Campus MovieFest coming to UA

Campus MovieFest coming to UA

Deanne Winslett

Campus MovieFest, the global film program, is once again bringing their film contest to the Alabama campus. CMF saw success last year, with 75 teams participating. This year, CMF hopes to increase that number.

The competition’s goal is to further student interest and knowledge of filmmaking. It started at Emory College 10 years ago, and since then has expanded throughout 60 campuses across the world, in places such as Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom.

“What Campus MovieFest is all about is an educational opportunity for students to discover themselves, as well as advance their filmmaking techniques,” said Nishant Gonga, media relations representative for CMF.

The contest requires students to make a five-minute movie and provides them with all of the equipment and technical support they need to do so. It is free and open to anyone interested, regardless of film experience.

“We have had a lot of students, I’d say even almost half, who have never had any film experience before coming into this contest and learning about film,” Gonga said. “As long as they have a story to tell, we can help them do that.”

CMF lasts for one week, launching Tuesday from noon to 5 p.m. in the Ferguson Center second floor television lounge. Each team will receive equipment, including an Apple laptop, Panasonic HD camcorder, software and a microphone when they sign up.

CMF will provide each team with 24-hour technical support throughout the week, and will be in the Ferguson Center every day from noon to 4 p.m. For additional support, students can refer to the various film seminars CMF provides on their website, campusmoviefest.com.

Besides learning a new skill, students in the contest also have the opportunity to network with established members of the film industry.

“I networked quite a bit during the week in Hollywood,” said Daniel Barnes, a sophomore majoring in telecommunications and film and a CMF participant. “I was able to meet people and industry professionals that I never thought I’d be able to meet. From screenwriters to producers, they talked to us and gave us great advice.”

Barnes won Best Comedy last year for his movie “Mind Games” and advanced to the international finale. Barnes intends to continue to compete in CMF until he graduates.

“CMF has fired me up to pursue my dreams with more passion than I did before,” Barnes said.

Film submissions can be no longer than five minutes, although they may be shorter. Students may produce films with a range of genres, from dramas to horrors or even music videos.

CMF will collect the completed films on Jan. 30 from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Ferguson Center Heritage Room. UA students, faculty and select staff will then judge collected films.

The top 16 films will be presented at the red carpet finale, which will take place in the Ferguson Center Theater on Feb. 2. Doors for the finale will open at 7 p.m., and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Winners will be chosen at the finale for Best Picture, Best Comedy and Best Drama. The audience will also be able to select an audience choice winner by texting in at the finale. The three top winners as well as the audience choice winner will then move on to CMF Hollywood to compete against other campus winners across the country.

“It’s an incredible opportunity not only to show off your work, but look at what your peers are doing and how they are doing it,” Barnes said. “I’m extremely looking forward to it because I’m stepping out of my comfort zone in terms of filming and writing and I’m anxious to see how people receive it. This year I think will be a blast just like last year.”

For more information about CMF, visit campusmoviefest.com.