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Creativity on screen

Students show off their filmmaking skills at Campus MovieFest

Entries from Campus MovieFest were screened to the UMBC community on Saturday.

Campus MovieFest rolled out the red carpet for 16 finalists in the world’s largest student movie festival. Students only had one week to create their films, and the talent of the UMBC community was evident in the films made. The 66 participants turned in approximately 30 films. Many students worked on multiple projects, increasing the opportunity for community collaboration.

Attendees were greeted by a red carpet before the event, although the actual red carpet was stuck in New Jersey, due to transportation issues. The filmmakers didn’t seem to mind. The Hallway in the ITE building buzzed with activity and excitement.

J.R. Hardman, the senior tour manager for CMF, felt very positive about the entries.

“There was a very strong presence,” she said. “The students came in a big way with talent.”

Hardman felt that several of the films could go on to CMF’s national competition. Although she saw the films beforehand, she, and most of the CMF staff, did not know who the winners were.

A jury consisting of anonymous UMBC students and professors selected the winners. The jury was chosen by (seb) and Filmmakers Anonymous. If a film used an inside joke or reference specific to the campus, Baltimore or Maryland overall, it would have more meaning to a local jury than the CMF staff.

Nearly 100 people were in attendance to enjoy the students’ hard work. Hardman and Jake Leizear, a junior environmental science major, hosted the event. The two hosts presented prizes, special filmmaking opportunities and, of course, the actual films.

The winning prize of the night was the chance to go to the CMF film summit in Hollywood and have their movie screened at the event. They also get to compete nationally for a chance to have their film screened at the Cannes film festival.

Four films were selected, the first being “Lightyears.” This film was about a young boy who was abducted by aliens. He spent is life searching for the reason why. “Lightyears” had a large cast and crew, and an even larger audience there to support them.

“Security” and “Portal to Hell” also won the jury award. “Security” was about two security guards who were loud and obtrusive during the meeting they were supposed to be guarding, and accused the people they were guarding as criminals. It was inspired by a security guard that the writers met at an amusement park. “Portal to Hell” was about a new neighbor having dinner at the local pastor’s house. The pastor’s son invited the main character to see the portal to Hell in his room, with a twist ending.

The next film was “It Takes One,” a movie about a girl living on her own in the woods. It was created by Erin Patterson, a junior majoring in acting, and Brendon Thach, a junior majoring in graphic design. Thach and Patterson had no script, only a concept.

“I just started talking,” Patterson said, “and accidentally told the story of this is who I am. I’m very excited we won.”

Thach chimed in when Patterson mentioned their victory. He said, “I play to win.”