Here at Northeastern there are hundreds of great student organizations to get involved in! We want to highlight some organizations that you may not know, so we’re interviewing members of student organizations to learn a little bit about them and what their club is about. Tune in every other week for a new post from The Club Chronicle!
The Club Chronicle Interview #4: NU Film Enthusiasts Club
Interview conducted on January 29th, 2019
Can you introduce yourself and what you do in the NU Film Enthusiasts Club?
I’m Alexander Martin, I go by AJ. I’m a 4th year journalism media and screen studies combined major. I’ve been a part of the club since I was a freshman. Right now I’m the vice president but I’ve held several different Eboard positions, I was secretary and I was president. I’ve been on the Eboard since my second year.
What does your club do here on campus?
We’re a club that meets once a week to basically just screen a movie and have a bit of a conversation after. We’re not the kind of film club necessarily tailored toward film students. It’s not super academic, there’s no production side, it’s just an excuse for people who like film to come watch a movie and have a conversation about it and about movies in general. It’s very accessible. Anyone who wants to be a part of our club can be. The president will nominate a theme for the week and each Eboard member nominates a movie that fits that theme and members vote on what movie to watch. At the beginning of the semester we brainstorm different topics, so if someone has a topic we haven’t been screening before they can pitch an idea and we’ll watch something that fits that topic. We’re definitely hands on, we want members of the club voting on what we’re watching so its their choice.
How do students get involved and get voting privileges?
We have a mailing list on our website, nufec.com. You’ll get email blasts on the weekly topics and we send emails about special events. We have a Facebook page and that’s where the bulk of the voting comes from, we make a poll there. They can vote by email but most of the voting goes down on the Facebook page. We also have a Twitter and an orgsync account through Northeastern that will keep people relatively up to date. So if you are a member of the Facebook page, you can vote on whatever we’re watching or if you’re on the email list you can vote. We’re very loose and accessible, we don’t police coming to every meeting, whenever you can make it, come. If you’re not particularly interested in the movie we’re watching that week you don’t have to come.
You mentioned having a Facebook and Twitter what are those handles?
On Facebook we’re just the Northeastern University Film Enthusiasts Club. If people can’t join the Facebook page the mailing list has the information they need. On Twitter we’re just @nufec. All of the links to that information are also on our website which is just nufec.com.
Besides the weekly screenings, what else does your club do?
Other than the weekly screenings we have a bunch of different things going on. Once a month we also do an extra screening on a Saturday afternoon that’s similar to our usual screenings, but the whole point is the movie is intentionally bad. We sit around and crack jokes at it. That’s always a fun event. We actually have press credentials to see screenings, and we have a blog where we do film reviews. We’re always interested in looking for writers for that, any sort of film writing people are interested in we’re interested in. Every once and awhile through the blog we also get interview possibilities. Our previous president got to interview Charlie Day when he did that movie Fist Fight. We occasionally get to hold special events, we have a pretty good relationship with Allied Integrated, which is a local film distribution organization. 2 or 3 weeks before Get Out they rented us a theater and gave me all 600 passes. We got to see the movie for free and they had a ton of swag for us. Every once and awhile we get to do those cool extra events. We’re good about advertising that through Facebook and the mailing list.
What are some examples of other past special events you’ve done?
We have done every year, and we will be doing this year, an Oscars viewing party where we get together and watch the Oscars. I think we’re going to do Oscars predictions as well. We print out copies of the nominees and before it starts and people pick who they think will win and whoever guesses the most right wins a prize. We’ve done that before that’s usually pretty fun.
What is your favorite event you’ve done?
The Get Out thing was the best event we’ve run. That would be my favorite. It was so cool to get to work with Allied, they’re who we get our press screeners through, but to work with them to screen a movie that at the time we had no idea was going to be the movie that it was, oo be at the front and see it early was really special. I still have the t shirt they gave out.
How do you normally advertise all of these events?
It’s mostly just through the Facebook page and mailing list. When that Get Out event happened and they gave us 600 passes, we don’t have 600 club members, so we were doing a bit of going around handing out passes on campus. The caveat was you had to have your NUID to attend, so we went around campus handing them out. We got 150 people to show up. We do some stuff on the ground when it’s a big enough event and when it’s worth doing that. For the most part getting on the mailing list and Facebook page is a good way to hear about everything going on.
How many students are involved in your club?
We’re pretty small, 20 to 30 is our sort of average membership. At the beginning of the semester things are always bigger. We had a good turnout at our meeting last week. We were just at the Winter Involvement Fair on Sunday, so we got people on the mailing list. Casually watching a movie once a week is a universal thing people can get interested in if they knew about us. When I was a freshman NUFec had a lot more big on campus events, we’re trying to increase that. We’re trying to get more people to know we exist because I feel a lot of people would be involved, but they just don’t know about us. We’re very casual, it’s nice to at the end of the day in the middle of the week to have a time to go and watch a movie and have a space to talk about film. A lot of our talk at the last meeting was about the Oscar noms.
You’ve been involved in the club for awhile, how long has NUFec been around for?
It’s been around for something like 7 or 8 years, so a few years before I got here. I know by the time I got here the Eboard were pretty much all seniors and all of them were founding members. I think on the relative scale we’re probably relatively new.
Do you meet regularly? If so, when?
Yeah, we meet Wednesdays at 6:00 room 18 in the IV basement. We get sort of bounced around semester to semester, so it can be a little confusing trying to navigate getting a permanent space.
What’s one thing you wished people knew about your club?
When we were at the Winter Fair a lot of people seemed to assume we were all film and production students and that it’d be very academic and that we’d be really dissecting these movies and spend a lot of time discussing film theory and cinematography at a high level. We’re not necessarily opposed to that, I do study film, but the other members of the Eboard are engineers. It is absolutely not a requirement that you have academic knowledge about film to join. We encourage you to talk about the movie and your opinion but it doesn’t need to be a thesis. We’re not looking for you to take notes, we just want to talk about movies that we like or about why we didn’t like it. Just because we nominate a movie we like doesn’t mean that everyone else will like it. The last movie we screened I didn’t particularly like it, but it was a fun discourse. That’s the one stigma I hope doesn’t stick, I don’t want people to think you have to be some sort of film academic, were very loose and open to anyone who wants to join.
What is your favorite part about your club?
This happens a little less now that I’m an Eboard member, but when I was voting half the time I didn’t want the movie I nominate to win, I want to watch something I’ve never seen before. It’s great to watch movies I’ve never seen before. When I was a freshman we watched, I think the topic was high school sucks, we ended up watching Me Earl and The Dying Girl. It’s a phenomenal movie. That part of it has always been my favorite part is getting to watch movies I may have never seen or known about before joining. Getting to write for the blog is also great. I’ve been doing film criticism since I was a freshman. Getting to see the movies before they come out, with the actual press core, getting to sit next to Ty Burr, the film critic for the Globe, and getting to write for movies that I ended up really loving is such a cool aspect of the club that I didn’t even really know existed before I joined.