An Inside Look at GCC’s Film Club with President Ian Genova

At the heart of the GCC Film Club lies a community of film enthusiasts, both film majors and casual movie lovers alike, seeking to connect and learn from one another. The club’s president Ian Genova, a fourth-year film major, has led the club since its inception in 2020. His dedication to fostering a welcoming environment for all members has allowed the club to flourish. “My absolute favorite thing about being a president is making connections and friendships with people who come into the club,” Genova expressed in a recent interview. “When I first arrived, I was timid, so allowing others to feel comfortable and talking about our favorite movies, and engaging with others is something I love seeing repeatedly.”

This semester, Genova aims to maintain a strong presence on campus and support students in finding their place within the film program.“For me, it’s to have a presence on campus, to be approachable to others, and to help students find their footing within the film program,” he elaborated on his personal goals. “That connects to me being president. Being a shoulder for all and always giving an approachable helping hand to people.” He has embraced his role as club president, enjoying the responsibility of leading the group and the opportunities it presents to make new connections and friendships.

With the help of an excellent club cabinet, Genova and the club’s members said they have overcome challenges such as burnout and workload management. Genova explains how their teamwork made a difference. “The biggest obstacle that I went through while finding my footing with being a president is this, being overwhelmed and burnt out constantly… but now, with finally finding a better footing and communication with my cabinet, being president has a much more organized feel to it,,” he said. The club now enjoys a more organized and efficient structure, allowing them to host events and hold meetings every other week, which they plan during brainstorming sessions in their meeting room.

From skits to interviews, content creation plays a significant role in the Film Club’s activities.“Film Club does a lot of content creation! From skits that advertise our club to interviewing students about their experiences in the club or the activity they just did, we do it all! We are content creators,,” Members are encouraged to produce content showcasing the club’s work, allowing students to share their creative talents with the broader community and engage in exciting projects. 

The club has grown since its early days, doubling its membership to around 10 – 15 members. Open to all, the club aims to provide a safe space for movie lovers and foster a healthy environment for everyone to engage in activities. Genova shared more about the club’s inclusive atmosphere: “There are no requirements to join the club. Anyone is welcome to join the experience, build friendship, and develop an interest in the power of film.” Meetings are held at the film and TV department’s studio in San Gabriel 334, which offers a creative and inspiring space for members. 

Exciting upcoming events include an Easter egg hunt and a screening of the movie “Hop.” “I’m really looking forward to showcasing a club event in which we’re putting together an Easter egg hunt and showing the movie “Hop!””he said. Genova also looks forward to delving into film classes with club members. This demonstrates the club’s commitment to providing engaging events and educational opportunities for members.

The club’s mission is to spread the word about the fantastic world of film and create a welcoming space for people passionate about movies,  catering to diverse tastes and interests. Balancing film choices between popular and niche movies, the club invites members who win film club games to choose the movies that will be watched during meetings. Genova shared his thoughts on this approach during the interview: “We allow members who win our film club games to choose the film the club will watch for the next meeting. We balance it by giving them a prompt; for example, we’ll ask the winners to choose a horror film, and the winner or winning team will all agree on one film.” By doing so, the club promotes a sense of ownership and involvement among members, while also fostering an environment where diverse perspectives can be shared and explored.

To encourage participation and engagement, members take turns discussing films in a circle, with a popcorn-style discussion format. Genova described this approach during the interview, emphasizing the interactive nature of the format that ensures active involvement and equal opportunities for all members to share their thoughts. The club fosters a supportive and inclusive environment by emphasizing respect and open-mindedness, even during disagreements and debates. 

Collaborations with other campus organizations and groups have contributed to the club’s growth and success, resulting in events like outdoor movie screenings on the Vaqueros Lawn. Genova shared insights on these partnerships during the interview, highlighting how they enrich the club’s offering and strengthen campus relationships. Measuring the club’s success by meeting attendance, Genova’s ultimate goal, as revealed in the interview, is to invite more people to enjoy movies together, aligning with the club’s mission to create a welcoming space for film enthusiasts to share their love for filmmaking and learn from one another. 

Genova’s most memorable experience as film club president was his first club meeting, where a packed room full of excited members set the tone for a vibrant and thriving community. Under his leadership, the GCC Film Club continues bringing film enthusiasts together to share their love for filmmaking. 

Febbie Cardeno can be reached at [email protected].