The annual FilmFest will take place again this year. But not as usual.
The production period students’ have to create their film as been extended from about one month to five.
“Last year, the production schedule took place entirely in the spring semester,” said Tom Craig, director of student productions. “This year we are expanding that, and it is actually starting in the fall semester for a longer production period with more elements that will hopefully create more opportunity for students to get involved and also to produce better end products.”
The script-writing-period has already begun, but students are welcome to join and participate at any time.
The first phase of filming begins on Nov. 12 and drafts of the films will be turned in before Christmas break for preliminary critiques from on campus judges.
“I think this will allow higher quality, more impressive end products, because they will have the chance to get feedback and ideas and implement some of that along the way,” Craig said.
Another major change to this year’s event is the elimination of fees. Through funding from Campus Activity Board and Students’ Association, last year’s $45 entry fee will be covered and the FilmFest gala event next spring will be free for all students.
Cannon Spears, vocational missions major from Blue Ridge, a member of the student leadership teams, said that the team is doing everything they can to help student filmmakers through workshops and partnerships with different departments on campus.
“We want to engage with the English department in a workshop that focuses on script writing,” said Spears. “We want to connect people with a common interest.”
Spears said they are also planning workshops that involve the theatre department for help with acting as well.
In addition to workshops, filmmakers will get to participate in a judging symposium following the gala where they can receive detailed critiques of their films.
“The judges will actually go through their films one by one and say this is is where it was good, this is what we liked and this is what can improve,” Craig said. “They’re getting industry feedback on their work and they gain industry relationships.”
Students interested in participating this year can visit the Office of Student Productions for more information regarding the production schedule.