Fall Film Clubs

With its impending closure, the campus of Santa Fe University of Art and Design seems empty and lifeless to those who pass by. Yet, some students are still working to leave an imprint in this last year. One such student, Mikel Ledesma, a senior in film, founded the third of three films clubs still operating on campus by starting the film club Horror Nights just this semester.

Mikel Ledesma, founder of the Horror Nights Film Club. Photo by Jason Stilgebouer.

Even though only two semesters remain before closure and there will be no one to carry on the club, Ledesma claims he has wanted to start a horror movie club since freshman year but never found the right time. This year, with his upcoming graduation in May, he decided the opportunity presented itself. “With the school closing…I went into it because I wanted to kind of help build a community…” he says.

Horror has been Ledesma’s passion since he was a child, when he would convince his grandmother to take him to see R-rated horror films. His goal is to “create art that’s fun, over the top, that kind of takes you through a thrill ride…” and he believes that horror does just that.

For Oct. 16-25, Ledesma has teamed up with SFUAD Student Life and fellow club runner Warren Couvillion for a Saw marathon. The marathon spans over seven evenings, playing the first four Saw movies through Thursday, Oct. 19, and picking up again on Monday, Oct. 23, finishing with Saw VII on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at The Screen.  

Warren Couvillion, leader and founder of the film club Club Along, “The only club where you can sing and quote along,” gave up both Wednesday night club slots for the Saw marathon. Couvillion decided to join the marathon for one of the same reasons Ledesma suggested it: they both hope it will bring in more people. Lack of club goers has been one problem club runners have faced this last year, their screenings only bringing in about four to five people per showing.

Couvillion was inspired to start Club Along during his freshman year, when he went to a club showing The Lion King, and was told he couldn’t sing along. His sophomore year, a club spot opened and he jumped on it. The first screening in Club Along was Grease and ended up with a full house, even though Couvillion put out the club notices late. “…it was just one of those things that made me so excited, because I was like, this is going to be a successful club. And it has been…” he says.

Niko Crever head of the International Film Club and Waren Couvillion the founder Club Along. Photo by Jason Stilgebouer.

The club remained open this year because, though the student numbers have shrunk dramatically, Couvillion believes people who enjoy the musicals will still attend the club. Keeping the club alive also gives him self-motivation to schedule and run it. With the Saw marathon already in motion, he laughs and says, “I would probably pay [club members] to sing along to Saw, if they wanted to sing the words to Saw…I would let them.”

A third club, the International Film Club, or IFC, will not be participating in the Saw marathon, instead showing the international film, Vampyr (1932), a German-French horror directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer. Niko Crever, who runs the club, plans to show this film Friday Oct. 20 at 9:30 p.m., a time subject to change. When asked about the plot, he says, “…but of course I never give [away] plots…to the films that we’re watching here…because I advocate very strongly for going into everything blind.”

Of the goals Crever wants to accomplish in the film club before SFUAD closes, one of the largest is to show the Hungarian film, Sátántangó, which has a seven and a half hour running time. It is a film IFC has wanted to show since late 2015, but finding the time slot for it has proven the most difficult obstacle.

Crever invites “anybody who has even a passing interest in what’s going on outside Hollywood,” to come check out one of IFC’s showings. “We don’t bite, we’re not scary, we may be a little up our own ass at times, but that’s sort of the price you pay when you get serious about any artform,” he says.

The Film Clubs Meetings:

Horror Nights The Screen, Monday at 9 p.m.

Club Along The Screen, Wednesday at 8:45 to 9 p.m.

International Film Club (IFC) The Screen, Friday at 9:30 p.m. (subject to change)