After a talented pool of students attended the FilmFest host and hostess auditions on March 3, the FilmFest production team has announced its selection.
The 2011 FilmFest host and hostess will be Ben Miller, junior art major from The Woodlands, and Carrie Tansey, senior special education major from North Richland Hills.
“I feel completely honored and blessed to be FilmFest hostess this year,” Tansey said. “I would like to thank those in charge of FilmFest for giving me this opportunity.”
As FilmFest host and hostess, the pair will introduce the featured films, announce the winners of each category and keep the crowd entertained at the FilmFest Awards Gala, which takes place from 8-9:30 p.m. on March 25 at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Abilene. Tickets are $5 and the attire is semi-formal.
Both Miller and Tansey have been involved in ACU productions and have a history of performing either on stage or for amateur film.
“For as long as I can remember, I have been doing comedy,” Tansey said. “Whether it was impersonating legendary Saturday Night Live players like Molly Shannon for groups of people or competing in tournaments for humorous interpretation. Making people laugh makes me happy.”
Miller said that there will be a lot of great work shown and that he is very impressed by what he’s seen so far.
“There will be a lot of improvisation and surprises, I’m sure,” Miller said. “Gee, I’m getting excited.”
In her third year as FilmFest co-chair, Christina Johnson, senior English and professional writing major from Dallas, oversaw the auditions, where the FilmFest production team required host and hostess hopefuls to perform a monologue and deliver a cold reading of a sample script.
Johnson said she had recognized Miller from seeing him play piano in the Bean.
“We would ask him to make us laugh in 30 seconds and before that we were already dying laughing,” Johnson said. “There’s just something about his ad-libbing.”
Johnson said Tansey brings comedy with a genuine spin.
“She’s very personable,” Johnson said. “She performed monologues from other movies, and we didn’t even require that.”
Johnson said both Miller and Tansey were very professional and worked together great.
“These students have the potential to be the next Saturday Night Live cast members,” Johnson said. “I don’t think we’ve had that before, so that’s very exciting for this year’s show. The sky’s the limit for them.”
Johnson said they wanted FilmFest to mirror the Academy Awards, granting student films the opportunity to snag awards such Best Picture and Best Original Music. She said the awarded films will be chosen by a panel of prominent, experienced judges from in and out of town.
Doors will open at 7 p.m., but students have the opportunity to view each FilmFest submission from 2-4 p.m.
Students also have the opportunity to attend a talk-back session with the FilmFest judges on March 24, after the free screening of The Social Network in Cullen Auditorium at 8 p.m.
“It’s such an honor to see the talent we have on the campus,” Johnson said. “It’ll be a night to highlight that.”