In Search of Balance, AUC Screen Turns to Japan

By Elias von Hildebrand

— On Thursday, April 16th, the AUC Screen committee hosted its first ever anime screening. In an attempt to introduce the genre to the AUC community and possibly attract a larger audience, its members decided to show the Japanese television series ‘Noragami.’

Since its founding back in 2012, AUC Screen has had to find parity between the films students want to see and the films they believe should be screened. But it is also a “kind of a balance between what people have seen and what people want to see, and just get[ting] as much people to the screening as possible,” says Tim Alpherts, chair of the committee.

Although AUC Screen has been more successful than last year, with an average of 20 people attending and an all time high of 40 at the screening of the Oscar-winning ‘Whiplash,’ the board of members still struggles with their choice of films. “It’s a bit of a mosh pit, we have five people and we all want to screen what we want to screen,” says Alpherts.

However, as their success suggests, the current team have changed the committee’s vision. In previous years, the main idea was to screen films that most people had not seen or heard of, or re-introducing forgotten classics like ‘8½’ and ‘Blow-Up,’ an approach that resulted in lower turnouts. By picking trendy movies that people might not have seen yet, the current board has gained popularity through the screening of films such as ‘Trainspotting’ and ‘Jagten.’

Finding this balance within the AUC film scene has proven to be a challenge. AUC students’ busy schedules, various majors, and different tastes are all elements to take into consideration. According to Alpherts, film students tend to appreciate more alternative and obscure pictures, while the average AUC Screen moviegoers prefer art-house films aimed at a niche market rather than the mass audience.

“I use to watch anime when I was a kid, then I stopped but this [Noragami] got me interested again,” said Petros Kalfamanolis, a third-year AUC student who attended the screening.

Due to this year’s successful events, it seems like AUC Screen can now afford to dive back into uncharted territory, and introduce new and rather less popular genres like Japanese anime. The committee members remain hopeful that their recent efforts will pay off with a higher and more consistent attendance in the future.

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