Drawing together aspiring film makers and moviegoers alike, Campus MovieFest is the largest student film and music festival in the world. According to the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership’s website, “CMF is one of Rollins’ most highly attended events. It’s not only a great opportunity to get involved on campus, but it also provides an outlet for students to showcase their talents, speak their minds and entertain their peers.” However, after seven consecutive years, Rollins will not be participating in the spring of 2013.
Originally created by four students at Emory University in 2001, Campus MovieFest is a program that provides students at participating colleges with Apple laptops, Panasonic video equipment and editing software for one week to create a five-minute video. At the end of the week, students’ films are showcased at the red carpet premiere, hosted by the college, to be reviewed by a panel of judges and admired by their peers.
The coveted “CMF Golden Tripod Awards” are presented for Best Comedy, Best Drama and many other categories. Winners move onto the next bracket of the competition, which consists of their films being “featured at CMF Hollywood in front of a global audience, with past venues including Lincoln Center, Paramount Studios, Warner Bros. and Universal Studios.” The CMF website states, “over the past ten years, students have earned over $2 million in prizing and cash.”
Brent Turner, Director of Student Involvement, explains the decision to discontinue Rollins participation with Campus MovieFest “was based on the high cost, [that] exceeds $15,000, and the continued decrease in student participation.” During Rollins’ years of involvement with CMF, the number of submitted films has fluctuated, ranging between 19 and 27 submissions each year. In 2010, a record low of 19 films were submitted. The number rose to 26 the following year in 2011, then dropped to 24 in the spring of 2012. Stetson University, an institution similar in size and location to Rollins, has previously participated in CMF, submitting a total of 16 films, a number less than Rollins’ lowest year for submissions.
Plans to replace Campus MovieFest with a similar, perhaps more economical, program are in discussion but have yet to be finalized. It has been suggested that Rollins facilitate their own program similar to CMF by providing students access to the equipment available at Olin library. This would eliminate the cost of bringing in a third-party program similar to Campus MovieFest. Turner explains “OSIL is constantly assessing our programs and events to provide the best opportunities to the most students, all while being fiscally responsible and intentional about student learning outcomes.”