunity to share their work.

Kenneth Freyer, festival co-chair, said that the festival is a chance “for filmmakers to express their art without having to pay for fees or go through really long processes; they just submit their film and if it gets in then it gets in.”

In addition to fewer obstacles in the submission process, there are little restraints on content. The only limitation is that the film must be under fifteen minutes long. Other than that, there are plenty of categories in which to enter a film allowing for quite a bit of creative freedom. “There are tons of categories,” host Tyler Ferraro said. “We even have a category for local films, in terms of local for North Carolina, which is awesome.”

The winner of “Best Local Film”, and the entirety of the festival’s second block, Jacob Joyner, discussed how, although he dislikes talking about his own work, and sharing his films is nerve wracking, the festival is an astounding medium for educating filmmakers beyond the realm of school.

The festival allows film students to up the proverbial ante. Joyner explained how when approaching the festival this year he wanted to set the bar high.

 “The whole thing is we really tried to be super professional,” Joyner said. He described in his acceptance speech that a lot of money was needed for this production. Overall, he wanted to come at the film from a perspective that was not that of a normal student film and his film, Swoon, embodied that notion.

Nevertheless, the hardest workers in the festival were most definitely those behind the scenes Reel Teal. Receiving approximately 2,300 films from around 80 countries, about 30 festival committee members had their hands full with preparation tasks. In his monologue, Ferraro jokingly addressed that most members received little sleep in the days leading up to the festival. With choosing and categorizing films, and planning the big night itself, every member was held responsible for doing their part.

Freyer acknowledged that “we’ve built a family with 30, 40 amazing students,” and that is not a surprising feat. “This is a big film community in Wilmington,” Freyer said. “So it’s pretty much a great opportunity for filmmakers to get together and talk about film and enjoy a really awesome night.”

Another event co- chair, Carson Roach-Howell informed how Reel Teal is not the only way film students can stay connected. UNC Wilmington’s Flicker Film Society is one of the largest student organizations and exhibits what it means to be a lover of film.