By Matt Melia
For many Bridgewater State University (BSU) students, Springfest is an opportunity to try to relax and enjoy oneself before the stress of finals week arrives.
For others, it is a time to test their skills as amateur movie makers.
Each year, Campus MovieFest (CMF) comes to BSU looking for students with enough filmmaking talent to take them to Hollywood.
With equipment supplied by CMF, students have a little under one week to create a short film of five minutes or less.
CMF is the only event of its kind to provide Apple laptops, Panasonic HD camcorders, and training all for free to students.
After the short week is up, students must return their equipment and submit a final product that will be shown at the campus screening on Friday, April 25, at 7 p.m. in the Rondileau Campus Center Ballroom.
“Once a year, it gives people a chance to come together, be creative, and make a five minute film about anything, and if it’s good, it can represent Bridgewater in an international film festival,” said Director of the Rondileau Campus Center Ed Cabellon. “It’s very difficult to put a pricetag on the experience that students get, and the learning that happens through that experience.”
The best of the best move on to compete against other top films at the Campus MovieFest in Hollywood.
In past years, BSU students have been strong competitors on a national level, even without having an official film program for students.
Senior Connor Williams, a communication studies major at BSU, said students have a lot of talent at CMF, and that winning isn’t all that matters after everything is said and done.
“It’s hard to win at Bridgewater, there’s really stiff competition here,” Williams said. “I didn’t win for three years, and I didn’t care because I was having fun and I had made pieces that I was proud of and could show to people.”
Past winners of CMF at BSU have had their short films screened at CMF Hollywood, the Cannes Film Festival, and even on Virgin Airlines.
CMF is judged by a panel of students and faculty members selected by Cabellon, along with representatives from CMF.
“Part of what we look for is a good story, first and foremost,” Cabellon said. “Second, we look for creativity, and how they used music, special effects, props, and really the Bridgewater community. We want to make sure that the best picture tells a good story, represents Bridgewater really well, and that the students were creative in their process.”
James Moore, a professor in the communication studies department, has been at BSU for almost 20 years, and believes CMF can have quite an impact on not only the students involved, but the entire Bridgewater State community.
“It is a great opportunity for the students here, not just in communication studies, to try their hand at making a media product which can compete well against others, and then go nationally,” Moore said.
Matt Melia is a Comment staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.