Two sophomores hope to make Penn's film scene more visible on campus by launching a club through Kelly Writers House

Leonardo DiCaprio may have waited 23 years for his Oscar, but Penn’s new Opia Film Club is impatient to begin its filming and events. Two Penn sophomores are hoping to make Penn's film scene more visible on campus by launching a new club through the Kelly Writers House. The Daily Pennsylvanian spoke with the club's two co-founders, College sophomore Amanda Prager and Wharton sophomore Felipe Haddad:

Daily Pennsylvanian: Why did you want to start this club?

Amanda Prager: I felt a lack of creative space here at Penn for what I wanted to do. In high school, I traveled around the country going to different film festivals and working on creative projects, but when I came here, I found a dearth of creative space. I wanted to make things, but I wasn't. So many of my friends here are musicians, writers, poets and so many of them feel isolated. They feel like they are the only ones. Artistic minds need other artistic minds; we need people to bounce ideas off of one another [and] to support one another. I couldn't find a group like that.

Felipe Haddad: I was extremely involved with art in high school and I realized that I became quite distant from it my freshman year here at Penn. I was involved in the theater community, but I didn't feel like I was truly in touch with what I wanted to create. I stumbled across video as an art form during my experience with an amazing theater club here at Penn and felt a connection. As I started looking around campus for clubs to join, I realized that I wanted to do something that wasn't already available on campus. I hope that by founding Opia, I will be contributing to the arts culture here at Penn.  

DP: What is the goal of Opia Films Club?

AP: Opia Films aims to bring creative minds together to produce engaging, award-winning content. We plan to create our own ideas as well as collaborate with Spotify artists and small businesses. The purpose of this club is to create high-concept, high-quality intellectual works of cinema [and] to connect creative, innovative, passionate individuals to one another. We also hope to pull together campus and local Philly talent to create amazing conceptual music videos for bands and clothing brands.

DP: What niche are you filling on campus?

AP: The film community [is] hard to find and very small. I want to expand film culture at Penn. This group serves to fulfill the artistic community that desires to not just make something creative, but also make something engaging. Make something awe-inspiring, something that will cause the viewer turn to his friend afterward and say, "Wow, I wish I made that."

DP: What can potential members expect?

FH: A talent pool [of] 50+ members who [will be] involved with anything from acting, lighting, props, set design. They’ll be working on a project basis. Some people will work on every project if they fit the descriptions needed while others will work on one project per semester. [A team of] creators [will be] the leaders in the club keeping the structure together while carrying out other obligations such as writing, brainstorming and directing. Members of the creators team are also allowed to take on the roles of members in the talent team. The creators will have a hand in every project in the semester and will meet weekly or biweekly depending on the phase of the current project.

This Q&A has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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