Campus MovieFest Comes to USF

Expect to see USF students and faculty filming five-minute films around campus and Tampa Bay for the world’s largest student film festival.



By Daylina Miller News


TAMPA, Fla. (Feb 10, 2011) – For the fourth consecutive year, the University of South Florida will be participating in Campus MovieFest (CMF), the world’s largest student film festival and outlet for the next generation of filmmakers.


The launch starts today for USF students and faculty members to pick up all the equipment they need for free – a Panasonic HD camera, Mac Laptop, microphone, and tripod - to make a five-minute movie in just a week. The top 16 films, chosen by a panel of judges assembled from USF students, faculty and staff, will premiere at the school finale Feb 24.


Of those 16, three will be chosen in the categories of “Best Comedy,” “Best Picture” and “Best Drama” to move on to the international finale in Hollywood this summer. Winners will also receive an iPod and copies of Final Cut Studio.


Of the few hundred students and faculty who will be acting in, directing, shooting and editing films, one of them is the younger sister of Sarah Wilson, a USF graduate whose short film “Rhapsody” won the CMF International Grand Finale at Paramount Studios in 2009.


Some would say Emily Wilson has big shoes to fill but she doesn’t look at it that way.


“Actually, I just have a different set of shoes to fill,” said Wilson, a mass communications production major. “I’m not letting myself feel pressure because it’s such a different situation. This is not what I do. This is her thing, what’s she’s doing with her life. For me, it’s more just about having fun.”


Wilson will be directing her own short film, a comedy involving zombies in a “videogame aspect,” she said. This is the first year she is creating her own film for CMF but for the past three years, she has acted and helped with production. Ultimately, she wants to be an actress and believes her major in production and minor in theater will make her more versatile and appreciative of all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making movies.


 “CMF has been the highlight of my college experience,” Wilson said. “Participating in it for the past four years, I’ve met so many people and learned so much about film making. We don’t have a film school so if it’s something you’ve ever been remotely interested in, this is the chance to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. It’s amazing to start with nothing and nurture an idea and see it grow into this piece of work that you can actually show other people. The more you do it, the better you’ll get at it and CMF really allows that growth to happen.”


Jenna Kelly, an advisor for the Campus Activities Board (CAB) and program coordinator for the center for student involvement, said that CMF is one of her favorite USF events.


“It’s a good way to showcase all the talent here at USF in a different manner than it’s normally done,” Kelly said.”


Another mass communications major, Marcelo Marcinelae, notes some of the challenges CMF presents to students. With only a week to shoot the film, some students run out of time to painstakingly edit it and fix mistakes. Filmmaking also has to be balanced with the team’s class schedules.


“You got to spend a lot of time in post-production,” Marcinelae said. “A lot of times you run out of time for that and there are small things you don’t have time to tweak or edit. Hopefully, I can finish filming quickly so if I’m missing something, I can go and reshoot it. It’s hard because you have to work with everyone’s schedules. It’ll be an interesting experience trying to balance this with school. Filmmaking is very time-consuming so we’ll just see if we can pull it off.”


CMF will be sending promotions managers out to the schools that are participating to lead the launch and guide students through the filmmaking process. Kevin Moogan does tours in Southern California, Boston and Florida and is excited for the opportunities CMF brings students at USF.


“When I was in college, I actually participated in Campus MovieFest and it was the first movie I ever made,” Moogan said. “I won best comedy for two years. Now I work for a film company. It opened a lot of doors I would have never known about. The opportunity is to try something out you’ve never done before or never had the opportunity to do. It’s a great way for film students to build up their reel, great for networking and overall just a lot of fun.”


USF doesn’t have a film school but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in film-making talent, as Sarah Wilson proved in 2009 and numerous other students have demonstrated by making it to regional and international finales.


“Schools that have no film school are up against schools with film schools,” Wilson said. “It has helped to put USF on the map because even though we don’t have a film school, so many films have gone so far through CMF.”


Daylina Miller covers student activities and trends. She can be reached at 813-500-8754.