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Springing into film

With new releases and multiple genres, Western's Spring Film Series is free for students

Rachel Silzle introduces Lisa Frankenstein in the Viking Union at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., on May 9, 2024. Associated Student Production is hosting a Spring Film Series throughout the quarter. // Photo by Julia Hawkins

Western Washington University’s Associated Student Production brings movies, ranging from recent releases to lesser-known films, to students with their Spring Film Series. The program opened on Thursday, April 18, with a showing of “American Fiction” and will continue throughout the remainder of the quarter.

The most recent film in the series was “Lisa Frankenstein,” shown on May 9 in the Viking Union. According to Gabby Montana, a Western student who attended the event, this film was a hit. 

“It was beautiful — unlike anything I've ever seen,” Montana said. “I loved the artistry behind it, it was perfect and quirky and so ‘80s; I just loved it.”

Although past film series may have had a theme, such as nostalgia in the fall quarter, this series did not have one in particular, said Rachel Silzle, Associated Student Production film coordinator.

“For this series, I wanted to bridge having some bigger mainstream new releases and then also show [movies like] ‘American Fiction,’ which is lesser known for [Gen Z],” Silzle said. “I still wanted to show it to showcase prestige films, even though it's not as hyped-up as mainstream [movies; we want to] showcase different, cool new releases.” 

When it comes to curating these films, Silzle, a film buff herself, keeps up with the latest trends in cinema. 

Silzle said she loves film, cinema and everything behind it. While curating the series, with that passion for film, she kept her eye on what movies people were getting excited for post-award season. 

Albert Gregorio, the vice president of the WWU Film Production Club, said he’s glad the films feature a wide range of diversity. He also stressed using cinema as a tool to teach history. 

“[For] BIPOC students especially, and from my background of being an immigrant, [film] relates to who I am personally, it's kind of written into my DNA,” Gregorio said. “For film specifically, it provided me an outlet for studying cultures as well as people, humans.” 

Gregorio believes that the film series should remain free for students.

“Anybody could tell a story, it doesn't even have to be a movie, because technology, at least living in America, has become more and more available,” Gregorio said. “If big studios can do the same thing, I don't know, charging students or charging people [isn’t the right thing to do].” 

Cinema is used as a unique form of storytelling, Silzle said. It’s interesting to see all the unique artistic choices that vary from director to director. 

“People get to tell stories and there's a lot of differences [in what medium they choose],” Silzle said. “With film, it's also an accessible medium that’s more fun than, in my opinion, [than] literature.”

Movies are also an easy way to engage with Western’s campus and community, Silzle said. 

“Especially for people who live on campus,” she said. “It’s so easy to come down, and [students who] want to be able to see new releases, older films, just cool stuff and have it free for everyone.”

Julia Hawkins

Julia Hawkins (she/her) is a campus news reporter for The Front this quarter. She is a second-year journalism/public relations major. Outside of reporting, Julia enjoys hanging out in The Planet office, baking and asking random people to pet their dogs. You can reach her at 

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