May 26, 2019 | 78° F

Student film festival will be accepting entries from Rutgers students with up to $2 million in prize money

Photo by Casey Ambrosio |

Campus MovieFest provides students all over the United States with the necessary equipment to film their own movies in the span of a week. Past winners of the event have earned over $2 million in prizes and had the chance to screen their work at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

Campus MovieFest (CMF) is trying out a new look for their 17th annual tour.

CMF, which is the world’s largest student film festival, began in 2001 when four students at Emory University provided the materials to fellow students to make their own movies in just one week.

Sponsored by the Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA) and CMF, the event is part of a national competition among universities across the U.S.. Past winners of the event have earned over $2 million in prizes.

Julia Howard is the marketing coordinator at CMF and works in the main office in Atlanta. She works closely with on-campus promotions managers to coordinate the marketing of the event both on-campus and nationally.

She said there is a significant amount of new excitement this year with the upcoming tour, the new brand and the new website.

In previous years, the tour featured themed seasons, like the 80s, road signs and whimsical paper crafts, most recently. The new branding comes with a new look for the website, Howard said. 

It is designed with updated features for an overall better user experience, she said. Users can watch the past 16 years’ worth of student films, which are now categorized by genre and curated by CMF staff.

The registration process is also easier for users to sign up. The digital forms reduce paperwork and clutter.

David Roemer, the co-founder of CMF, said the event has evolved in ways never imagined.

"We couldn’t be more excited to reflect that evolution in an updated brand reflecting the energy and spirit of today’s CMF,” he said in a press release. “Now, more than ever, we’re proud to provide such a powerful opportunity for students to share their stories."

Last April, the Rutgers CMF wrapped up the 2016-17 competition with a red carpet event.

There were 83 films submitted, and Howard said the films can win various awards, like the Jury Award.

“The Jury Award winners are the top four films at each school and they win the chance to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival or on Virgin America flights,” she said. “To give you a snapshot, our Rutgers Jury Award-winning films included a romance, a drama, an art film and a documentary.”

According to a press release from this summer, CMF student filmmakers traveled to see their short films screen at the 70th Annual Cannes Film Festival.

The films going to Cannes were "Avia Mortem" by Joey Lupo's crew and "Artist Profile: The Sex Twins" by Barnte.

“These students' movies are going to screen at the largest film festival in the world and they'll get to experience every aspect of the festival,” Howard said.

In total, thirty selected Campus MovieFest films from the 2016 year will go to Cannes, and were screened on May 25 and May 26 in the Marché du Film.

Joseph Lupo is a School of Arts and Sciences senior. His film, “Avia Mortem,” is a comedy that screened at Cannes this past summer. 

In a previous Daily Targum article, he said that he encourages anyone who is interested in film or television to try their hand at making a film for the event.

"The opportunities this competition has provided me with is stuff that I used to dream of," Lupo said. "And the fact that CMF provides you all the equipment you need to make a movie is an added incentive."

Jillian Pastor is a staff writer for The Daily Targum.

Jillian Pastor

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