Campus MovieFest (CMF) is the largest student film festival in the entire world that tours around over 40 universities in the United States. Through the help of various schools as well as corporate partners, CMF is able to provide free professional and high quality lighting, sound and video equipment in order for students to have exceptional resources to tell their stories. UNCG students had one week from March 13th to the 19th to create and execute a short film of any genre or subject of their choice.
The 16 best films, chosen by a jury of anonymous judges were premiered at UNCG’s Cone Auditorium on Saturday, March 23rd from 7 to 9:30pm. There were two hosts of the evening, who introduced themselves on stage as Maggie and Mariah, and started out the evening with a group selfie to capture the moment, in the spirit of film and technology. They facilitated prizes and raffles between the films throughout the evening and also engaged the audience in twitter polls.
Members of the audience won prizes varying from a $20 Amazon gift card, to a brand new flat screen TV. A special shoutout was also given by the hosts to Amanda Rae Coslow, the Program Coordinator for UNCG’s Campus Activities and Programs Office (CAP). Koslow stated, “the top film of the awards night goes on to compete at a larger festival among all of the other nation schools.”
UNCG has been working with CMF since 2010 and the process includes the information session, launch (which is where the students get the equipment) we have collection which is when the students return the equipment and then the judging process made by a secret panel of judges. Its a chance for any UNCG students to get involved, whether they are a film major or if they just want to record a fun movie from on iphone and submit it to win prizes.”
UNCG had 22 student teams who created films for this festival. Although only the chosen top 16 were shown that evening, all of the movie submissions can be found on the Campus MovieFest website.
Before showing the movies, student ambassadors for Amazon Prime provided some information about Amazon Student membership and how to get signed up. Gabriela Amaro and Mohammed Hossain engaged in training in Boston before starting their ambassadorship for Prime student for UNCG.
Both Amaro and Hossain are students of the Bryan School of Business studying business administration and marketing respectively. Hosain mentioned “Amazon Prime Video and CMF partnered up and so we got invited to give a speech and have an information table for this event. We have learned on hand experience with marketing as well as how to create social media, ads and promotions.”
The genres and subjects ranged from dramas about infidelity to mockumentary-style films about aliens around UNCG. One great aspect of this event was seeing the diversity of skills and creativity of UNCG students spanning many majors and backgrounds.
One recurring theme of the films created was self help and defeating depression. These were moving and touching stories that provided an artistic take on a common but hushed mental health issues. Atigre Farmer, a UNCG junior majoring in Spanish was one of the filmmakers who won a Jury award for her film titled, “The Rose I Feed”.
In speaking about her process, Farmer states, “It was really stressful because I’m busy during the week, so I set aside one Saturday to film with my friend and edit it all that night.” She stated that the main message behind her film was, “social justice and mental health. A lot of us deal with anxiety and depression and it’s really relatable. It’s really a daily struggle to go through that, so I wanted to relate and connect with people through this issue.”
Farmer’s last message to her audience went as followed: “I want people to know that if they have doubts in their mind about something, just put yourself through the challenge and once you get through it, at least you know the process.”
The success of this event would not have been possible without all the collaboration and contributions of artists, technicians, CMF staff, UNCG Campus Activities and Programs, Amazon Partners and audience who supported this event.
This event held great importance in supporting students and artists through an alliance of various members of the UNCG and related communities. If you’re interested in the MovieFest be sure to check out the next one!