Young Research Fellow Angelina Lim Creates OrangeReels Film Festival, Seeks Submissions for 2024

Angelina Lim, a junior studying film in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) and a member of the CFSA-SOURCE Young Research Fellows (YRF) Program, successfully created and managed the inaugural OrangeReels Film Festival with support from YRF and her mentor, Professor Kelly Gallagher. The festival was held last semester on November 4, 2023 and showcased 10 films from Syracuse undergraduate students in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the College of Visual and Performing Arts. These 10 films were selected out of more than 50 entries by a panel of alumni judges. After the success of the inaugural film festival, Angelina plans to host the festival again in 2024. Students from Newhouse and VPA can submit their materials for consideration via this link.

Melissa Welshans, CFSA’s assistant director, asked Angelina to respond to a few questions about her experience and how the YRF program supported her creation of OrangeReels. You can read her responses below.

What inspired you to develop a film festival?

I wanted to create a venue for connection between our two film programs (VPA and Newhouse) that would strengthen the filmmaking community here at SU. There are so many talented artists here but limited platforms to showcase work. The OrangeReels Film Festival is an opportunity to come together and celebrate our student filmmakers.

What was it like seeing the festival come together?

It was a rare and wonderful experience to be surrounded by people who share the same passion for filmmaking. The event was a success and the feedback I received from all in attendance was overwhelmingly positive!

What was the most challenging aspect of creating it?

This was my first time organizing an event like this. Behind the scenes, it took dozens of individuals to make the film festival possible. Managing this along with the filmmaker’s expectations was both challenging and rewarding. Every step of the process was completely new to me, which was a fantastic learning experience.

2023 OrangeReels Festival winners

How did you learn about the Young Research Fellows program?

In my freshman year, I heard about previous YRF program recipients, and I thought this was a fantastic opportunity where I could blend my interest in filmmaking with community engagement research. YRF provided the ideal support and mentorship to fuel my passion and make this possible!

How did the Young Research Fellow’s Program support your project?

The OrangeReels Film Festival was funded in whole by The Young Research Fellows Program. Additionally, the program provides regular collaborative cohort meetings and 1:1 mentorship. My mentor, Professor Kelly  Gallagher, was instrumental to this project and our teamwork was a wonderful learning experience. Through working with SOURCE and CFSA I was pleasantly surprised to find that their level of excitement was equally matched by their continuous and ongoing support.

What are your future plans for the festival?

The number one question from those in attendance was if this festival will become an annual event. We are already in development of OrangeReels 2024, which will surpass this year’s festival in scale and excellence, promising a more enhanced experience for all.

What are your future goals?

In addition to making OrangeReels an annual event here at SU, I also want to continue to support my community in fun and inclusive ways.

What advice do you have for other film majors who might be interested in conducting research?

Through YRF I learned that research can take many forms. Before this, I would have never thought to apply for a research program as an arts student. I am now realizing how research is a key aspect of filmmaking and organizing film events. My advice to film majors would be to utilize the many wonderful opportunities that Syracuse University has to offer us!