ASUU Kicks Off Dive-In Series


Courtesy of ASUU

Free pizza and a movie. (Courtesy of ASUU)

By Abigail Bowé, Arts Writer

All a visitor needs to bring to the University of Utah’s popular Dive-In events are a pair of swim trunks, an appetite and — better yet — a friend. The Campus Events Board of the Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU) joins with Campus Recreation Services (CRS) to host nights of kick-back fun with food, swimming and films at the Crimson Lagoon. The first of this semester’s showings will happen on Aug. 22, with food being served at 6:00 p.m. and movie time starting at 7:30.

Andrew Stender, Films Vice Chair of ASUU, said “We’ll throw [movie events] like this throughout the year — it’s something that ASUU will do every year — just to work with students and just to make sure that we have a fun activity on campus,” adding that “it’s been a really nice way for both ASUU and [Campus Recreation Services] to come together to provide an opportunity to serve students.” ASUU and CRS first threw a Dive-In back in 2015, showing “Jurassic World” after they successfully hosted several pre-screenings of hit films and a Free Film Series in theaters across and nearby campus. The Dive-In was met with a surprisingly large turnout — over 800 people came. ASUU then decided to transform Dive-Ins into a regular University of Utah tradition.

Dive-Ins are a completely free activity for all to attend — visitors can bring their children, siblings and friends who aren’t U students with them to this one, at no extra charge. Stender encourages everybody who’s interested in attending a Dive-In to come and check it out this month. “It’s social, it gives you something to do, and while we wait there’ll be music before we start a fun movie.” Additionally, while all of ASUU’s Dive-Ins feature free food, Stender also noted that attendees can specifically expect to see pizza served at this event.

Student Productions

Students enjoy free food. (Courtesy ASUU)

For the first time, the movie segment of ASUU’s Dive-In will start off with a student-made short film — a sort of retro move, evocative of how all cinemas used to operate before most film production companies stopped showing mini-features before their movies. The student film that will be shown this month is, for now, going to be a surprise to guests. However, Stender is confident that ASUU’s showing of student films at Dive-Ins is going to become a permanent part of the activity’s tradition. “We’ve wanted to encourage student filmmakers to create,” he said, “But we’ve never used [our Dive-Ins] as an opportunity before.” The goal, he said, is to “bring to these students, these filmmakers on our campus, a chance for a showcase that they may not get otherwise, an audience … It’s more exposure for student work.”

Stender made a point to tell the Chronicle that as this new focus to present student films at Dive-Ins is longterm, ASUU is actively on the lookout for artists to highlight and shorts to screen, whether a student is a major in the Department of Film & Media Arts or a hobbyist and whether a film is an animated music video or a live-action drama. Students won’t be charged any fee to show their work at Dive-Ins — all they ask is that hopeful participants send it their way. “Contact us via email,” said Stender, with a ring of enthusiasm. “Email me or [ASUU Film Chair] Jacob Young.”

The First Movie of The Year Is…

Get ready to have “Im a Goofy Goober” stuck in your head! (Courtesy Pixabay)

After the student film ends, the original “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” will play. “You know, the one from the early 2000s,” said Stender. “We wanted to present a water-themed movie for this event, and we figured that this one was one our whole generation grew up with.” Of course, old school SpongeBob is the best of SpongeBob, and the first of the squeaky little sponge’s feature-length films is one of the highest-ranking of all his movies, as shown on IMDb. Even for those who don’t consider themselves fans of the SpongeBob franchise as a whole, “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” still outshines Nickelodeon’s original television series in several ways, with higher quality — and at times, experimental animation. The film also has a surprisingly good soundtrack – silly songs like “The Best Day Ever” aside — from indie artists such as The Flaming Lips, Motörhead and The Shins, while guest voice actors for the film included Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Tambor and Alec Baldwin.

Overall, Stender said, “It’s just a great movie – with great songs to sing to – a nice, lighthearted movie to welcome the new school year.  It’s a perfect way for the summer to end, you know, watching SpongeBob, eating [food]. It’ll be a good time.”

To have your student film screened at another Dive-In event, you can reach Stender via [email protected] and Young at [email protected] to send your work to them. All short works are welcome for entry.

[email protected]