Last Thursday, USF hosted its first annual red carpet screening of the top 17 student films competing in a Campus Movie Fest (CMF) competition. CMF is the world’s largest student film festival, meant to provide an outlet for the next generation of aspiring filmmakers. With over 76 teams in schools globally, it gives students everything they need including MacBook Pros and Final Cut Pro software- to make a five minute movie in one week.
At USF alone, CMF received 64 student team entries and hopes to expect more next year.
“We had a lot of entries and it can only get better,” said Stacey Longwich, the Assistant Director of Student Involvement. Stacey Longwich began helping organize this event for the first time last year. “We started discussing it with last year’s Campus Activity Board and then two months ago we really started planning. We saw the success CMF had at other institutions like LMU, Berkeley, NYU, and USC and thought why not USF? We wanted to give students a chance to explore their artistic chops” said Longwich.
Despite the active student involvement, the red carpet screening only aired 17 USF student films and chose three select tri-pod award winners in three different categories to move onto Hollywood. Students competed in Best Comedy, Best Drama, and Best Picture for a chance to take their team to Hollywood for a three day CMF movie festival and the opportunity to meet industry leaders, professionals, and other CMF winners. The biggest tri-pod award went to the Best Picture category, with four all access passes and the opportunity to see their film at the Cannes Film Festival.
The award for Best Picture went to the film “Social Notworking,” a humorous film about two people meeting for the first time at a bar after talking online for several months.
“It feels awesome. I was a little stressed, but it feels awesome that we did win,” said director and editor Laura Waldron, after hearing her film had been chosen Best Picture.
“We wanted to make something funny using dialogue and character development and spent a lot of time editing and then edited again.”
“Between Laura and me we fester on each other’s creativity,” said Victoria Mortati the film’s screenplay writer “But I thought of it when I was researching internet relationships and thought about how people are phony on the internet.”
Among the three nominated in the Best Drama category, the short film “The Watchers,” directed by Daniela Ricci and Natalie Eakin won.
“We knew we wanted to make a ‘melanchomedy,’ a mix between a comedy and drama. The shots were different, we used natural lighting, and planned the shots”, said co-director Natalie Eakin. She added, “We had five days, and we used one day to shoot.”
The film, “Trust Issues” rose to the top in the Best Comedy category. Directors Eddie Harrison and Quin Heron created a piece focusing on how problems arise after two roommates move in with each other.
“We had good special effects, we made it rain inside,” said Harrison.
That night the CMF recognized only three tri-pod award winners, and aired 17 select films. They can all be viewed at: