Colorado film festival features photography student’s works

State Press

Malcolm Lightner’s world is filled with images.

So is his house.

In one corner, a bookshelf houses his library of video tapes. In the other, a home theater system waits. Photographs emphasizing the distinction between light and dark clutter his walls and floor — the aftermath of his recent search for submissions to the Telluride Film Festival.

The search was not in vain.

Lightner’s photography and dedication to his work have helped him become the first student to represent ASU at the Telluride 25th Anniversary Film Festival Symposium, which begins Wednesday in Telluride, Col. and continues through Monday.

“They’ve really gone out of their way to establish a program for students,” he said.

The 28-year-old photography graduate student will take part in a series of intensive screenings and discussions with filmmakers and directors.

He joins about 50 other students who submitted essays and samples of their work.

“The process will involve less sleep or vacation time than work,” Lightner said.

But Lightner doesn’t seem to mind that part because he will have the opportunity to meet Peter Bogdanovich, the director of The Last Picture Show, among other celebrity guests and personal influences.

This is not the first time attention has been given to Lightner’s work. He already has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, and his photographs have been featured in galleries in the Valley and Savannah, Ga. Also, he is the recipient of numerous grants and awards.

In October, Lightner’s photographs will be featured in a five-minute video at the Harry Wood Art Gallery.

The exhibit is a visual narrative in three separate video tracks, similar to looking at three adjacent screens at once, representing the past, present and future of Lightner reuniting with his father in Texas.

“It’s been a long time and I’ve traveled some very serious terrain,” he said.

There is no dialogue, and the soundtrack consists of an cacaphonic orchestra of “found” objects such as a car’s gas tank and a rusty cheese grater. Lightner said the sound represents the theme of the film — “a journey from the external to the internal” — as it seems at first to come from outside the exhibit and work its way slowly into the film.

The exhibit will be comprised of the film and its a soundtrack loop.

Lightner said the state-of-the-art technology, such as the nonlinear digital editing system he worked with at Scottsdale Community College, were essential to producing his film.

“So much technology is in the work that we directly linked to conceptual elements,” he said. “It’s a hell of a treat” to work with such equipment, he added.

(Photo) Ofelia Madrid of the State Press

Malcom Lightner, a graduate student in fine arts photography, selects photos for his project. Lightner was recently selected to participate in the Telluride Film Festival.