Kevin and Calvin Ross, two twin-brothers who create movies together, won a Lifetime Achievement award for making seven films during their college career. Their most recent picture, “A Terrible Thing,” also won second prize in the Elfenworks Social Justice category. Michael Thomas’s film “Traces” was chosen for the CMF’s award for Best Picture from The University of Alabama.
The MovieFest is open to any enrolled college students. Interested young directors can send off for a camera, laptop, microphone, tripod and hard drive. Once armed with this equipment, they have seven days to create a picture. The only restriction is that the film be under five minutes – otherwise, it can be anything the director wants.
The Ross brothers became interested in making movies after receiving a camera from their father as a gift upon graduating high school. They were encouraged to pursue nursing by their parents, but Kevin and Calvin were both intrigued by the potential of filmmaking.
“We did martial arts, so we shot a fight scene, and we thought it was really cool to shoot it, and edit it, and come up with choreography and do it all ourselves. So that’s really what started us into film,” Calvin said.
The duo typically make action movies, but the most recent pictures they’ve created deal with social injustices.
When asked about the film they were most proud of, both brothers said it was a difficult choice to make, but that their award-winning short film, “A Terrible Thing,” stood out to them.
“It deals with an African-American male contemplating going to college or not, and all of the things that he has heard over the years, you know, the stereotypes,” Kevin said.
Calvin described the movie as a culmination of the effort he and Kevin have put into filmmaking since they first picked up a camera.
“It was really cool to see the progression that we’ve had over the years,” he said.
Though the prospect of working with a relative might seem stressful to some, both brothers said that their familial relationship helped streamline their process.
“It’s very smooth and efficient because we can feel each other’s energy and throw ideas off of each other and see what works best and what doesn’t work,” Calvin said.
Michael Thomas also took home an award for the University. His film “Traces” tells the story of a man attempting to find his lost sister after a hurricane; during his search, he finds the scattered belongings of people affected by the storm. Thomas sought to symbolize characters through the objects they left behind.
Rachel Raimist, associate professor of media production for the Department of Telecommunication and Film, attended the Campus MovieFest with students from her TCF in LA summer internship program.
“I see a bright future for our students to earn national recognition for the work that they are doing at Alabama,” Raimist said.