CMF returns to UA

CMF returns to UA

UA students line up for last year’s Campus MovieFest. Photo Courtesy of Jessi Searing

Laura Testino

Campus MovieFest returned to The University of Alabama earlier this week for the eighth year in a row. This is the festival’s fourteenth annual world tour, and it officially began for University students on Tuesday with the CMF Launch in the Ferguson Center lobby.

The launch event invited students participating in the festival to pick up equipment provided by CMF in order to produce a 5-minute short film. The equipment, including a MacBook Pro equipped with Adobe Creative Cloud, a Panasonic HD camera, a WesternDigital My Passport 500 GB hard drive, a tripod, and microphone, can be used until CMF Collection on Jan. 26, where student filmmakers will return their equipment and submit their films.

Jessi Searing, promotions manager for CMF, said students who pick up the equipment could come back for tech support days later in the week as well.

“[CMF] is an engaging program that allows [students] to learn and apply new skills and tools the students may not have obtained otherwise,” Searing said. “More importantly, it’s an opportunity for students to tell a story and have a creative outlet. CMF allows students to express themselves via film, with no cost to them whatsoever.”

Ty Pulliam, a junior majoring in English, took advantage of picking up the equipment at the launch event. This is his first time participating in CMF, he said, and he doesn’t anticipate that he will have to acquire many additional pieces of equipment on his own or from Sanford Media Center.

Pulliam previously took a television production class in high school, and he said the biggest difference and challenge has been working with actors he doesn’t see daily.

“But this [difference] also makes it fun,” he said. “It definitely makes it seem a lot more like a film, rather than something you’re doing for an assignment.”

Osagie Jesuorobo, a sophomore majoring in telecommunication and film, said he will also submit a film to CMF for the first time. Jesuorobo began shooting at 10 p.m. the day he got the equipment, and completed the first shoot at 2 a.m. He is planning to use locations he is familiar with to make the process somewhat easier, but has already had to problem solve and find a new location, he said.

“This is a short amount of time, but I want the experience of working under pressure,” Jesuorobo said. “It’s definitely a step in that direction. And [CMF] is also a great opportunity to try different jobs in the field of film.”

Students take part in all aspects of the film making process, both in front of and behind the camera, and the number of students involved in a single film varies between projects.

Both Pulliam and Jesuorobo said they will be doing a majority of the work behind the camera. Pulliam is the writer, producer, director and director of photography for his film and Jesuorobo is the director, co-writer, producer, and editor for his film.

The variety in student films is one of the most fascinating parts of the festival, Searing said. She enjoyed hearing the diversity in film ideas, genre, and location during CMF promotional week.

“Everyone had such a different vision for their film, and we couldn’t be happier about that,” Searing said. “Everyone is unique and will express themselves in a completely different way, and at CMF we’re ecstatic to give them the opportunity to do so.”

CMF will culminate with a finale in the Ferguson Theatre on Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. The red-carpet event will feature the top 16 submitted films, and the top 4 films will be announced. These top 4 films will be awarded a free year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud, as well as the opportunity to travel to Hollywood, where a panel of celebrity judges will view the top films from all over the world, Searing said.