Two of the biggest events of the year happen in February: the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. Many people celebrate one or both awards, which do have some similarities. If they host a house party for either occasion, they decide which appetizers they are going to serve. Like bets over which of the two football teams will be crowned the NFL champions, some people make Oscar predictions.

There is some local flavour involved in this year’s list of Academy Award nods. London author Emma Donoghue is up for “Best Adapted Screenplay” for Room. A St. Thomas native and Original Kids alumna, Rachel McAdams, is nominated for “Best Supporting Actress” in her role for Spotlight.

However, there seems to be more of a student interest in the Super Bowl than the Oscars.

Most people have some sort of plan for Super Bowl weekend, whether it be going to the bar with friends or just staying at home to watch the game. That said, you don’t really hear that about the Oscars, unless you are a film enthusiast or know people who are.

There are also some people who don’t pay attention to either. Brianna Bastien, a first year Business Finance student at Fanshawe, said she’s never had an interest in either event.

Even with nods for McAdams and Donoghue, she probably won’t watch the Oscars. “I don’t exactly get cable, so I can’t watch it,” she explains.

Stacey McCarty, a General Arts and Sciences student, also doesn’t have an interest in either, “I have two kids at home, so they control everything.”

That being said, some Western students are interested in watching the Oscars. Avery Enns, a first year student in Media, Information and Technoculture (MIT) enjoys watching the event with her family.

“I like film and analyzing it, so it’s nice to see how the people interpret it.”

Shanjid Hasan, who is a Masters Physiotherapy student, also prefers watching the Oscars to the Super Bowl. He explained that he is more interested in movies than sports. However, he would watch the NFL championship match because “it’s still a fun thing to do if you have friends and they can explain it to you.”

However, Lipika Singh, a first year Business Management and Organizational Studies student, said she isn’t interested in either the Super Bowl or the Oscars.

“I just never really cared to get too invested in other people’s lives,” she explained. “For me, it’s just mostly focus on school and my friends.”

In either case, the students’ interests will reflect the events at both the college and the university, including televised events like the Super Bowl and the Oscars.

Watching on campus

There are on-campus events for Western and Fanshawe students who want to check out either the Oscars or the Super Bowl.

Kevin Masterson, the events and activities manager for the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU), said the Out Back Shack hosts a popular Super Bowl party every year, featuring giveaways and food specials. He and his family will host an event for the Oscars, and they comment on the results throughout the night.

However, the FSU doesn’t host an Oscar party because he thinks there would be a lack of support.

“I never hear students talking about it,” Masterson explained. “Whereas the Super Bowl, you get people that actually like football watch it, but mostly it’s just a worldwide event. People just show up, hang out, party and barely watch the game.”

Masterson added it wouldn’t be likely that an Oscar-nominated film would be featured for First Run Film. However, they had The Revenant as a First Run Film, since “it was the only thing new that made sense. You just go with what you think the students are going to like the best week to week and go from there.”

Although Masterson said the Oscars will be successful in terms of ratings, he felt the award show does not interest the demographic at Fanshawe, unless they study film or are interested in it.

“I just think that most of our students would much rather go see a Will Ferrell movie, than to go see the best European films of the day.”

On the other hand, Western Film, a theatre on Western University’s campus, offers a chance to see the Oscars on the big screen.

James Waite, the manager of Western Film, said they have brought the award show to a 20 foot, HD screen for the past two years. About 50 people, including students, attend the screening. He said part of the reason to show the Oscars was a change in how they present their features. “Before you couldn’t show [a film] on our screen,” he explained. “Once we switched to digital, we had the ability to do it.”

He added that since Sundays were quiet times for Western Film, the business decided that they could bring in more people by screening the Oscars over the featured film of the week. “Any movie lover is likely going to be watching the Oscars.”

As for the Super Bowl, the Wave, Western’s on-campus eatery, is running an event. Waite said Western Film ran a Super Bowl party, but there were only 10 people at the event.

“We were actually quite surprised, but we were running it dry with no alcohol,” he explained.

He said that many people told him that was the reason why because even those who were underage would attend someone’s house party instead.

“We actually haven’t decided whether or not we’re going to do it this year. We’re going to see how the ticket sales for the Wave and Spoke go. If they do really well, we’re going to open up Western film as a second venue.”

For those wanting to watch a film on the Oscar ballot for a cheaper price, they will have to wait until after the big day. Waite said Western Film will most likely show a film after it wins an Oscar because more people will know about it by then.

“A lot of really good movies have low awareness,” he explained. “There’s certain movies right now where if I tried to play them, [the distributors] wouldn’t let me because the studio is going to wait and see if it wins Oscars, and if it does, then they will probably re-release it to first run theatres and then we can play it after they are done with it.”

Where you can catch the action

Super Bowl 50 will happen on Feb. 7. The Out Back Shack will open their doors at 4 p.m. for the free event.

The Wave at Western will have an all-you-can-eat buffet during the Super Bowl for $15. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Students can see DJ Carnage perform at the Mustang Lounge after at 9:30 for $20, with a $5 discount if they buy tickets for both events.

The Academy Awards will run on Feb. 28. Western Film will be open at 6:30 p.m., to screen the Oscars right from the red carpet at 7 p.m. to the end of the night.