By Liliana Pina, news correspondent
Everyone has the potential to be a filmmaker, but very few actually have the equipment and opportunity to do so. Campus MovieFest (CMF), the world’s largest student movie festival, made it their main objective to bridge this gap, providing students with the tools they need to make their own video productions to encourage participation in competitions across the nation. For the 12th consecutive year, CMF has chosen Northeastern to participate in the event.
The 2016-17 CMF Tour involves more than 50 colleges nationwide. On Wednesday, CMF representatives were in the Curry Indoor Quad handing out various materials – such as microphones, laptops and video cameras – so students could begin to create their films for the competition.
“Our whole mission is to bring students’ stories to life,” said Raghav Ravichandran, the promotions manager for CMF.
CMF targets schools in specific areas and hosts school-wide video competitions, where groups of students have only one week to fully produce a five minute film. Winners from each school will move on to a national competition.
Eva Maldonado, a third-year journalism major and NUTV’s entertainment director, has participated in the competition in past years and is doing so this year as well. She believes CMF has played a large role in developing her skills as a filmmaker.
“When you have seven days to learn how to completely produce an entire movie, it just really teaches you what you can do and what you can’t do,” she said. “I would honestly say it has helped me learn and grow as a filmmaker more than any of my classes have.”
Students from all majors are encouraged to participate, and many non-media and screen studies majors have contributed in the past.
“We definitely get a variety of students participating and gaining experience in the art and because they are in different fields we are able to get different perspectives and different ways of bringing a story to life,” Ravichandran said.
If students do not need equipment but still want to participate, they can decide to do so any time before the deadline. Video submissions are due Tuesday, March 21 and will be viewed by an anonymous panel consisting of students, faculty and staff.
Films will be scored based on technical excellence, content and quality. The top 16 films will be screened at the finale on April 3 at Northeastern, where the top four films will be announced.
These winners, called Jury Award winners, will receive prizes, including a one-year membership to Adobe Creative Cloud (a $600 value) and will move on to compete nationally at the CMF Grand Finale at the TERMINUS event in Atlanta, where the national winners are announced in June. Other awards will be given out for categories such as directing, editing and acting. CMF also has many more video competition opportunities, which can be found on their website, with deadlines that extend as far as May.
Maldonado, who had little experience before her first time competing, said she enjoys the competition because it is not only an opportunity to do hands-on work, but also a way for students in the arts to gain more recognition.
“I think it’s incredibly important to do something like this,” she said. “You don’t need validation to know you’re good, but it definitely helps.”
Chelsey Meyer, a third-year English major who is an NUTV member, is competing for the first time, but believes she is going to improve her collaboratory skills throughout the process.
“I think that it’s great that the competition can foster that kind of teamwork all across the whole process,” she said. “We are holding ourselves to a higher standard of what we normally do.”
The finale is free and and will take place on Monday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Curry Ballroom.
Photo by Alex Melagrano