Campus MovieFest, the world’s largest student film festival, made its home at the College in April 2017. CMF challenges students to write, film and edit a five minute movie in the span of just one week. Communication studies major Kevin Walsh Jr. (‘19) led two of the winning teams with the films “Just the Tip” and “Recollection.” “Just the Tip” is a comedy about pizza, while “Recollection” is a fictional thriller story about conversion therapy that tells a hypothetical scenario about two test subjects undergoing a new type of “treatment.”
“Recollection” was also nominated for four Golden Tripod Awards — CMF’s national competition. The film was one of the top five nominees for Best Picture, Best Drama, Best Production Design and Best Performance for lead actress Jackie Kuczinski (‘16). Kuczinski took home the first-ever Best Performance Award. “Recollection” is also a CMF staff pick to air on Virgin America’s in-flight entertainment system through August and September. The film is currently one of five being featured. “Arke,” created by communication studies major Gracemarie Loretta (‘17) and interactive multimedia majors Ryan Laux and Chris Lundy (‘17), won the GTA for Best SFX/VFX. The story focuses on a girl who uses advanced technology to relive memories before her brother disappears.
“While it is extremely exciting and humbling to have been nominated for awards at the national level, when I look back on the experience that’s one of the last things I think about,” Walsh said. “What comes to mind is all of the amazing people and filmmakers I had the chance to meet in Georgia, and the fact that it was filmmaking that brought all of those people together.” The day CMF begins is when life gets hectic for participants of the competition, said Law, president of the College’s Student Film Union. SFU sponsors CMF through Student Finance Board funding.
“Things go wrong and things go right,” Law said. “It’s amazing what can be made in seven days.”
A week following the collection of the films, the top 16 are screened at a red carpet event on campus. Of those 16, the top four Jury Award winners are announced and are then automatically entered into the national competition.
This year, four awards were given out at the College including Best Sound for “Luna,” which follows a girl fighting her way through would-be attackers, Best SFX/VFX for “Arke” and Best Production Design and Best Performance for “Recollection.”
“We were all winners this year,” Law said. “This was our fifth year with CMF and it was our best year with them. With over 40 submissions, we had the highest amount of submissions in our school’s history and we plan on increasing that number next year.”