Cinema’s Finest: Working Toward Empowering Youth Through the Arts

Bella Biafore, Writer

From the outside, Cinema’s Finest may just seem like a group of individuals getting together to watch a movie on a Friday night. In reality, however (just like with films they watch) there is much more behind the scenes.

Senior Lucine Jarrah created the organization in October of 2015 during her freshman year at the University of Michigan-Flint. Her hopes were to form a space for members of the Flint community to come together, enjoy some company and watch a movie with light refreshments.

Now, almost four years later, Cinema’s Finest won the Outstanding Student Organization award at the Wolverine Excellence award ceremony. Dedicated to empowering youth through the arts, Cinema’s Finest is designed to highlight why the intersection between arts and educational programming is important.

“I wanted to provide the community a space for engaging in critical thought discussions, broadening their perspectives, showcasing their talents and empowering them to believe they have what it takes to produce positive change within the community,” said Jarrah.

Cinema’s Finest focuses discussions on elements of the filmmaking experience as it relates to the film being shown. Beyond that, the organization has also hosted two talent shows since 2017 to promote UM-Flint’s diversity and display the many talents of the students on campus.

“By providing students with a platform to do this, we are championing their dreams and highlighting the diversity in our communities talents,” said Jarrah. “We hope to continue to create more events like this in the future.”

While the organization has created events like movie nights on campus, Jarrah believes that collaboration with other organizations plays a huge role in its success and impact on campus.

From the Muslim Student Association to Latinos United for Advancement to Black Student Union, Cinema’s Finest has collaborated with a multitude of campus organizations in order to merge cinematography and culture.

By doing this, different political and social issues are brought to the forefront along with discussions among audience members.

“Cinema’s Finest plays a unique role in promoting valuable discourse between young people in order to demonstrate the importance of political engagement,” said Jarrah. “In other words, we are addressing a need for student advocacy and leadership by showing them why these issues are important and what their role is in this process for change.”

While Cinema’s Finest has already held their last event of the semester, their empowerment and promotion of political engagement won’t be halted. To keep up with all of this organization’s events, follow them on Instagram or check their Mgagment page.