World’s largest student film festival hits ASU

Published On:
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
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About 250 students are signed up to start filming movies today with Campus MovieFest, the world’s largest student film festival and a national program that gives students the opportunity to make and edit their own short film.

During its first stop at ASU, the program will provide participants with an Apple laptop and a Panasonic HD video camera to allow teams of students, faculty and staff to make five-minute movies in one week.

Dan Costa, president of the program, said the organization started about eight years ago at Emory University in Georgia.

“We were just a group of friends wanting to do something,” he said. “We let teams make movies and we weren’t sure who was going to do it or anything, but we had about 1,600 people show up to our red-carpet finale and we haven’t turned back since.”

Campus MovieFest travels to more than 70 campuses nationwide, where students are provided with supplies and technological support to make a movie about anything they want.

“You would think that once you’ve watched one, you’ve watched them all, but then you watch another student movie, and it’s totally different,” Costa said.

After turning in their movies at the end of the week, students can attend a red-carpet finale to view the films.

There will be a highlight reel of all the films, and the best 16 movies will be shown. Prizes will be awarded for the best comedy, best drama, a special category for capturing a notable event on a cell phone and best picture.

Winners are chosen by a group of judges, which will include faculty, staff and students from ASU.

The judges won’t be announced until the night of the finale, but Costa said people will be chosen from ASU’s different campuses and departments.

The winners of those categories will move on to a regional competition and then a national competition hosted by Campus MovieFest. Prizes for filmmakers include iPods, gift cards, computers, trips to film festivals and cash grants, Costa said.

Students, faculty and staff can continue to enroll in the program after Campus MovieFest arrives on campus, online or in person.

Participation is free, but each team must have at least three people, though there is no maximum size limit, Costa said.

Jane Hershman, ASU’s tour manager from Campus MovieFest, said she thinks the program is a great opportunity for students.

“This isn’t about just making a movie and having fun,” Hershman said.

“It should be about that, but this is also something people can do that they wouldn’t have the chance to do. We’re providing all the equipment and help, so why not [participate?]”

Marketing senior Carrie Van Nest is a campus ambassador for the program and works as an Apple representative.

“I know my friends and I always say ‘Let’s do something cool. Let’s make a cool movie,’ but we don’t have the equipment to do that,” she said.

“And the great part is, there is no experience necessary. We’ll even
teach you.”

Reach the reporter at sheydt@asu.edu.