Tag Archives: Films

Student Film Will Appear in the Cannes Festival

10.20.11 Foghorn

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:


Valentine’s Day Makes Me Vomit: Films for the Anti Romantic


I know I’m not alone when I say that Valentine’s Day generally makes me want to puke, and it has nothing to do with the ridiculous influx in my sugar consumption. No, it’s because it is the one day that makes singles feel even more alone. Come on. We’re already alone, and if we do actually get something it’ll probably be an e-card from our mothers. So, instead of crying yourself to sleep on this horrible of horrid days, I have compiled a list of romantic movies that end in tragedy (because everyone else deserves to be alone, too)

Romeo & Juliet (circa 1996)

I am not going to explain this movie. Why? Because if you are a college student and haven’t yet read this classic love story then you are most likely a child genius, having skipped high school completely, and now work as a neurosurgeon or something. If you happen to be your run of the mill college student and have yet to read this then shame on you (or, rather, shame on your high school English teacher).

This movie, starring Leonardo diCaprio and Claire Danes, is a modern day twist on the 16th century classic. Complete with guns, gang wars and pimped-out rides, the only thing that contains true originality is the Shakespearean language that is used. The disparity between new and old makes for a truly amazing spectacle from the incredible mind of director Baz Luhrmann… and it ends in tragedy!

Moulin Rouge

Elephants and windmills and epilepsy, oh my! This film also comes from the spastic mind of Mr. Lurhmann. No good analogy exists for the truly amazing visuals this movie offers. It is a musical, but don’t go running for the hills just yet. The music is adapted from original songs by many artists you may know. Madonna, David Bowie, and Nirvana are just a handful. See, cool, huh.

The story follows a cabaret dancer, played by Nicole Kidman, and an English poet named Christian, played by Ewan McGregor. The two fall in love, though Kidman’s character, Satine, is meant to end up with a man of much higher social stature than that of the lowly writer, Christian. They must keep their love secret from the Duke who is both courting Satine, and financing her next show. There’s love, greed, Ewan McGregor singing, diamonds, feathers, and betrayal all wrapped up in one little film that will undoubtedly end in tragedy. We call this perfection.


I remember renting this movie on VHS back when I was just a wee child. I think it either came as a set of two or three tapes, due to the three-hour run time. Well, aside from being the highest grossing film of all time (ok, second highest grossing film… damn you, Avatar) this movie is one of the greatest romantic tragedies of all time.

So, we have the Titanic, the largest ship built in the early 1900’s, and we have Leonardo diCaprio playing the poor, young artist Jack Dawson. Somehow Jack finagles a ticket for Titanic’s first trans-Atlantic voyage. He meets Rose, played by Kate Winslet, an engaged, upper-class young woman who is traveling with her mother and fiancé. The two develop an attraction for one another, but must hide their love as their social class divides them. Let’s skip to the end… the boat sinks. Surprise! Rose lives, Jack dies, and her huge diamond sinks to the bottom of the ocean. Tragic.

Edward Scissorhands

Oh. The most tragic of tragic love stories. Poor Edward Scissorhands. Could you imagine functioning in the world without opposable thumbs? Yeah, well try scissor-thumbs, and scissor-forefingers, etc.

This film, directed by the dark and wacky Tim Burton, begins in a mansion on a hill (cue thunder, lightning, rain) where a crazed scientist is toiling away on his most recent invention. Here we are introduced to both Edward, played by Johnny Depp, and his scissor hands. Well, the scientist dies, tragic, and Edward is left all alone in the mansion on the hill. It isn’t until the local Avon lady from the neighboring community ventures up to the mansion hoping to make a sale. When she sees Edward and his tragic, lonely state, she decides to bring him home and introduce him to her family. He ends up falling in love with the woman’s daughter, played by a young Wynona Ryder, who seems to understand his weird ways. Eventually, Edward accidentally hurts a little boy (duh, he has scissors for hands), flees back to the mansion, (insert climax of the film here) and ends up alone once again. Tragic.

Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back

You may be confused as to why this movie has made my list. Well, apart from the fact that I’m a huge nerd and would try to make Star Wars applicable in any article I write, this movie definitely has both love and tragedy.

Let me enlighten you. Han Solo, played by the scrumptiously delicious Harrison Ford, and Princess Leia are complete polar opposites. Leia, a princess, sits as a member of the Imperial Senate, and has awesome ear buns. Han works as a smuggler, is indebted to the evil Jabba the Hutt, but does look good in a deep-v shirt. Yet, throughout the course of the film, the two start to fall in love (despite the fact that Luke Skywalker has the hots for her, too). So, let’s recap. Han and Leia, who appear to hate each other, secretly love each other, Luke also loves Leia, but she doesn’t feel the same way (plus, their brother and sister, secretly). Ok. Han ends up being captured by Jabba the Hutt, and Jabba decides to test out his new carbonite freezing capabilities on Han. Before Han is lowered into the freezing chamber, Leia professes her love to him and he replies with an “I know.” Conclusion? Han’s and Leia’s love is frozen in time via carbonite, Luke doesn’t get the girl/his sister and he finds out the most evil being in the universe is his daddy.  Tragedy? Me thinks

1st Annual USF Film Festival

1st Annual “All Thriller No Filler” University of San Francisco Student Film Festival

Not pretentious enough for the SF Film Festival? Come to the 1st Annual “All Thriller No Filler” USF Student Film Festival on Thursday, May 7th from 7-9:30pm in Xavier Chapel. The Festival will feature only the best that student filmmakers have to offer with recent film submissions ranging from comedies and horrors to soap operas and action films.

The Campus Activities Board is heating up the film scene on campus with the belief that bringing students together is best done at the movies. We invite you to watch how your neighbor sees the world for five minutes. Maybe it will scare the crap out of you or, maybe it will take you to a higher place.

As Steven Spielberg puts it,

We like to tease ourselves..(we) have a need to get close to the edge, and when filmmakers..take (us) to the edge, it feels like a dream where you’re falling, but you wake up just before you hit the ground.

Immediately following the Festival, you are invited to attend the “All Thriller No Filler” after party at the Rock-it-Room 406 Clement St. There will be drink specials all night long and guest deejays from our radio station KUSF 90.3 spinning the best of the best tunes. The party starts at 10:00 p.m. until close with no cover charge. The after party is 21+.

The Film Committee is accepting submissions for the festival until 5:00 p.m. Friday, May 1st at the drop-box in room 100 of the UC Building.

Whether you are a filmmaker, a critical mind, or a socialite, join us on May 7th at the 1st Annual “All Thriller No Filler” USF Student Film Festival. Admission is free. For more information check Facebook.com, and search “All Thriller No Filler.”

Nicholas Cruz

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