2/18/2023 Alicia Morrissey

‘I Have Such a Reverence for the Cinematic Experience’: Meet Simon Taylor ’23

At a young age, Franklin & Marshall College senior Simon Taylor already had a comprehensive knowledge of movies from the 1980s.

“I have memories of my dad introducing me to movies like The Last Starfighter and Enemy Mine, films he had experienced at a similar age,” said Taylor, a resident of New Holland, Pa.

This simple act of a father sharing his favorite movies with his son ignited in Taylor a passion for film and sharing it with others. It led to him pursuing a major in film and media studies at F&M, where he was awarded the Minter Family Endowed Scholarship.

“I have such a reverence for the cinematic experience and the sense of immersion it offers,” Taylor said. “I appreciate film as a medium for expression and its capacity to connect individuals. While everyone in a theater may have their own individual relationship with a film, they all share a collective experience of that film.”

Taylor said the highlight of being a film and media studies major at F&M is having classes in and attending events at the Winter Visual Arts Center. He’s particularly taken with the Colleen Ross Weis ’85 and Martin Laiks Cinema, where he’s sat time and time again to enjoy screenings of significant and influential films and visits from notable filmmakers. 

“My best experience at F&M has been getting to meet and interact with the filmmaker Su  Friedrich, who visited for an event in the Winter Visual Arts Center and sat in on our class,” Taylor said.

  • Simon Taylor ’23 in the Colleen Ross Weis ’85 and Martin Laiks Cinema in F&M's Winter Visual Arts Center. Simon Taylor ’23 in the Colleen Ross Weis ’85 and Martin Laiks Cinema in F&M's Winter Visual Arts Center. Image Credit: Matt Lester
  • The Susan and Benjamin Winter Visual Arts Center The Susan and Benjamin Winter Visual Arts Center Image Credit: Deb Grove

Taylor is also gaining valuable insight into career opportunities within the film industry. Working alongside Associate Professor of Film Jeremy Moss, Taylor spent his summer getting hands-on experience learning what it takes to launch a film festival. Gleaners Film Festival, a new local film festival, exhibited non-normative and marginal works. Taylor’s responsibilities included coordinating print traffic, or the transit of the films (whether they’re physical prints or digital files) to the festival.

“It’s exciting because I have an interest in film preservation, distribution, and exhibition — the process of getting film, past and present, to the people,” he said. “The Gleaners Film Festival directly relates to that.”

After graduating from F&M in May, Taylor plans to move to New York City to begin a career in film, a venture he feels prepared for thanks to his robust F&M education.

“Financial aid — and the Minter Family Endowed Scholarship — have enabled me to pursue this education at F&M,” he said. “I am deeply grateful for all of the unique opportunities donor generosity has enabled me to have.”

  • Taylor helped coordinate the inaugural Gleaners Film Festival, which was held at the Winter Visual Arts Center Sept. 22-24. The festival was co-directed and programmed by F&M Associate Professor of Film Jeremy Moss and Sonia Misra, a former F&M film professor. It featured director John Waters and “Pink Flamingos,” his 1972 “exercise in poor taste," which, at the time of its release, was initially banned in Australia and Switzerland. Taylor helped coordinate the inaugural Gleaners Film Festival, which was held at the Winter Visual Arts Center Sept. 22-24. The festival was co-directed and programmed by F&M Associate Professor of Film Jeremy Moss and Sonia Misra, a former F&M film professor. It featured director John Waters and “Pink Flamingos,” his 1972 “exercise in poor taste," which, at the time of its release, was initially banned in Australia and Switzerland. Image Credit: Deb Grove
  • People arrive in the Laiks Cinema for the screening of Pink Flamingos, the opening show of Gleaners Film Festival. People arrive in the Laiks Cinema for the screening of Pink Flamingos, the opening show of Gleaners Film Festival. Image Credit: Deb Grove
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