Liberation, a short film by student Jacob Kitts, won “Best Picture” at FilmFest Friday, one of four awards he claimed that evening.
Kitts’ film and all other entries were shown downtown at the Paramount Theatre. About 600 guests attended to see the new film entries, musical performances and showcasing of the original films.
In his film, Kitts, a senior digital entertainment technologies major from Round Rock, focused on human trafficking and hope. He had a specific message he wanted to convey to the audience.
“Sometimes we feel like we’re trapped in a fallen world, but if we choose to act then we can change whatever circumstance we are in. We have the power to change our own life. The main character has been dreaming about escape for so long, and now she has a chance to make it happen,” Kitts said.
The visual effects of Liberation were time consuming. It took Kitts six hours to digitally blow up Smith-Adams Hall, the close-up shot of it exploding took three hours and the wide shot of the camera rotating around the actress took three hours. His outdoor scenes were filmed during the day, in which he converted day to night.
“Winning Best Picture means a lot to me, because I’ve been trying to do it since 2009,” Kitts said.
Kitts has been making movies as a hobby since 2004. After the event held Friday, Kitts spoke with the judges and received advice concerning his future in film.
Tom Craig, director of student activities and productions, said FilmFest is a good opportunity for students to display their creativity.
“This year, we saw some great work – from stop-motion work to lots of gunfire to buildings exploding and burning,” Craig said. “Our judges were very impressed with the creativity and skill of our student teams.”
Asia Todd, sophomore multimedia major from Chiang Mai, Thailand, took home the award for “Best Original Music Composition.” Tyler Eidson, Emmy Sparks and Asia Todd performed their song, Lemonade, from the music video.
“To have something that we produced be such a hit with the audience was really encouraging,” Todd said. “I absolutely plan on participating in FilmFest next year.”
Here is the complete list of winners for FilmFest 2012:
Best Writer … Lucius and Adrian Patenaude for “Pride of Life”
Best Technical Director … Ben Weaver for “Yemiffimey”
Best Production Designer … Jacob Kitts for “Liberation”
Best Sound Designer … Jacob Kitts for “Liberation”
Best Director … Lucius Patenaude for “Pride of Life”
Best Producer … Caitlin Bradford for “Yemiffimey”
Best Dramatic Film … Jacob Kitts for “Liberation”
Best Non-dramatic Film … Caitlin Bradford for “Yemiffimey”
Best Actor … Nick Palmieri as Ezekiel in “Pride of Life”
Best Actress … Jennifer Fiese in “Liberation”
People’s Choice Award … Stephen Estrada and the team that produced “Light of Ray”
Best Original Music Composition … Asia Todd for “Lemonade”
Best Picture … Jacob Kitts for “Liberation”