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Campus Movie Fest returns to CSULB

Students have one week to complete a short film that could take them to a national competition in Atlanta.

Campus+Movie+Fest+is+the+world%27s+largest+student-centered+film+festival%2C+featuring+films+from+CSULB+students+as+well+as+other+colleges.+
Campus Movie Fest is the world's largest student-centered film festival, featuring films from CSULB students as well as other colleges.

Campus Movie Fest is the world's largest student-centered film festival, featuring films from CSULB students as well as other colleges.

Courtesy of CMF Twitter

Courtesy of CMF Twitter

Campus Movie Fest is the world's largest student-centered film festival, featuring films from CSULB students as well as other colleges.

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Writing a script as well as shooting, scoring and editing a film can take years for even the most skilled team of filmmakers. The Campus Movie Fest dares participants to do all of that within one week.

The festival ends a four-year hiatus to challenge Cal State Long Beach students to create a five-minute short film from Oct. 31 – Nov. 6. The top 16 films from the university will be premiered at the Beach Auditorium on Nov. 13, then the top four will go on to represent their school at the national movie fest competition next June in Atlanta.

Crew members such as the director, editor and camera operators must be currently enrolled at the university, while actors can be drawn from anywhere. The festival will be providing some materials for free, but students are allowed to use any of their own resources during production. Equipment such as high-definition cameras, tripods, royalty-free music and laptops can be accessed with a student ID and one other form of identification.

“I’m of the opinion that restrictions bring out the creativity in us,” said Joey Engelman, promotions manager of Campus Movie Fest. “So the fact that you have a week to make a five-minute video leads people to come up with some really interesting ways to tell a story.”

The story is just one of the elements that an anonymous panel of judges will use to evaluate the submissions. Directing, acting and the films’ ability to resonate with viewers will all be factored into determining which films receive awards in various categories as well as an opportunity to have their film screened at the Cannes International Film Festival in May.

Engelman stated that not only are students of all majors and experience levels welcome to join, but there are also no restrictions placed on the genre of the films.

“Most people that are participating have never touched equipment before. They’ve never made a video and that’s what we’re here for,” Engelman said. “My favorite thing to tell people is that anything you want to make, we want to see it.”

Many students learned of this event at the beginning of the week and quickly began to seek collaborators.

Junior film student Louie Mora and graduate business student Danny Zumer began to search for a team as soon as they learned about the event.

“It’s challenging for us in a good way because it allows us to really see how well we work under pressure,” Mora said.

In order to fill out their crew, the team has already communicated with clubs such as the CSULB Film Club and CSULB Blacklisters: Writing for the Screen.

“Our goal is to produce something with quality and strong emphasis on visuals,” Zumer said. “Equipment is not always the most important thing as long as you’ve got a story that is very compelling, so it doesn’t matter if you shoot with a low budget camera or a high-quality camera. It’s your vision that you have to transport.”

Though Mora and Zumer have experience with film productions, this is not the case with  all participants. In fact some aren’t filmmakers at all.

Daniel Kim and Daniel Ramos, both music composition seniors, are offering to compose scores for short films free of charge.

“We’re in it for a lot of the same reasons that the filmmakers are,” Ramos said.

Both Kim and Ramos see the event as a chance to network and develop professional relationships that can help both parties in the future.

“We understand that students don’t have a lot of funds right now, and neither do we,” Kim said.“The reason we’re doing it for free is because both parties kind of have to mutually benefit from each other. I think that ultimately by this film fest happening and people getting their movies and their music out, we’ll help all of us get to the points that we want to be in our careers.”

Engelman, who participated in the festival during his senior year as a film student at the University of Central Florida, offered some advice to anyone interested in competing.

“Keep it simple…Usually the videos that do the best have one or two characters, one or two settings and one concept done well,” Engelman said. “A short film calls for a simple idea because it’s short.”

To participate in the Campus Movie Fest, students can sign up at campusmoviefest.com/lbsu.

A correction to this article was made on Oct. 26. Students have until Nov. 6 to complete and submit their films for the Campus Movie Fest.

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