UT takes on Campus Movie Festival

By Jori Ayers

At the end of the production period, directors submit their films that are then judged by a panel of faculty and students. Finalist will have their films showcased at a red-carpet event on Feb. 18.

“I tried to make sure I stayed focused on those six days; to take one day at a time and execute my goal for that day,” said Luke Searles, sophomore film and media arts major. “Whether it was finishing the script, get filming done, start editing, work on the graphics, work on sound — I tried to make sure I hit those goals every day.”

CMF can be a learning experience for everyone because everyone’s outcome is different. Whether it’s to network with other filmmakers or to simply do it for fun, CMF  welcomes each and every student’s experience.

“If I could describe my CMF experience in one word, it would be exciting,” said Anu Bamidele, senior marketing major. Bamidele was a previous participant and campus finalist. “From the kick-off event to the final screening, it was a week of thrill.”

Any student, regardless of major, is eligible to submit content. CMF provides a number of basic usage training courses to students who are participating. This is a great opportunity for anyone that does not have a lot of experience with film but would like to be a part of CMF.

By attending the informational session students can learn about the equipment and are welcome to ask any specific questions that they have. Students also have the chance to meet other and past contestants who may have more experience and are willing to help someone with less experienced.

“Don’t overthink it, you’re not making the next Citizen Kane,” said George Bushwaller, a senior film major. Bushwaller had previously participated in CMF and was the recipient of the Entertainment Award. “The people you are presenting to are here to have fun, not to criticize. Plan a lot. Keep it simple. Stay practical.”

Alongside help with creating an original film, there are also prizes that students can win. The top four films will win the Jury Award, which will allow students to compete at nationals in the Grand Finale in June. Jury Award winners will also receive a one-year subscription to both Adobe Creative Cloud and Prime Student. They also have the chance to apply for the CMF at Cannes Program, which gives them the opportunity of adding their film to the Prime Video catalogue.

“To hear my name get called to see my film up on the screen in that final four was really cool,” said Searles. “I had my mom on facetime and to see her smile as I walked on stage it was really cool.”

CMF gives students the freedom to express themselves and their stories through the art of film. This isn’t just a film festival and it isn’t just about winning, but rather about giving students the opportunity to show off their skills.

“I learned art is about having something to say, and not about winning an award.” Said Bamidele. “I also learned more about myself. I think, because the best films are always personal, that whenever and artist creates something they have to process a part of themselves or their own experiences, and in turn, always learn more about themselves.”

CMF will begin on Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. in the Reeves Theater and will continue til Feb. 15. More information regarding the CMF organization can be found at http://www.campusmoviefest.com.

Jori Ayers can be contacted at jori.ayers@spartans.ut.edu

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