We all know Cal can build a big-ass telescope, discover radioactive elements and lead a rockin’ protest – but can Berkeley make you laugh, cry and sit at the edge of your seat? That very question was answered Friday at the annual Campus MovieFest for the low price of $3 and a homework-free Friday night.

Campus MovieFest calls itself the “The World’s Largest Student Film Festival” and allows students from over 90 schools the opportunity to make their own short films. Students are given equipment  (Mac laptops and Panasonic HD camcorders) and one week to write, direct, film and edit their own original film. Last night, 16 finalists from the UC Berkeley contingent showed their stuff in Wheeler Auditorium, which was decked out with a red carpet and photo ops.

Although the night, co-hosted by SUPERB, included plenty of plugging by Campus MovieFest for their various branches and partnerships (which was a bit of a damper, but at least they were brief), it amazed us to see what Berkeley can do when given a week and a camera. We were blown away by the quality of the films (especially considering the restraints and resources) and excited when we were able to spot some of our favorite Berkeley landmarks (and students) – Channing Poolside Apartments, yeah!

Three winning teams go on to Campus MovieFest Hollywood in June, where they will get to talk to industry professionals and see their films screened in Hollywood studios. In addition, the Best Picture gets to screen their film at the Cannes International Film Festival in in the south of France – what a sweet deal. The event included prizes not only for the films, but for the audience. T-shirts were tossed and a raffle was held for gift certificates to Yogurtland and Amoeba, as well as tickets to the Treasure Island Film Festival. We’re still a little bitter we didn’t win anything.

At the end of the night awards were given out for Best Drama, Best Comedy and Best Picture. “Lost at Sea” was awarded Best Drama, contending with “American Dream of a ‘Homeless’” and “Blood Red.” “American Dream of a ‘Homeless’” (a touching documentary about an international student’s financial struggle in Berkeley) and “Blood Red (a scintillating roommate horror story) sparked our interest more than than “Lost at Sea,” but “Lost at Sea” was definitely well directed and featured some beautiful ballet by its star, Bianca Tartaglia. “Three Penny” won for Best Comedy, against “Peep Show” and “Yellow Fever.” All three were hilarious, but we did love the cinematography of “Three Penny” and of course its fantastically (literally!) nerdy subject matter. The winner of the night was “Peep Show” and the Clog couldn’t agree more – just watch it and you’ll see.

Ren Cassity won for Best Actor in “Yellow Fever,” and Deane Brannen-Jurgenson for Best Actress in “Sohorrority” (two must-sees of the festival). “Sohorrority” was the first film of the night, and definitely blended the lines between comedy and horror (or at least our fears of psychotic sorority sisters). “Yellow Fever” was definitely one of our favorites – you can pretty much guess what it’s about, except for the twist ending. “Envy” got a nod for its soundtrack, and “Lost at Sea” for directing.

Some of the other highlights were the hilarious and bizarre “Foiled” and “Cowboys and Indians.” And of course we can’t forget “IMMA HUMP MA BIKE,” which was definitely swindled out of a comedy nomination.

Don’t worry if you missed this year’s CMF, you can watch all the films on the website and it’ll be back again next year. We hope to see you there – either in the audience or on the big Wheeler screen.

Campus MovieFest [Site]


No comments yet.