The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Campus Moviefest, encouraging students to document the world around them

Campus Moviefest, or CMF, is a yearly student film festival that visits campuses across the globe for one week searching for the best of the best in student films. This year, CMF is scheduled to return to CSUN September 22.

Dubbed the “world’s largest student film festival” according to their Web site, CMF tours campuses giving students a chance to create a five minute film in one week. CMF provides an Apple laptop, a digital camcorder and the latest AT&T phone to aid students in producing their films. All students need to do to participate is to form a group and register online.

Not only does CMF provide the equipment, but they also provide the training courtesy of Campus Moviefest Central. Once the films are completed, a panel of students and staff judge the submissions during a red carpet event on campus.

Co-founder Dan Costa said the films are evaluated based on three core elements: content, overall quality and emotional impact, and technical abilities. However, Costa said that the technical aspect is not weighed as heavily as the other two elements.

The films are judged based on categories such as best drama, best comedy and best picture, and the newly added social justice category, which addresses issues of domestic poverty.

The social justice category was added to CMF to encourage “students to make movies that take a look at solutions to domestic poverty and social justice issues,” said Costa. This category has extended the deadline to the entire school year to produce a five-minute film.

The rules are simple and few; students must form groups that consist of other fellow students, faculty, or staff. “The only people who can film, edit, and direct are your teammates,” according to the CMF Web site.

Winners will move on to regional and international finales to compete for the top prize – the Golden Tripod Award. The Golden Tripod Award is given to best performance, best editing, best soundtrack, best special effects, best costume/makeup, most awkward moment, and funniest moment, said Costa. In addition to exposure, $10,000 in grant money, iPods, Apple laptops, AT&T phones and a trip to Cannes are awarded to participants.

This past June, two groups from CSUN were invited to Paramount Studios for the Grand Finale. Daniel Lee, a CTVA major who produced “Retro Boy” and Ross Sauriol, a CTVA major who helped produce “Make Like a Tree” were among some of the finalists that had the opportunity to meet with industry professionals.

CMF started as a project eight years ago developed by four students at Emory University. Co-founder David Roemer said “we gathered up Apple laptops and cameras, didn’t sleep for a year, and fortunately had a few administrators who trusted us. We were blown away when 1,500 students walked down the red carpet to see their short stories on the big screen.”

Once Roemer and the other three students saw how receptive the colleges were to the festival they knew that it was a project that had to be launched worldwide. “We were convinced to drop our other plans and start to passionately share Campus MovieFest around the globe. Ever since, we still haven’t slept, but are loving this incredible opportunity to see such exhilarating creativity, talent, and spirit around the world,” said Roemer.

In addition to CMF, a new project that incorporates music is gaining recognition. “Our team decided to do the same for music that we’ve been doing for movies during Campus MovieFest,” said Roemer. Roemer said that CampusMusic Fest will “showcase the top student bands around the country, inviting them to submit tracks online, compete in local battles of the bands, and have a chance to move on to CMF regional and international grand finales.”

For more information about Campus Moviefest visit

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