Students receive CMF awards

Students+receive+CMF+awards

Matt Leddo, Sean Dave, and Carlos Estrada pose outside of the Campus MovieFest. (Submitted by Matt Leddo)

Samuel Yang

“When we were out in Hollywood for the finale, we had a CMF employee come up to us after we won to tell us that [the University] wasn’t even supposed to have CMF this year, and that we need to come back to campus and make sure that we let everyone know that the University has to bring back the competition every year,” he said.

“Wieder ‘Zam’” marks the second year in a row that UA film students have taken home the top prize in CMF, the world’s largest international student film festival. Directed by Sean Dave and worked on by a team of UA students, the film focused on a World War II veteran whom Leddo portrayed in flashbacks.

“I think we all had high hopes for it, but I don’t think any of us knew that it would go on to win the whole competition,” Leddo said. “There were a lot of great films that were accepted into the finale, and it feels awesome to be recognized as the best film since we worked so hard on it.”

Leddo said the workshops he attended opened his eyes to how hard breaking into the film industry can be, but he said he hopes the recent wins will open the University’s eyes to the quality of work its students are submitting – and lead to the return of CMF.

“I hope that students will be encouraged to continue making great films at Alabama,” he said.

Other UA films also took home prizes at CMF, including “Homeless Bones,” directed by William Mason, which won Best Comedy, and “Glimpse,” directed by Alex Beatty, which won Best Drama.

Angie Bartelt, a senior majoring in TCF and political science, worked sound for “Glimpse” and “Blank Slate,” directed by Holly Jackson. She also starred in “Hold Us Dear,” directed by Lauren Musgrove. Both “Blank State” and ?“Hold Us Dear” were campus finalists.

“You have five days to shoot, edit and prepare this project that, to a lot of us, is what we want to do,” she said. “It’s sort of a little bit of a taste of that time crunch.”

Bartelt’s taste of screen-acting also led her to pursue acting gigs. She is signed to an agency and worked this summer on Nicholas Sparks’ new film, “The Longest Ride,” FOX’s “Sleepy Hollow” and CBS’ “Under the Dome.”

“I’ve had those three opportunities here in Wilmington and hopefully more to come,” she said. “[Acting in CMF] has set me up so much for the successes I’ve had this summer.”

She said CMF, which was her first acting role, helped grow her confidence and experience.

“There’s no judgment,” she said.“Anyone can play any role they want to. I had the opportunity to put myself out there on camera and kind of give it my all and test the waters of screen acting.”

She called her experience, which included calling professors to let them know she would be missing class because she had to spend 14 to 16 hours on the various projects she was involved in, amazing from the get-go.

“It’s only led to better things,” ?she said.