A young painter caught in the vicious cycle of creativity must overcome her innermost turmoil. “The Snake That Ate Itself” is an avant-garde student short directed by Kevin Carpio notable for its striking images, stream-of-consciousness form, and captivating lead performance by Ashley Briglia. We don’t feature many student films here, but this one won us over with its raw creativity and exploration of the unknown. The loose plot involves a young painter named Audrey struggling to create. When she paints, her canvas bleeds. Finding herself on some sort of talk show of the mind, she’s forced to reckon with her fears. “There’s a darkness that lies within you,” inserts the host. “I don’t understand,” she replies. And that’s a good starting point to view the film, an exploration of the subconscious that’s not necessarily meant to add up. While it threatens to go overboard with its flair for the melodramatic, it’s held together with a strong visual sense — wonderful compositions and vivid colors — and underscored with pinches of self-aware humor. -KA. Created by students in the Sacramento State Film and Theatre programs. Starring Ashley Briglia. Written & Directed by Kevin Carpio. Produced by Tyler Cunningham. Director of Photography: Kalie Navarro-Diaz. Production Design by Maya Arthur. Editing & Sound by Patrick McGill.