xZOTica Exposes UCI Undergraduate Film Talent
Something different was going on outside of Social Science Lecture Hall on Friday that had men in black waving their samurai swords and school girls dancing to quick surf rock rhythms. It wasn’t a Japanese takeover of the yellow-bricked venue, but something rather close: xZOTica 6.
UC Irvine’s highly anticipated film festival was adorned with the theme of Quentin Tarantino and displayed the college’s most merited films on the big screen. Tarantino, famous for films such as ‘Kill Bill’ I and II, ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Reservoir Dogs,’ was honored May 19 with his movie posters outside of SSLH as well as many of the ZotFilm crew pretending to be their favorite characters of the director’s films.
Forty-seven films were entered into xZOTica 6, making it one of the biggest festivals of its kind. The genres were broken down into six major categories: drama, experimental, comedy, horror/thriller, music video and mock-doc.
The top awards went out to fourth-year film and media studies major Alejandra Cisneros for ‘Keep on Fishing.’ Brian Bautista, the New University IT manager and third-year film and media studies and history double major, won in the horror category for ‘The Peregrine’s Nest.’ Best Music Video went to fourth-year film and media studies and history major Sean Janzen, and Best Mock-Doc went to Nick Coro’s Tips.
It was Michael Arkof, a fourth-year film and media studies and economics double major, who came away with the most recognition, receiving four awards at the festival for Best Drama, Best Comedy, the Audience Award and Best Overall. This was a large victory for the entire Black Lotus Productions crew.
‘I’m humbly surprised,’ Arkof said after being interviewed about the awards distribution. In response to what messages he would like to convey through his films, especially ‘The Perfect Day,’ Arkof mentioned that, ‘Hope throughout all obstacles and adversity of life