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Alex Kohnstamm ’12: Man With a Movie Camera

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lawrence chapter.

If you don’t yet know Alex Kohnstamm, you should get to know him at some point in the next two terms. He’s actively involved with his passion, film, and a variety of prominent organizations on campus. The film department is rapidly growing at Lawrence and Alex is one of our student veterans helping pave the way for younger students interested in film. If you have any interest in getting involved in film on campus or want to hear about a wonderful member of the Lawrence student body–read on!
Her Campus Lawrence: What are you involved in on campus?
Alex Kohnstamm:Currently I am a member of the Gamma Pi Chapter of Beta Theta Pi, founder and president of the Lawrence University Film Club, a member of the Film Production Club. I also work for Admissions helping to make “This is Lawrence” spotlight pieces that help prospective students and alumni know what is happening on campus. When I am not doing that, I do some philanthropy and community service like putting together fundraising events for “The Film Foundation” an organization that was set-up by Martin Scorsese to help preserve film, which I support heavily.
HCL: Why do you love film and when did you know you wanted to take it more seriously? 
AK: I love film because it encompasses all of the major points of creativity that exist in our society and compact them into one beautiful art form. Music has its’ place, so does photography, writing, acting, ect. They all fit together into something that expresses creativity on another dimension that each of those elements cannot expresses by itself. I knew it was something that I wanted to do more seriously my first term on campus my freshman year, I attended a student festival, and I saw students, my age, making films of various skill and depth. I realized that film could be made by anyone with real vision. I realized then that I wanted to pursue filmmaking as a major and later a career.
HCL:What is your film club about and why did you think it was an important club to have?
AK:My film club puts on films every week in the cinema. We are starting to expand that into a “movie of the month discussion group”, where we will select a film and everyone willing to participate will see it on their own time and get together and discuss it. This club is very important because it allows students of all majors and interests to see both the progression of film by showing recent releases that they may have missed in the theaters and classic films to allow students to see the history of film, where it comes from ect.
HCL: How do you pick movies to show?
AK:I try and make a genre for each month. It makes narrowing down films a lot better. I also like to think of great films that were in theaters that students may have missed for one or another reason (movies get expensive why should that limit them from goes to movies). I also like to pepper in at least one classic film a month at least for my benefit, I mean I’m usually always in the theater for them and it’s good to see was cutting edge and successful almost a century ago.
HCL: What is your favorite movie? 
AK:Having a favorite movie is a question that everyone faces in their lifetime. I enjoy the simplicity in telling a story as to how I began to enjoy visually enjoying film on another level. When I was growing I was picky with what I would watch, since I was about 10 I would think I was always right about movie selection, and I would generally pick childish movies. My mother suggested that I watch a film called Waking Ned Divine (1998). Which turned out to be a great Irish comedy about a man who wins the lottery but dies and the town has to decide what to do. I was extremely skeptical since I had never seen a film that I had not seen a commercial for in my youth. I laughed nearly the entire way through the film. The morale of that story is you need to keep an open mind to what is out there, film or not, because who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy it.
I look forward to graduating this year and heading out east to attend film school and fine-tune my skills with a Masters degree and then take a shot at industry. Very excited to see what the future will hold.

Ariella Morik is a senior at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin studying English and Film Studies. She has served as Vice-President of Her Campus™ Lawrence for the past year and is excited to take the position of Campus Correspondent. She is an active student within her academic department and is Vice President of Programming and Social Events of the Alpha Zeta chapter of Delta Gamma. After graduation, she plans to pursue a law degree or a masters in creative writing. When she's not busy with her academic and co-curricular engagements, she finds time to run outdoors and spend time with her friends.