Three teams will continue to the regional competition of the ninth annual Campus MovieFest (CMF) after winning awards at the campus screening of the top 16 Emory films on Tuesday in the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.
“The Gerstein Report,” a historic film about a Nazi soldier who hides cans of poisoned gas, won Best Picture.
College senior and Emory Television (ETV) President Chris Knific was the cinematographer for the film. Knific has participated in CMF in the past four years and said the competition has been a fulfilling experience.
“I think Campus MovieFest has allowed me to realize that film is something that I want to do for the rest of my life,” Knific said. “I came here not knowing that much about film, but the competitions force me to really do my best.”
“Frankie,” a movie about a group of guys who have an imaginary friend, was directed by Goizueta Business School sophomore Matt Gaynes and won Best Comedy.
“[Best Comedy] is something that we were kind of aiming for, but we saw a lot of the competition and they were all very well made, they all had a lot of creative aspects,” Gaynes said. “It was an honor to win.”
College sophomore Mats Engdahl, who wrote and acted in “Frankie,” said he was surprised to win.
“I had a great time,” Engdahl said. “It was a great experience. ... I hope it does well in regionals.”
The Best Drama award went to “Wake,” a futuristic film that explores the dark downsides of technology in which the characters live in an “upgraded” world where sleeping and eating are unnecessary.
CMF was created in 2000 by Emory alumni and has grown into the world’s largest student film festival that reaches out to 35 schools across the country. Coordinators of the competition provide each group with an Apple laptop, digital camcorder and editing software for a period of one week.
The five-minute films were judged for storytelling, creativity and technical areas by a panel of students and staff.
Prizes for Best Picture, Best Comedy and Best Drama were an iPod Nano, an Elgato EyeTV hybrid and a copy of Final Cut Studio. Regional Grand Finale Prizes include a MacBook Pro. Additionally, the winning movie will be shown in-flight on Virgin America and at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.
ETV will begin playing all 16 films during spring break.
An audience award, the AT&T Wild Card, is still up for grabs, as students may vote for the audience award category through text messaging until Tuesday. Eligible movies for this award can be found on the CMF website.
The winners will compete with teams from across the Southeast at the Tabernacle on March 27.
Knific said that CMF gives Emory students a chance to experiment with movie production.
“More and more film production, even at this small level, is becoming an increasing part of interest in the Emory community for students,” Knific said. “I hope that Emory realizes that there are people here that are very good at filmmaking. ... Kids want to study this.”
— Contact Kate Borger