Campus MovieFest Fills Vaughn Courtyard

University of Tampa students and faculty crowded the Vaughn Center Courtyard Wednesday night for the 2009 Campus MovieFest Finale. The Finale, organized by Student Productions, Student Government and the CMF Committee, screened a lineup of the top 16 student-produced films out of the 70 films that were submitted.

‘Special Delivery’ directed by Shannon Grippando and Elliot Large won best picture. The best comedy was ‘Clock Out.’ The best drama was ‘813a,’ starring Rick Jermain who won best actor. The best actress was Victoria Loyde for her role in ‘Bowling for Smellville.’ The wild card winner was, ‘Best Movie Ever’ directed by Alex Solomita.

The three winners of the Best Picture awards as well as the Wild Card winner go on to compete in the Southern Regional Grand Finale in Atlanta. The winners from there will go the CMF International Grand Finale at the Paramount studio in Hollywood, Ca.

The Best Picture winner, ‘Special Delivery, ‘ depicted Michael Franz as a hapless student who receives a letter with the name Renee Zelweiger or Zel-why-gerr as he pronounces it.

When upon opening the letter, a powdery substance spews into his face, Michael becomes convinced that he was mailed anthrax and spends the rest of the film desperately searching for a doctor. Luckily it turns out that Michael does not have anthrax, although he does have herpes given to him by his ex-girlfriend.

Grippando said that the idea started off as a collection of jokes and evolved from there.

The film ‘813a,’ a student slasher film directed by Dennis Hooten, proved to be wildly popular with the audience who apparently were channeling their inner critics as the film went on to win Best Actor for Rick Jermain and Best Drama Movie.

This however was not the first film that Hooten had a part in as he also acted in the winner for Best Comedy, ‘Clock Out,’ which depicted the pulling of an elaborate and over the top prank.

Victoria Blyde won the Best Actress Award for her performance in ‘Bowling for Snellville,’ which was reminiscent of ‘The Office’ style mockumentary.

The action thriller ‘failSafe’ was the movie most downloaded onto mobile phones, an honor it shared with wild card winner, ‘The Best Movie Ever.’

Despite the chilly weather, droves of students turned up to the festival which was hosted by CMF Committee Co-President Austin Daniels and Entertainment Chair Katie Dutka who charmed audience members throughout the night with on-stage humor and prizes.

‘From beginning to end I loved every moment. I met a lot of amazing people and want to thank everyone for their support. Tonight turned out better than I could ever expect,’ Daniels said.

The students also enjoyed the movies and the experience they had with this year’s Campus MovieFest.

‘Overall it [CMF] was good, it was great,’ reflected Barry Rosenblum, one of the over 600 students to participate in the creation of a CMF movie.

‘Tonight was especially great, I really enjoyed how fancy and classy everything turned out.’

Looking toward the future, Daniels hopes that CMF 2010 will draw even larger crowds. ‘The key is to participate. You never know who is going to win, it’s always a surprise. I cannot wait to bring CMF to UT next year.’

Best Picture – ‘Special Delivery’

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