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Photo Courtesy of Campus Movie Fest via twitter (@campusmoviefest)

CMF challenges students to make short films in a week

Students at the University of New Mexico will be competing to create five-minute films in a week with the Campus Movie Fest (CMF).

Currently, 58 UNM students have registered as of the CMF information night on March 2 to participate in the film fest. Students can, however, continue to register until the event ends on March 9.

The festival launched on March 3, and student films are scheduled to be completed by March 9. The films will then be sent to a panel of judges made up of students and professors at UNM. The top 16 films will premiere at a red carpet event on March 11.

The top films from UNM will then be entered into a competition with the top films from universities across the country. The winners will get the chance to attend the CMF Terminus film festival in Hollywood, where their films will be screened alongside the other winners.

All the films will be put online after the premiere and can be found on the CMF YouTube channel.

All technology and training will be provided by CMF, though students can use their own equipment if they wish. Only 10% of the filming can be done outside of the week, and everyone on the film crew must be a current UNM student.

Since its start in 2001, CMF has provided more than one million students with all the necessary filmmaking technology needed for the project. The program will provide everything students need to complete their films, including cameras, tripods, microphones, computers and even music that can be used in the films.

"This could be a very first introduction to students and to their filmmaking careers, or this could launch students who have been making films all their life," tour manager Callan Piazza said.

CMF has been visiting college campuses across the country for 19 years, but this is its first visit to UNM.

"This is our very first time at UNM, so I'm really excited to see how this week shapes out. I'm already super happy with the turnout at the info session," Piazza said. "It's been crazy, so I think our launch is going to be a busy day tomorrow, but I think that's going to be a good thing for us."

Students' films must be five minutes or less to qualify for the competition. Students can also choose to make films that can be used to participate in film contests like the Hope in Social Justice, Women in Film or Pitch This. Winners of those competitions receive money to continue their short films.

"If anything, I want to spread a message," film major Kylie Bowling said. "I don't necessarily want to win anything or do anything other than spread the message that my art is creative."

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Students of all skill levels are welcome to participate in the CMF. They provide equipment that will be easy for beginners to use as well as more complex equipment for students who have experience in film.

"The really cool part is we do a lot to level the playing field, bring up the emerging filmmakers and also give the ones who have a little more experience a place to share their story," Piazza said.

Film festivals on college campuses give students interested in the industry a chance to explore the media with professional equipment and can help them network with others in the industry.

"I think that film festivals give students a lot of time outside of class to work on stuff that they are more passionate about," Bowling said. "Doing this really gives them a chance to explore their passions."

Loreena Cain is a beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @loreena_cain

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