Film and television production students prepare for the 15th Controlled Chaos festival

Each semester students in the film and television production program create films that can take months, sometimes years to create. They all work toward one main event, the Controlled Chaos Film Festival. 

 A collection of selected short films will be shown over 2 days, starting on Friday, May 3. The students created these films for class, for their junior or senior thesis, or as an independent project. 

Controlled Chaos is “an annual showcase of work by the students at Western Carolina University’s Film and Television program,” according to their website. 

Both days feature well-crafted films by students who are dedicated to their work. 

Controlled Chaos is completely student run. Organizers meet during a class dedicated to creating the festival. During this time, they choose which films will be shown, market for the festival and plan decorations. 

This year is the 15th anniversary of the Controlled Chaos film festival. For participants, this event is a major step into their future careers. 

Aly Taylor, a senior film and television production major, is the producer of the festival, overseeing its many moving parts. 

“This is like our big, public, mainstage event,” Taylor said, “We try to put everything into it to make it great.” 

A priority for Taylor is making this year’s Controlled Chaos unique from previous events. 

“One thing that we implemented last year that we are continuing this year is making our lobby an exhibit of the films…We’ll have tables full of props, and mannequins with costumes. Sometimes we will have process work, so people can look at the work that goes into it and then watch the movies on screen,” Taylor said. 

Taylor wants to combine Controlled Chaos, which features theses and class work, with Uncontrolled Chaos, which is for independent films and films by non-film and television production students. 

Tickets for the first day of the event are $10 for students and children and $20 for community members. The second day will be free for everyone. The film festival ticket sales help fund student films for the next year.

Controlled Chaos also gives awareness to the Film and Television Production program.  

“We really want to get people to know that we exist, since a lot of people don’t know that’s a major you can do,” Taylor said. 

Taylor has big goals for this year’s film festival, but one that is not on her radar is making money. 

 “I love producing and making these events that are just so fun and centered around film, which I love so much,” Taylor said.  

“My goal is to cultivate a great experience for everybody, I want everyone to have a good time, no matter students or not.”