Written By: Mary Hennen
Hollywood was in the air, as the cameras whirred and the smell of popcorn filled the Robinson Theatre. The show was about to begin. Campus Movie Fest attracted a myriad of students to participate in this red-carpet affair. Students were beautifully dressed as they approached the red carpet to take pictures and stand in line for refreshments including popcorn and Jimmy John’s subs. The sandwiches displayed their UNF pride as they were all lined up to spell out the letters U-N-F! Entering the theatre your eyes gazed from the ominous-electronics tables, to the bright lights dancing around the stage, and to the slide show that displayed scenes from the evening’s show. After all this razzle-dazzle you may be asking just what Campus Movie Fest is all about.
Campus Movie Fest, an 11-year-old event that was started by a group of Emory students looking to be aspiring film makers. 50 campuses worldwide have participated in this event, and it is recognized as the world’s largest student film fest. University of North Florida participated for the first time in this internationally-renowned event. Our school produced an astonishing 80 teams, with involvement from 1000 students. Participants were given a Mac book Pro, I-pad, a Panasonic camera and one week to complete the task of creating an astonishing five-minute short film on the topic of their choice. The pressure was on because the winners of the evening were granted passes to the Campus Movie Fest in Hollywood!
John Tackett, a student at UNF, participated in the event. He said, “It was my first attempt at directing, we were under some intense time constraints … Ultimately I worked with some amazing people and the entire experience of directing and producing was worth the effort. It was an eye-opening experience for me not just as a film maker but as a human being.”
Tackett’s film did not come to full fruition due to the intense time constraint the project placed on his producing team, but the films that did finish were examined and the 16 best would be shown at the Movie Fest. The showings of the 16 top films were segmented into 4 showings of 4 films, with intermittent door prize giveaways, and at the end of the show there was an awards ceremony. THe winners were chosen by an anonymous panel of judges. The films featured many different topics of interest including how Muslims aren’t portrayed, love and loss, political themes and even suicide. There were of course the oddball comedies, the intense dramas, and even an entirely animated film called “The Lonelies.”
The awards categories were the Silver Tripod under which the special effects, editing and story categories fell. This category represents UNF at the Campus Movie Fest Hollywood. Best Actor and Actress. Best Drama, which received 2 passes to the CMF Hollywood, a Sony flip cam, and joined the Distinguished Film Makers Network. Best Comedy, awarded a pair of Dr. Dre Beats headphones, joined the Distinguished Film Makers Network, and received 2 tickets to CMF Hollywood. Best Picture, won a Kindle touch 3G, a 50$ Amazon gift card, 4 CMF Hollywood passes, and best of all a chance to have their video shown at the Cannes Film Festival in France. There was even a second chance for those who didn’t win, a CMF Wildcard. The Wildcard was explained as a film that didn’t win the categories shown above, but any of these videos to get one million hits on the internet website for Campus Movie Fest would be entered into a chance to go to Hollywood.
And the awards go to:
Best Actor: Jesse Hanson
Best Actress: Sofia Marfouz
Best Picture: The Lonelies
Best Comedy: Peter the motherless son
Best Drama: Exposure Therapy
Silver Tripod: Editing and Story: Back
Special Effects: The Lonelies
The Campus Movie Fest was a big success and the students chosen to represent UNF have an incredible opportunity to visit Hollywood and share their work. Although I personally didn’t participate in the film making process, the fact that I could be involved in an experience that is brand new to our campus is phenomenal. I hope with the support that the Campus Movie Fest received this year that it won’t be its last year at the UNF campus.