Campus MovieFest to screen Tulane students’ short films

Campus MovieFest, the world’s largest student film festival, is coming to Tulane for the first time. CMF challenges students to create short films of any genre in one week.

Participation and equipment come at no cost, making CMF an exciting and accessible opportunity for students. No matter their background in filmmaking, students can explore their creativity, showcase their work and compete for awards and prizes.

“I would say the goal is to provide a creative outlet for both students that have a background in film but also to introduce new students … ,” CMF Promotions Manager Callan Piazza said.

Students must follow a few guidelines during the filmmaking process. Each film must be a maximum of five minutes long, be complete within the allotted timeframe and adhere to certain copyright rules. Beyond that, participants are encouraged to use the most of their artistic freedoms.

CMF began in 2001 as iMovieFest when four students at Emory University provided their peers with camcorders and Apple laptops to create short films in one week. Over the years, CMF has remained an avenue of creativity for the next generation of filmmakers, while also growing in terms of equipment quality and participation.

Brought to campus by Tulane’s CareerWave, the program officially launches on April 19, when participants will be given equipment including tripods, Panasonic cameras, Sennheiser microphones and laptops with Adobe Creative Cloud, as well as paperwork and information for the rest of the week. Staff and interns will be available to address participants’ concerns about the process, equipment and rules.

“I always will encourage students to participate if they’re even a little bit interested because that kind of resource isn’t going to be available when they graduate from college,” Piazza said.

Participants will not only become quickly familiar with screenwriting, filming and editing, but will be given opportunities to network with other creators.

A red-carpet finale will be held on April 27 at McAlister Auditorium, where the public will be able to view Tulane’s top 16 short films. Four films will be given Jury Awards and year-long subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud, while others will be chosen for Silver Tripod Awards for their editing and production ability.

The four Jury Award-winning films will be screened at the final stop on CMF’s tour: TERMINUS Conference + Festival. At TERMINUS, a film and gaming festival that will take place from June 22-25 in Atlanta, campus winners from across the country will compete for $10,000.

“We have all of our partners coming in from Adobe and Google, so it’s a cool networking activity just at TERMINUS itself,” Piazza said.

Certain film categories offer additional prizes. The Elfenworks Foundation will present the CMF Social Justice Category, offering a different $10,000 prize. Seeker, an affiliate of the Discovery Channel, will present the CMF Seeker Stories Documentary Category, which allows filmmakers the chance to win an additional $10,000 and a trip to the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

With CMF’s monetary and experiential benefits, Piazza’s words ring true for its participants. CMF is a remarkable opportunity for filmmakers and creative thinkers alike, one to be seized by Tulane’s many artists.

“We go to so many different campuses across the country, and, when students come out of it, they’re like, ‘That was exhausting, but I’m gonna do it again next year,'” Piazza said.

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