ACT Film Festival calls for students behind the camera

Lauryn Bolz

Colorado State University’s own human rights film festival is now turning its lens to the student body, allowing them to give camera time to the issues they see on campus.

The ACT Human Rights Film Festival, which stands for “awaken, connect, transform,” was born from CSU’s department of communication with the mission of bringing in films that explore themes of social justice and inspire thoughtful conversations. In 2019, ACT expanded their annual festival into a year-round initiative that promotes the connection between the arts and humanities in various ways. 


Now, ACT is opening up their festival for student work in the first ever “Through the Student Lens: Colorado State University Film Festival.”

A full list of rules and A submission screen for films can be found here.

“We really do believe that student thoughts are coming up,” said Lauryn Ritchie, a third-year journalism student, filmmaker and student programmer for the event. “They’re the next generation of the world, and we want to give them a platform for them to speak their minds.”

Though CSU does not have a specific program for student filmmakers, a rich variety of film classes and a thriving creative community have produced an environment where a lot of students are able to experiment with film as a medium. 

“We wanted to make a CSU-specific film festival that brings together and strengthens the community of film students here on campus and gives them an outlet and a place for them to showcase their thoughts,” Ritchie said.

“Through the Student Lens” is open for all students to apply. An angle on human rights is preferred but not required. 

“We are looking more specifically for something that has to do with ability, race, sexuality, gender and anything else that fits within human rights,” Ritchie said. “We’re looking for topics that students are passionate about.”

Ritchie believes that “Through the Student Lens” allows students to express their feelings creatively, especially about injustices that they have personally witnessed and experienced on CSU’s campus.

“I think students have a unique voice,” Ritchie said. “At CSU, we do have really great resources like the Pride (Resource) Center and El Centro, and we also have areas that are lacking, and students have noticed and are frustrated. We want to give them an outlet for them to speak their minds about that.”

Lauryn Bolz can be reached at or on Twitter @laurynbolz.