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Students bid farewell to the film house

Visitors view film installations at "Home Sweet Home," a presentation of Film 351 students' final projects and an event to celebrate the film house.

Over 150 students, faculty and members of the Kingston community gathered recently at 160 Stuart Street, affectionately known as the “film house,” to attend the final presentation of Film 351, a senior-level documentary studies course in the Department of Film and Media.

The event showcased short documentaries students produced as their final projects for the course, and also served as a celebration of the past and future homes of the Film and Media department.

Film 351 co-instructors Leah Decter (Cultural Studies) and Dorit Naaman (Film and Media) invited students to express personal feelings of home, family history and nostalgia in their documentaries, which were installed throughout the 3-storey film house. Visitors to the event were free to move around and discover each student’s work, which engaged creatively with different areas of the house.

“This was a highly successful event at our film house” says Dr. Namaan. “The diversity of the work was incredible, and the projects were so personal. Most installments invited audience interaction and engagement, which was positively received.”

The house at 160 Stuart Street has been home to Queen’s Film and Media department since its inception in 1969. As enrolment grew and further space was needed, the adjacent house was connected by a central addition. The film house is remembered fondly by alumni as being both a space for work and for social gatherings. It has never lost its comfortable feeling of home.

The department of Film and Media will move from the cozy setting of the Stuart Street film house to the modern, state of the art facilities of the new Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts (IBCPA), which will open in 2014. Film and Media students see a lot of potential in the new centre, but will miss their Stuart Street home.

The film house at 160 Stuart Street has housed the Queen's Film and Media Department since its inception in 1969.

“The film house has been a hub of warmth and familiarity over the course of my four years at Queen’s” says Margaret O’Donoghue, a student in Film 351. “It will definitely be hard to see it go, but I’m sure future students will soon discover this nostalgic feeling over the course of their studies at the Bader Centre.”

Once open, the $63-million IBCPA will be a cultural landmark for Queen’s and Kingston. It will feature a 560-seat concert hall, a 90-seat film screening room, a sound studio, recording facilities and a 100-seat studio theatre. The IBCPA, along with the Campus Master Plan project currently underway at Queen’s, is an example of Queen’s commitment to developing its campus in ways that enhance the experience of its students and forge closer ties to the Kingston community.

Queen’s recently announced that in June, accomplished arts administrator Jerry Doiron will leave the acclaimed Shaw Festival to assume the role of Director of IBCPA.