Film Club stickers. (Lucy Sandeen)
Film Club stickers.

Lucy Sandeen

Film Club entices viewers with quotable theme, Friday night movies

October 3, 2018

What does a typical Friday evening look like for SPA students? For juniors Martha Slaven and Anjali Tadavarthy, they spend every Friday evening at school—and they think you should too.

Film Club presidents Slaven and Tadavarthy stand behind a table in Driscoll Commons on Friday, Sept. 21 at 5:45 p.m. They’re arranging a display of The Wizard of Oz stickers alongside Film Club stickers, three different bags of popcorn, a bag of Sour Patch Kids, and a stack of classic red and white movie popcorn cups.

“We’re trying to bribe [students] with food,” Tadavarthy quips.

Tadavarthy and Slaven both joined Film Club as ninth graders because of the “chill” atmosphere of the club and the fun members. Then they came back the next year.

“Then I did it again the next year. I think there’s so much opportunity at SPA to be involved, and [clubs] are a low commitment, so why not?” Tadavarthy said.

Last year, almost the entire club was made up of one senior friend group, and when they graduated, Tadavarthy and Slaven were the oldest members of the club. While the two are younger than club presidents often are, they decided to petition to be co-presidents and were uncontested.

“So here we are. We were just kind of the only options,” Slaven jokes.

Tadavarthy and Slaven want to continue the same relaxed atmosphere that encouraged them to join in their ninth grade years. They also plan to continue some of the traditional events that Film Club hosts, like the movie series and the film marathon.

“We’re going to continue our movie series and film marathon, and really just the fun environment that Drew [Fawcett] and Noah [Carlson] had last year. It was the best part of the club,” Tadavarthy says.

Slaven adds, “Super laid-back, but still a lot of fun.”

The presidents’ biggest goal for the upcoming year is to increase the attendance at movie nights, which is going to involve a lot of change.

We really wanted to up the attendance to the movie nights because a lot of people put a lot of effort into these.”

— Anjali Tadavarthy

“We really wanted to up the attendance to the movie nights because a lot of people put a lot of effort into these… and Mr. Findlay puts a lot of his time into this club,” Tadavarthy said.

To do so, Slaven and Tadavarthy moved movie nights to Friday instead of Wednesday in the hopes that the event will become more accessible to the student body. They also plan to explore new ways of advertising.

“People have kind of tuned out all of the advertising we’ve been using— like they don’t even see the posters anymore. So we want to find new ways to advertise ourselves and get people to come to these. Because it’s not just for the club, it’s for everyone,” Slaven said.

Their new advertising includes reviving the club’s Instagram and Facebook accounts, shortening their blue-sheet announcements, and making their assembly announcements more engaging.

Slaven and Tadavarthy also hope that this year’s movie theme, “Quotable Movies,” will draw in a larger crowd.

“We really wanted to up viewership again, so we wanted to show films that people were excited about coming and seeing. So we made our large list, and it came down to movies we thought people would want to see on a Friday night with their friends,” Tadavarthy said.

The two co-presidents want to expand the scope of Film Club by addressing the cultural and social issues in the movie industry; namely, the #MeToo movement.

“This year we’re going to try to do a panel about sexual assault victims in film and what our responsibility is with the films with people like Harvey Weinstein and Woody Allen,” Tadavarthy said.

Slaven added, “That would be coupled with a showing of Annie Hall,” one of Allen’s most famous movies.

When asked about their plans for next year, Slaven joked, “We’re still trying to just survive this year.”

Their future plans, however, depend on how this year of their presidency goes.

“One of my things is seeing how things worked this year, like ‘Did our advertising work? Did people show up?’ and improving on that. And just making sure that people know that [movie nights are] a part of the wider community,” Tadavarthy said.

If this year goes well, then their next theme might touch on a more serious topic. Tadavarthy noted that the themes often follow an every-other-year pattern, in which presidents alternate serious and more lighthearted topics.

“Yeah, maybe we can take ourselves a little bit more seriously again [next year]. It’s kind of on an every-other-year thing. Two years ago we had Literary Adaptations, which was just a bunch of fun movies based off of books, and then last year was a more serious Intercultural Interactions, and now we’re a little bit more light,” Tadavarthy said.

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