Campus MovieFest Brings Hollywood to UT

Published: Feb 8, 2008
 As the sun sets on the University of Tampa on Wednesday, hundreds of UT students are expected to gather in Vaughn Center Plaza to watch as the campus becomes a Hollywood showcase.

UT’s fourth annual Campus MovieFest will feature the work of the top 16 student teams, who were given one week to create and edit their own short films.

Billing itself as the world’s largest student film festival, Campus MovieFest partners with colleges and universities nationwide, giving students access to film equipment, editing software, and technical support.

A popular event at UT, made possible in part by Student Government and Student Productions, the MovieFest this year included more than 60 student teams that signed up to participate.

Stephanie Dutka, Student Government’s director of special events and a member of UT’s Campus MovieFest committee, helped create a documentary-style production as part of the Student Government team in which students individual students were asked what they would do if they were president of UT.  

“As Student Government, we decided that we wanted to make a movie and that we wanted it to be politically themed,” Dutka said. “I thought it was a pretty easy experience. Campus MovieFest is so helpful with technical support. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun, too.”

A committee of two faculty members and eight students will meet prior to the MovieFest to choose the top 16 films, which will be shown during the event finale. Awards will also be given to the student teams behind the top three films, the best comedy, the best drama and the best overall picture. The winner of the best picture category will later go on to compete the Florida’s regional Campus MovieFest competition.

Winning teams receive several selected prizes, including Apple iPods, airplane tickets, mobile phones, cash and scholarships. Films also receive professional exposure, with the winners being shown at the Gasparilla Film Festival and other venues.

Additionally, this year UT’s MovieFest committee plans to dispense “Golden Minaret” awards for best actor, best actress and best film created by a student organization.

Last year, a UT film titled “Dead End” later went on to be among the top 16 films that reached the national level. Several other UT student films have also gone on to the national level in previous years.  
 
“A lot of students have never had the opportunity to do this, but maybe they have always wanted to,” said Brandon Chong, Campus MovieFest’s school partnerships coordinator. “We just give them the opportunity. Maybe it’s a story inside them that they’ve always wanted to tell.”

For more information about UT’s Campus MovieFest, contact the Student Activities Office at (813) 253-6233.

Information regarding the Campus MovieFest organization can be found at www.campusmoviefest.com