Brandon Isaacson, the vice pres­i­dent of Northeastern’s Film Enthu­si­asts’ Club, watches as many as 400 movies per year, from sem­inal clas­sics to inde­pen­dent brain-​​busters.

In his appli­ca­tion essay for the Tel­luride Film Festival’s Stu­dent Sym­po­sium, he explored his love for The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, a dramedy star­ring Bill Murray as a quirky oceanog­ra­pher who vows revenge on the Jaguar shark that ate his friend. The film, he wrote, rep­re­sents cinema’s innate ability to quell the cineaste’s melan­cholia through his search for “beauty, cre­ativity, and self-​​identification” in the moving image.

Isaacson’s essay helped earn him one of only 25 cov­eted spots in the festival’s stu­dent sym­po­sium, which begins on Aug. 28 in Tel­luride, Colo. Over the course of the five-​​day fes­tival, he will watch at least a dozen new films; net­work with actors, film­makers, and screen­writers; and con­nect with sym­po­sium alumni, including pro­ducers and film professors.

A few of Brandon Isaacson's favorite films include Milk, The Tree of Life, and Upstream Color.

Brandon Isaacson’s favorite films include Milk, The Tree of Life, and Upstream Color.

Isaacson hopes the fes­tival will screen Blue is the Warmest Colour, a French drama that won the 2013 Cannes Film Fes­tival Palme d’Or prize for best fea­ture film. For him, a good movie com­bines the intel­lec­tual bent of lit­er­a­ture with the vis­ceral punch of music. “The moving image is fas­ci­nating because we grow up learning and ana­lyzing art through the lens of lit­er­a­ture, but film is a whole dif­ferent animal,” Isaacson explained. “Our under­standing is so basic because it’s only 115 years old.”

Watching movies, he added, sates his obses­sion with “exploring ideas and opening myself up to seeing the world from dif­ferent perspectives.”

A fifth-​​year mar­keting major, Isaacson noted that his co-​​op expe­ri­ence has sharp­ened his busi­ness per­spec­tive of the film industry. At AOL, for example, he helped develop online adver­tising cam­paigns for Coca Cola and Proctor & Gamble.

I know how to run a cam­paign,” said Isaacson, whose long-​​term pro­fes­sional goal is to become an inde­pen­dent film dis­trib­utor. “I have gained valu­able busi­ness expe­ri­ence,” he added, and “film dis­tri­b­u­tion is a business.”

When he’s not looking for the per­fect pro­fes­sional match, Isaacson can often be found watching films at Brookline’s Coolidge Corner The­atre, a cozy non­profit inde­pen­dent movie house. “When the lights go down,” he wrote in his appli­ca­tion essay, “I feel like I belong.”