Students find reel success at MovieFest
Published: Friday, February 13, 2009
Updated: Friday, February 13, 2009 15:02
Hundreds of UCF students broke a record at this year's Campus MovieFest finale at The Venue Tuesday night.
Two hundred and fifty-six teams participated, the most teams registered at any given school in CMF history, said CMF cofounders Vijay Makar and David Roemer.
More than 1,000 people gathered to watch the top 16 short films from this year's competition, which heralds itself as the world's largest student film festival.
"It's hard to deny that the students love it," Makar said.
In its third year coming to UCF, CMF gave out awards for best picture, best drama and best comedy.
The best picture award went to UCF junior film major Rosaline Cabrera's The Golden Armadillo. Inspired by roadkill, the short was about a not-so-heroic warrior's search for a legendary golden armadillo in a forest.
"To be called the best picture, I think that's phenomenal, considering I only had two days to work on this because of my busy school schedule and my work schedule," Cabrera said.
The award for best drama went to The Love Story of Peter Fracken, even though the film was categorized as a comedy. Whenever the clumsy character Peter Fracken sees a girl he wants to talk to, he chokes on his food, falls, trips, stabs himself in the eye with his fork or experiences some other unfortunate incident.
The award for best comedy went to Hit Me, a film about a two hit men, one who is not completely accurate and one who is not very discreet. The end has a surprising twist when both men find out they are after the same target.
Sophomore Madeline Verba said participating in CMF helped solidify her career goals. After filming the short Not So Sweet, Verba said she definitely wants to continue in her radio-television major.
"I just wanted to make sure that it's what I wanted to do for the rest of my life," Verba said.
Sponsored by the Campus Activities Board and CMF corporate sponsors, the event was free for all students who participated.
Each team was given a video camera, a laptop with editing software and one week to make a five-minute short. CMF also provided technical support and equipment training for the students.
Of the 111 films submitted, CMF narrowed down the top 30 to 40 films, CAB Cinema Director Tiffany Patterson said. Those were judged by a panel of UCF students and faculty and CMF representatives, who then picked the top 16 films.
"It's amazing to see what people can come up with," Patterson said. "I really hope people had an outlet for their creativity."
CAB also gave out raffle prizes for the audience and awards for the best actress and actor.
Alex Nelson won the award for best actor in Stand-Up of the Vampire. Nelson played a vampire who wanted to be a stand-up comedian.
"My short — it was like a vacuum that sucked the air out of the room," said Nelson, a junior majoring in cinema studies.
The winners of the best picture, drama and comedy won prizes such as iPod Shuffles and Final Cut Studio 2 editing software and will move on to the Southern Regional Grand Finale in Atlanta on March 29.
An International Grand Finale will take place at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, Calif. in June for the winners from each region.