Last Friday, September 16, dozens of students gathered on the Library Quad to watch The Breakfast Club together for the kickoff of 80s Weekend events. The showing, put together by Filmboard and the Chase Hall Programming Board (CHPB, previously the Chase Hall Committee), surpassed the expectations of those putting it on.
According to Alexandra Gwillim ’18, the treasurer of Filmboard, roughly 50 people were in attendance—a huge success considering that it is the first time the two groups have collaborated in their event planning.
For Filmboard, a new school year marks a new direction. In keeping with their tradition, Filmboard plans to continue having $1 screenings of popular films on the weekends. However, as they were one of the many Bates clubs to take a heavy budget cut, losing over 50% of their funds in just one year, they needed to get creative. Using this as an opportunity for growth, Filmboard has many plans to become more involved in the Bates community, starting off with their collaboration with other large clubs on campus. Not only will their collaboration ease budget worries, but it will also help them create more relationships on campus, allowing for larger events logistically and helping to become better known within the community. While they are open to collaboration with any club interested in screening a movie, they are especially excited to work in closer relation with the CHPB, another group that is undergoing transformation this semester.
With hopes that the 80’s classic on the Quad would get the ball rolling for both the Filmboard and the CHPB, The Breakfast Club was chosen for many reasons. One is that it is truly a classic. The second, and stronger, reason is that it reflects the values of the diverse Bates community by showing that no matter how different situations are for different people, everybody can relate and find something in common. Even clubs that may not have similar missions can connect on how they would like to accomplish their goals. For example, Filmboard and CHPB, with their common goal of hosting events tailored towards the interests of the Bates community and providing chem-free event options, have started a new collaboration.
Along with their hopes of growing their audience base via partnerships, Filmboard is beginning to focus on the quality of their events instead of the quantity. In past years, the group would host five movie showings a weekend, every weekend. This year, they intend to have fewer showings, tentatively two per film, and to really emphasize the experience of the student viewer at each event. The Breakfast Club showing, for example, included free popcorn, candy and soda pop and students at the previous weekend’s Deadpool screening were treated to free pizza.
With these new goals in mind, the upcoming semester for Filmboard is looking exciting and promising. The next event they are planning—for the weekend of September 30—is a showing of another classic, Napoleon Dynamite, with free tater tots. Already looking forward to Halloween, they are working towards collaborating with the Robinson Players to host an interactive showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show. More events on the horizon include a showing of The Revenant—the film that won Leonardo Dicaprio and Oscar—and a Holiday party, with a classic Christmas film and other fun holiday-themed activities.
With a shrinking budget does not come dwindled hopes for Filmboard. Though some may see this as a setback, the club is taking their work in strides and coming into the new year even stronger, using this as an opportunity to grow rather than fade. With lots of new events and free food on the horizon, students should like the Bates College Filmboard page on Facebook to stay up-to-date on all of the club’s events.