Campus MovieFest rolls out the red carpet

By Mark Villalba

Members of Campus Movie Fest screened the 16 best GGC student films in the Student Center for the fifth consecutive year and presented four jury-awarded crews, the best actor and best actress with silver-tripod awards on Thursday, Sept. 24. College freshman Anna Marie Pisaturo, 18, of Loganville, Ga., was the first-announced jury-awarded director for Out There, Somewhere (2015) and said she was so excited and speechless, so made her lead-actor and sweetheart, Makale Smith, speak for both of them on stage.

“I think the best word to use is ‘flabbergasted’,” said Smith, 18, of Virginia Beach, Va., “and just full of joy; [I’m] really happy for her.” The five-minute film follows a teenage protagonist played by Pisaturo through a series of tracking, close-up, low-angle, and point-ofview shots as she takes a dangerous interest in a primarily off-screen creature. Pisaturo attributed her inspiration to Where the Wild Things Are (2009), saying, “I thought it would be really cool to film in the forest and make a mystery out of monsters.” “I actually want to become a film editor because I did all the editing,” she said, “and I really want to go on set, edit the film, and make a creation out of what they give me, or [become] a director … I want go to Georgia State so I can major in film, but unfortunately, they don’t have the major here.”

Hau Luc, 24, of Vietnam, and college junior was the third-announced jury awardee, whose Nightmare (2015) was GTA-nominated for Best Editing. “I feel really happy and excited to have won the award from CMF because I made this movie for my father and that’s based on a true story … I’m so excited to get back home and to tell my mom that we won [the silver tripod for] the movie we made about the Vietnam War,” said. “You know, the Vietcong Communists won the war, so they wrote the history, and something’s wrong, something’s not the truth,” said Luc. “I want to tell the audience, the people, something true about the ARVN soldiers that people forgot.”

The film’s somewhat blurry resolution, like a memory, is contrasted by the sharp resolution of an extreme-close-up shot at the end, framing the eyes of an elderly Asian man. “My major is in IT, Information Technology, because I can’t apply for Film,” Luc said. “I think that’s a good idea if [GGC] had a Film major, so the students could have more opportunities to study and express their feelings and to finish their goals and to finish their dreams.”

The sixteenth-screened film was How To (2015) — a comical documentary about how to overcome restrictions within aspirational filmmaking. “It was pretty scary toward the end there because mine was the last one shown,” said David Warner, 19, of Lilburn, Ga., amusement-park supervisor and GGC sophomore, “so I was getting a little bit depressed toward the end, not depressed but like saddened, and then as soon as I heard the music chime in from the beginning of my video, I just immediately, everything lifted up and I began punching my cameraman. I thought I was tapping him lightly, but I was actually beating the [expletive] out of him, apparently.”

“I think the movie about how to make a good CMF movie was one best ones of those I’ve ever seen,” Hardman said, “and we get a lot of movies about how to make a movie, and it was so funny and so spot on, and honestly, I think we might be able to use that to show people how to make a good movie for CMF!”

While she and her colleagues were packing up, Hardman expressed how happy she was to be back at GGC for the fifth time and about the Film minor added in 2014. “I’m always shocked and blown away by the incredible passion that students have for filmmaking,” she said, “I think it’s really amazing that we see students who have never made films before just grow leaps and bounds in their techniques and storytelling abilities, and it’s evidenced by the films here at GGC.”

Hardman talked about Atlanta as a growing industry for visual media and how the Distinguished Filmmakers Network tries to connect companies, such as Adobe, Panasonic, The Weather Channel, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, with students who may then showcase their skills. “The better the work that students do,” she concluded, “the more excited a lot of those big brands get about students’ work and wanting to give them opportunities to put things on their reel and to get paid for what they’re already doing.”

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