Campus Movie Fest Kicks Off

By Daniel Mora, Staff Writer

What is Campus Movie Festival (CMF)? To all those who are new to campus or have been living under a rock, CMF is one of the world’s largest film festivals made up entirely of students.

“We give [the students] the resources to do it, we do it free of charge, and we pretty much say go crazy, whatever ideas you have, create it and then we give them platform to share those stories by putting them on the big screens in the finales,” Joey Engelman, the promotions manager for CMF, said.

CMF has been giving students opportunities to showcase their best five-minute film since 2000, and now it’s back for its 17th annual world tour, including 50 other campuses across the country.

This year it’s proud to announce its partnership with Seeker, an award-winning digital network from Discovery communications, that is helping CMF to continue to be the platform for students across the country to have their voices heard.

“They have a special category this year called ‘Seeker Stories’, and pretty much what they’re looking for is for students to make documentaries that are five minutes or less about pretty much anything they’re passionate about, and the national grand price is $10,000,” Engelman said.

This year’s CMF launched on April 11 and will last through April 17 here at Metro. Students will have one week to create the best five-minute film they can.

To encourage and support students, CMF will be providing training and top-of-the-line equipment, including laptops equipped with Adobe Creative Cloud, a Panasonic Lumix HD camera and top-of-the-line Sennheiser sound gear – all at no cost to students.

“The following Wednesday [after CMF starts], from noon to five in the same place, is where we have our first tech support day. That’s when our video manager will be able to sit down with everyone, as they’re having issues,” Engelman said. “After that they have the rest of the week to make their movies, and then on Monday, that’s when collection happens, and collection is from two to five in the Kron Lounge.”

More then a million students have already competed in CMF to share their stories. The school will be hosting a red-carpet event for the top filmmakers who will move on to the finale. Awards will be presented for best picture, directing, editing, acting and best sound.

“We toss all the films to an anonymous panel of judges that are curated from FDU’s faculty, students and staff and they choose the top 16, as well as top performance,” Engelman said.   

This year, CMF, along with Seeker, will be awarding students with more than $100,000 worth of cash and prizes. Students have a chance to win grants from the Elfenwork’s Social Justice category and have their films be played on Virgin America flights.

“It’s our eighth year partnering with Elfernwork and they’re super important to CMF,” Engelman said. “There’s also another special category that we have, where they’re looking for people to make movies that inspire hope and provoke change.”

On top of that, the top 4 contestants will be given one full year of an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

The grand finale will be held in Atlanta, where the Terminus winners will be announced.

Students will participate in hands-on workshops, be first to watch exclusive screenings, attend gaming expos and partake in exclusive parties.

These events are great for students to network and meet with industry leaders as well as a few celebrities.

“Honestly we get such a wide range of videos, that every school that we go to the top sixteen is different from the next,” Engelman said. “Comedy and drama are the most used genre, but every year and every school is different and that, I think, is one of the beauties of CMF.”