The finale for Campus Movie Fest took place Friday night at the Plaza del Sol performance center at CSUN where students, film makers and faculty had the unique opportunity to be part of the world largest student film festival.
Awards were received, door prizes were given out, and movie goers had the chance to see 16 films that proved that it is possible to create a five-minute masterpiece in one week’s time. There was a vivid sense of solidarity among students, film makers and faculty in the audience Friday evening as people had the chance to see movies ranging from film noir to documentary to drama to comedy.
Kicking off the series of 16 films that evening was ‘The Big Time,’ a very entertaining film that w ould make anyone wonder how much craziness two talented friends can get into in a single weekend. The film is about two friends that make it to the top and get a crash course in celebrity lifestyles and tribulations.
Written and directed by CTVA majors Travis Marlatt and Brad Mclean, ‘The Big Time’ was a collaborative effort between the two friends, that, according to them, was meant to just be fun. Despite the fact that the dynamic duo didn’t leave that night winning best comedy, Marlett and Mclean still felt that the evening was a success and that they were happy to have their film seen on a big screen at the event.
All the films shown at the finale had a strict angle of professionalism and a determined confidence about the final products.
Films such as ‘Damsel’ and ‘Ben Five’ had a darker edge than most of the films and were compelling in their own right. With the use of intense themes, such as murder and the want to kill, these films used a very direct approach to get the attention of the audience .
Then there were films such as, ‘Beautiful’ and ‘moment’ which took a very candid approach to their respective projects by making the films about real people in real situations. The former being narrative about the stress people put on themselves in order to fit the norms of society. The latter being a story of a woman who lost her life in the recent Chatsworth Metrolink tragedy and subsequently haunts the last person that she had met before her death.
Then there were films such as ‘Idea Diarreah’ and ‘Seaching for Sammy’ that had intrinsic greatness in the way they chose to translate their vision to the big screen. The substance from these films comes not from their stories or themes, that were both very well thought out and original, but rather from the production value involved in these two films.
However, the winner of CMF Best Picture award was ‘Searching for Sammy.’ Rightly so, this was a film that deserved accolade in every sense of the word. The style and d’eacute;cor are absolutely inviting and also unexpectedly high end for only a five minute film.
As the winner of the CMF Best Picture award, writer/director Christina Morris gets to see her film advance to the regional finals taking place in San Francisco in early November later this year.
‘I’m especially happy with the fact that it turned out exactly what I envisioned, exactly what I wanted, and with the fact that everyone liked it,’ said Morris.
CMF Best drama went to the writing/directing team Michael O’Conner and Ross Sauriol for their highly thought provoking vision of a man trying to escape the digital world and get back to nature in ‘Make Like a Tree.’
At the end of the evening O’Conner expressed his gratitude for the festival and was pleased with the fact that people got a chance to see his work and have the opportunity to appreciate it.
‘Make Like a Tree’ stood out for the mere fact that it was thought proking and very insightful.
The CMF Best comedy went to the film ‘Retroboy’ a day-in-the-life story about a college student and the struggles he has to go through due to his love of fashionably antiquated pop culture.
A amusing film, ‘Retroboy’ came to CMF courtesy of Tyler Phillips, Vicente Cordero and Daniel Lee, all of which were very satisfied over the audience turnout and also with the fact that they won best comedy. ‘We ‘re thrilled’ said team member Tyler Phillips on their CMF win, ‘we were very suprised.’
Ending its first year attendance at CSUN, CMF went out in full fashion and had nothing but good things to say about the evening and the three week duration at its first stop on the Los Angeles tour schedule.
‘We surpassed our goals,’ said 24-year-old associate producer Jessica Reynoso. ‘We had 86 teams check out equitment and agree to make a movie and only a hand full couldn’t get it done on time, so we were really happy with the turnout here at CSUN.’
In the end the Dean of the Art, Media and Communication Department, Robert Bucker, was very pleased with the quality of the films and the enthusiastic nature with which this entire movie fest was carried out.
‘I really enjoyed it very much,’ said Bucker. ‘The quality of some of these films is very strong.’