Beginning today, over 100 teams – comprised of nearly 1,000 students – will head out into Davis to make their own films with only a week to finish. The movie-making rush is all part of Campus MovieFest, a college film competition that gives university students across the country an opportunity to showcase their creativity. Founded in 2001 by Emory University students, CMF returns to Davis for the second time this year.
Because AT&T and Apple Computer sponsor the festival, CMF provides students with free digital video cameras, laptops and other equipment along with technical support for the duration of the weeklong festival.
David Roemer, co-founder of CMF, said that the partnership with Apple allows all students to participate “even if they don’t have the tools or any previous filmmaking experience.“
Andrea Manners, a senior technocultural studies and film studies double major who worked on a film for the competition last year, said CMF is a great fit for Davis.
“Judging from last year’s event, students on both ends of the spectrum and everywhere in between are interested in telling their stories,” she said in an e-mail, pointing out that her group last year included students registered as exercise biology, design and engineering majors.
Students are free to make movies about anything they like, Roemer said. A panel of students and staff from UC Davis will judge the movies. The top movies will then be showcased at the CMF finale on Oct. 27 in Freeborn Hall. Awards will be given to the top films for Best Picture, Best Drama, Best Comedy and other categories.
“The UC Davis winners then move onto our regional and international Campus MovieFest showcases, competing against 50,000 students around the world, as part of what’s now the world’s largest student film festival,” Roemer said.
For the last two years, CMF and UCD Campus Unions have been working together to bring the festival to Davis, said Campus Unions program manager Lexer Chou in an e-mail.
Chou said CMF fits into Campus Unions‘ goal of bringing educational and enjoyable programs to Davis.
“CMF allows students to work together, be creative and have fun with a project that is outside of their academic workload,” she said. “Students want to participate in something that they can take ownership of, and it was shown through the quality of work that was submitted last year.“
Lexer explained that Campus Unions handles the logistics of the event: coordinating the finale in Freeborn, housing the CMF staff for their 10-day stay in Davis, finding judges and advertising the festival on campus. CMF, on the other hand, provides the equipment, technical support and most of the prizes.
“As a result of Campus MovieFest, student participants have changed their majors and their lives, sparked national debates and appeared on all the major news networks, focused on powerful social justice issues, won hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes and truly proven that everyone has a story to tell,” Roemer said.
Today is the last day to sign up. Interested students should stop by Griffin Lounge between noon and 5 p.m. to register their teams.
Zack Frederick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.