World’s Oldest Student-run Film Festival Returns

Billed as the world’s oldest student-run film festival, the 51st Humboldt International Film Fest returns April 18-21 to the Minor Theatre in Arcata.

The finalists in four categories will have two screenings each night at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 from April 18-20 and $10 on April 21 for the Best of Fest screenings.

Since 1967, Humboldt State University students have been producing the internationally recognized festival.

Over time the festival has grown, moving from the Sequoia Theater (today the John Van Duzer Theatre) to Arcata’s Minor Theatre and inviting professional filmmakers serving as judges to select the winning films.

The call-to-entry is open to independent filmmakers of all ages and countries for films with a running time 1-30 minutes in Narrative, Documentary, Animation, and Experimental categories. This year, there were 195 entries from 22 countries, including Argentina, Spain, Japan, China, Poland, Korea, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, India, Norway, Italy, and Kosovo. HSU Film Festival classes pre-screen all entries. The films with the highest scores in all four categories compete for cash and Audience Favorite awards.

Joining this year’s festival are industry judges, who will host the second screenings each night followed by a Q&A.

Patricia Cardoso directed Real Women Have Curves, Audience Award winner at the Sundance Film Festival. Her most recent film, El Regalo, will be released theatrically on December 25 in Colombia. Cardoso has been a trailblazer. She was the first Latino woman in the United States to direct a commercially successful feature film; the first Latino woman to win a Sundance ́s Audience Award; she was the first Latino to win a Student Academy Award; she received the first Fulbright scholarship for film in Colombia; and she directed the first HBO movie that was released theatrically. Her films have screened at festivals including Telluride, San Sebastian, London, Guadalajara and Toronto, winning more than 40 awards, including a Humanitas Prize.

Udi Aloni is an Israeli-American filmmaker whose film Junction 48 won the Jury Award for Best International Narrative Feature at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. His movies and visual art projects have been presented in leading museums, galleries, and film festivals around the world—among them the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and the Berlin, Toronto, Tokyo, Locarno, Tribeca, and Buenos Aires film festivals. His work includes correspondences with the most pre-eminent philosophers of our time, including Slavoj Žižek, Alain Badiou, Avital Ronell, Judith Butler, Naomi Klein, and Tony Kushner, who describe him as a unique and revolutionary thinker.

Throughout his two decades of casting, filmmaker Hal Masonberg has worked with many of the biggest casting directors and actors in the industry on such films as Lasse Hallström’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Spike Jonze’s I’m Here, as well as hundreds of commercials for directors such as Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Jonathan Glazer, Mark Romanek, Mark Webb, Tony Kaye, Roman Coppola, Mike Mills, and Ted Melfi. He is an active writer and filmmaker. His second feature, the documentary Jazz Nights: A Confidential Journey, is currently playing film festivals around the world and recently won the Audience Award at the 2017 Copenhagen Jazz Film Festival.

51st Humboldt International Film Festival
Arcata Minor Theatre
Two screenings each night at 5 and 7:30 p.m.
Q&A with judges at 7:30 p.m. screenings
• Wednesday, April 18—Animation & Experimental
• Thursday, April 19—Documentary
• Friday, April 20—Narrative
• Saturday, April 21—Best of Fest

To buy tickets, go to or call 707.822.FILM (3456). For more information on the film fest, go to, call 707.826.4113, or email