Thespian loves and cinema fanatics alike have been spending hours in front of their televisions lately, as award show season is in full swing. No one can escape the hype, Keene State College students included. From the great blockbusters of 2015 to the nomination controversy surrounding the Oscars this year, KSC students spoke out on the subject.

According to Kevin Aruilio, a KSC sophomore majoring in film production, award show season is a great way to cap off a year of movies.

Aruilio said, “I love that you get to see Hollywood put on a big show and celebrate.”

KSC junior James Calnan said that his favorite part of award show season is when the nominations are announced.

As a film production and critical studies major, Calnan said, “Though this has been a big controversy, I love when the nominations come out because my friends and I debate and argue whom we think will win.”

Of award show season, Calnan said, “Movies give me a true sense of enjoyment and satisfaction.”

Calnan said his passion for movies has inspired him to pursue a career in film.

KSC sophomore and film major Chris Oblon said he looks forward to the discussion surrounding award show season more than anything else.

Oblon said, “From the movies themselves to people’s predictions as to what will win, I love talking about the films.”

Like Calnan, Oblon said his love for movies is the reason he is majoring in film.

“The reason I love film so much is because it is every great art form rolled into one, and no matter who you are you can find at least one aspect of film interesting,” Oblon said, “I would say me studying this as my major has really helped my love for film grow over the years.”

Aruilio ​said that he can’t quite put his finger on why he loves movies so much.

“I think my major has a lot to do with it. Nothing can compare to the sheer joy you get from somebody liking your project,” Aruilio said, “I love movies and I love making movies, and I hope I get to do it for as long as I live.”

KSC senior and video production major Daniel McAuliffe said that he tries to watch all, if not most, of the movies that get nominated for award shows every year.

McAuliffe said, “I love when [the Oscars] show highlight reels of different movies. That gets me really hyped.”

As for movies that came out in 2015, Calnan was most excited for Creed, the Revenant and Star Wars VII.

According to the self-proclaimed film enthusiast, “Creed was not only one of the best films of 2015 but one of the only movies that made me ever cheer and cry. The Revenant is on an exclusive list of films that can call itself a masterpiece. Star Wars VII in every sense of the word is a great film: fun, witty, hilarious, and best of all what a Star Wars is supposed to be.”

Oblon, whose friends are all studying film as well, said, “We all get equally excited about the award show season. “

Oblon continued, “I have been watching [the Oscars] every year since I was a kid and lately my friends and I have been having Oscar parties. We get together and watch with a big group of people, mostly other film majors.”

KSC junior Alex Fleming said he doesn’t follow the awards as religiously as Calnan, Oblon, Aruilio and McAuliffe do, but said he still appreciates them.

“My favorite part of the award season is being exposed to films that may have flown under my radar,” Fleming said, “Other than that, I don’t really watch the award shows that much. I only pay attention to what or who gets nominated.”

That being said, Fleming agreed that award shows should not be determining a movie’s worth.

“If professionals or the academy praise a movie that’s all good, but art is subjective along with how it speaks to an individual. Great films do get into the shows but there are plenty of other awesome flicks that will never get in,” Fleming said.

McAuliffe said, “On the outside, award show season is about celebrating the arts, but I feel that the Oscars actually provide a very skewed and unfair landscape for these films to compete in.”

McAuliffe continued, “This is the second year in a row that an all-white cast has been nominated for the Best Actor category, and there’s been rightful outrage over it. There have been zero African American directors to win academy awards for best director, and only one female has ever won an academy award in that category. I think that’s a pretty disgusting statistic.”

Aruilio continued, “It’s unfortunate that many people aren’t often included when they absolutely should be. This year’s controversy is a perfect example. With the amount of great diverse films and superb performances from actors of color, this whole situation is very surprising and unacceptable. I can see why people are angry.

McAuliffe added, “Straight Outta Compton definitely got snubbed this year. It was contextualized by real life violence that happened in 2015. It was a very relevant film this year and I believe it only received one nomination for best soundtrack. It’s a shame.”

In spite of that, McAuliffe said that he really does enjoy the Oscars because it’s a celebration of movies.

McAuliffe said, “There’s definitely a magic to the Oscars, and there’s undoubtedly a very disgusting side to it as well. But all in all, I do enjoy watching the Oscars.”

Jill Giambruno can be contacted at jgiambruno@kscequinox.com