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Film and video groups get their own campus acronym with the creation of the new coalition UTV. 

Credit: Julio Sosa

Acronyms like ACK, DAC, SMAC and TAC-e are well known in the Penn community as Performing Arts Council sub-committees that oversee a number of performing arts groups on campus. But film and video groups have always lacked a cohesive acronym of their own — until now.

Film and video groups at Penn — which include Alum Time, Bent Button, Classless, The Late Night, Opia Films and the Penn Cinema Initiative — have begun the process of banding together in their own coalition under the leadership of UTV.

The brainchild of College junior Brad Pettigrew and College senior Arielle Port, the new coalition seeks to share resources and funding to become a more unified representation of the film and video presence at Penn. UTV has been providing equipment and other resources to video groups like The Late Night and Classless for years, and now the group will serve as an umbrella organization that connects all the film and video groups on campus.

College sophomore and co-founder of the new film club Opia Films Amanda Prager was very involved in the discussions that brought about the new coalition and believes that it could dramatically improve the film community at Penn. She said she hopes the group will give clubs resources she didn’t have when starting her club such as help applying for funding, finding actors and providing a community with similar interests.

“I honestly think there should be more film clubs,” she said. “We have enough talented people, enough creative people who want to do this, that I have a feeling there are going to be more popping up.”

Penn Cinema Initiative, another film group, was introduced to the new coalition by Pettigrew, who is the lead editor of the club’s film appreciation blog, The Moviegoer, and is also involved with Classless.

College junior and Acting President of PCI Ashley Stinnett is excited by the opportunities that UTV’s support could bring to the future of film appreciation at Penn.

“When you have one name and something that is consistently happening, it gives people something to look forward to, expect and anticipate,” she said. “I think that regularity will help for this to become a mainstay, a community and a culture in a way that it hasn’t had the opportunity to before.”

UTV was chosen as the face of the new coalition for its significant presence in Penn history as well as its extensive alumni network. Beginning in the 1970s as a broadcasting TV station, UTV has since moved from producing its own shows to helping other groups with its substantial resources. Now, it seeks to unite all the film and video clubs with a common interest.

“[The goal is] when you come to Penn, you think video and you’ll think UTV, and you can find everything under UTV,” College junior and UTV president Colin Zhang said.

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