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UCF actively involved in ‘Love Your Shorts’ event

Senior Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 17:02

Love Your Shorts

Amy Simpson/Central Florida Future

Senior film major Eric Coppa-Cross edits film clips for his film featured in the Love Your Shorts Film Festival. Two UCF filmmakers were featured in the festival.

UCF and a local film festival came together recently to make some movie magic.

On Feb. 10-12, UCF looked to build a relationship with one of Central Florida's biggest up-and-coming film festivals, the Love Your Shorts Film Festival, which took place at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in Sanford.

With two featured filmmakers, a judge, the media director and the president of the festival all associated with UCF, the event certainly got its UCF fix this year.

Christina Grace, the media director for the festival and a UCF alumna, felt that UCF's strong presence was beneficial for the festival as well as the university.

"It's great. We love any time when we can involve the community, especially a local university," Grace said. "I think that's awesome because you want to showcase the local talent and get the involvement and support from the university and its community."

The second installment of the festival featured 70 short films, which were chosen from 220 submissions. With films being featured from 13 different countries, including Spain, Australia, Brazil and Germany, the event screened films that had a diverse range of influences and backgrounds.

The festival also included several categories, or "blocks," of short films, including "Animation," "Comedy," "Documentary" and "E for Everyone."

With each film placed in a certain block, audience members voted for their favorite film after each screening. The films that won each block then went to the final screening on Sunday night, where judges picked one film for the Best of Fest award.

Lindsay Garvin, a UCF senior film major, was one of two UCF filmmakers featured along with fellow senior film major Eric Coppa-Cross. Garvin's film, Bubblegum Smackers, is a detective film shot in the style of film noir starring only children and follows private investigators Walter Wilder and Sam Hart as they look to solve a case of a missing best friend. After being put to an audience vote, Bubblegum Smackers won the E for Everyone block on Saturday afternoon.

"I think it's great. As I filmed with all of the kids, we had so much fun making it," Garvin said. "I had a kid one day when we were filming, he was so angry because I told him he was wrapped that he cried because he wanted to stay on set. I think that goes to show that this film is for everybody. The kids loved it and our crew had fun, so it's really great to have the idea that they were acknowledged for how much fun we had and how much work we put in."

Lisa Mills, a film professor at UCF and one of the five judges in the festival, felt that the growing partnership between UCF and the Love Your Shorts Film Festival is nothing but positive.

"I think it's important for UCF to always maintain important partnerships with the community, because that's one of the missions of a metropolitan university like UCF. We have so many partnerships going on in the community, and the ones that excite me the most are the ones that involve the arts, of course," Mills said. "We're thrilled to be a part of the Love Your Shorts Film Festival, we're happy to have our students represented here with their work and I'm more than happy to come out another year to try to help."

Mills went on to express how she felt about the festival itself.

"It's fast becoming my favorite film festival in Central Florida, because it's so intimate and homey and friendly. There are huge crowds, and everyone is enthusiastic about film," Mills said. "The friendliness is nice to see instead of any kind of snobbishness. Everyone is enthusiastic about the art itself. … They're not here to see something that necessarily screened at Sundance, they're here to support local filmmakers and everybody who submitted."

David Holechek, a filmmaker from Los Angeles who won the Best of Fest award with his film, A Finger, Two Dots Then Me, also felt that the festival was special.

"I was actually pretty shocked that they picked our film, the judges did. It was pretty thrilling," Holechek said. "I came out from California because the festival looked really cool and Sanford looked like a really nice town and had a lot of community support behind the festival, so winning the award for Best of Fest was kinda icing on the cake."

Holechek was also impressed with Garvin's submission in particular.

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