Edit: Kat Michael’s name was previously printed as “Kat Michaels”. We apologize for the mistake.
By H. Donnell
On the evening of April 11, the red carpet was rolled out at MCPHS’ Stepanian Hall for the Campus MovieFest finale. The event began at 7:30 p.m. and ended at 9:30 and included a screening of the Colleges of the Fenway’s top 16 films, as well as an award ceremony.
Films were shown four at a time with raffle announcements, interactive questions from the hosts, and advertisements from the sponsors in between. Audience members were encouraged to tweet answers to the hosts’ questions and comment on the other films with the hashtag “#CMFatCOF.”
Prizes were handed out for the best tweets and many were read aloud by the hosts. Though this was fun, the bombardment of advertising was not. It is understandable that Campus MovieFest wants to show off the equipment that their sponsors are offering winners, but the barrage of product placement for items that most students cannot afford was rather tiresome.
There was a great variety of films shown at the CMF finale this year. The comedic “Souper Girl” and the clever film noir parody “The Golden Bust” were played alongside tense, action-packed films like “The Reaper” as well as the elegant, thoughtful pieces like the hand-drawn stop-motion animated piece “I Love You Like the Moon.”
Simmons student Aliya Jaber won Best Actress as well as one of four Jury Awards for her film “Musings of a McDump,” which she starred in. The other three Jury Awards went to “I Love You Like the Moon” by Taylor Crisostomo, “Food For All” by Nora Walker, and “Shower Thoughts” by DarJarri. The latter also won the Best Actor for its lead, Daniel Yaghsizian.
Kat Michael, Interim Assistant Director of OSLA and one of the two hosts, was excited that a majority of the screened films were produced by Simmons students.
“I’m really impressed with Simmons students,” Michael commented. “There was a near Simmons sweep. Everyone did very well.”
The films screened at the festival can be found along with all other entries from the Colleges of the Fenway at http://www.campusmoviefest.com/festivals/559-colleges-of-the-fenway.
Though each film was made in six days or fewer, there was no limit to how creative or well-crafted they could be. However, Jillianna Farietta, who worked on the short “Death, LLC,” expressed that there was “a lot of good stuff in the Jury Awards, though there was questionable content in the top 16.”
With the sheer number of quality films produced by the six schools of the Colleges of the Fenway, it was disappointing to see that a couple of the selected films expressed ableist and misogynistic views. Part of the review process in future festivals should review the possible negative messages in each film.
Ellis Ouellet, Simmy Kaur, and Wallace collaborated on the film “Othered,” which sought to bring to light the way people of color are isolated from peers as well as their own families.
“It was great,” Ouellet said on seeing their film make it to the top 16. “We’re honored that our message was put out there. I worked hard, but the film really comes from Wallace and Simmy, whose experiences it’s based on. Their message is important.”
Students like Ouellet, Kaur, and Wallace who want to spread messages of social significance can submit a film to the 2015-2016 Elfenworks Social Justice Category. One need not to have made a CMF movie on the topic of social justice, as this can be a new film. More information about this award can be found at http://www.campusmoviefest.com/elfenworks/.