Budding filmmakers, ready to showcase their silver-screen creations, walked the red carpet into Ursa Major in the Bronco Student Center last Friday.
Giving students just a week to create an original movie, Campus Movie Fest (CMF), the largest collegiate student film festival in the U.S., returned to Cal Poly Pomona for the ninth year.
CMF hosts fests at colleges all over the country and provides students with equipment such as Macbook Airs with editing software, Panasonic HD cameras, Sennheiser microphones and any needed training or support to create a 5-minute movie in a week.
At CPP, 37 student movies were made, but only the top 16 were shown.
Heidi Garcia, a third-year graphic design student at Mt. San Antonio College, came to support her CPP friends but was impressed by all the creativity behind the student movies.
“I feel like a lot of people went out of their way to really kind of describe their creativity,” Garcia said.
An anonymous panel of judges awarded the three awards.
The Audience Award, given to the movie that brought the biggest audience, went to the cast and crew of “Again.”
Jason Cox, the actor in “A Day in the Life,” won the Silver Tripod Award for his comedic performance as a comic book worker dealing with quirky customers.
The biggest award, the Jury Awards, were given to the four best movies of the night. These movies will be screened next year at the TERMINUS Conference + Festival in Atlanta and have the opportunity to be considered for national award nominations and possibly be screened at the Cannes International Film Festival.
“I [especially] enjoyed ‘Intrusive Thoughts.’ I felt like it’s so relatable to many cases where I’ve had those thoughts, so I definitely think they picked at that really well,” Garcia said.
The cast and crew of “Intrusive Thoughts” showed the negative thoughts that can occur in one’s mind throughout the day. It was one of the four movies awarded the Jury Award.
Thriller movie “Dinner Party” was also awarded one out of the four Jury Awards.
Writer Alex Kimble, a third-year mechanical engineering student; actor Alex Hansen, a sixth-year mechanical engineering student; and special effects producer Nathan Watje, a third-year aerospace engineering student, explained how their collaborative movie was done without a main director.
“We didn’t really have a director which was kind of weird,” Hansen started. “We all kind of had little parts and little ideas as we went,” Kimble said.
The movie showed the perspectives of a psycho killer, played by third-year political science student Connor Durkin, and his meal — a person he grabbed off the street.
“Dinner Party” stood out among the top 16 as the only thriller movie. It was also Kimble’s first time writing a script.
“What inspired cannibals? We wanted a thriller, we wanted it to be something that would be disturbing but subtle, that like builds,” Kimble said.
The biggest struggle for the first-time filmmakers was obtaining their most important prop.
“We had to get a brain. That was kind of hard,” Watje said.
Confirming it was a cow brain, Hansen added, “We actually made and ate brain. Like that was a thing.”
Kimble, Hansen and Watje wanted to give special recognition to Matt Girgis, a third-year mechanical engineering student, the video editor, who was absent from the premiere.
“I wouldn’t expect anything less from Girgis. It’s a Girgis cinematography film. It’s gonna be a winner,” Hansen said.
The other two Jury Award winners include “Lucid,” directed by Nicholas Ouklore, and “Beautiful Minds,” directed by Melissa Ruiz.
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