Some student filmmakers of Ohio State made their big screen debut for a packed crowd during a student-run film festival at the Gateway Film Center.
The 2014 Student Film Fest @ OSU, which was held Wednesday at the Gateway Film Center, was the first film festival presented by students and was a collaboration of Ohio State’s Film and Video Society, Mosaic Magazine and Mad Royal Film Society.
Festival coordinator Adam Skov, president of the Film and Video Society and a third-year in international business, described the event as “a meeting point for the filmmakers of Ohio State — one night, all the filmmakers we can get in one space to celebrate what they’ve done and showcase their creativity.”
The festival showcased 10 student-made short videos, which included themes ranging from comedy and melodrama to social commentary, with the intention of providing students a venue to share their work with each other and the community. The top filmmakers were also rewarded for their works. First place was awarded a $100 Amazon.com gift card, second place was awarded a $75 Amazon.com gift card, third place was awarded a $50 Amazon.com gift card and the winner of the Audience Award, which was voted upon by audience members, was a $25 Amazon.com gift card.
Shorts were selected from a pool of 29 submissions and judged by OSU film studies program coordinator Matt Swift, local video filmmaker Nicolette Swift and artist Matt Yoho.
In addition to an audience award, Amazon gift cards were awarded to the top three video shorts.
Shorts were shown in succession in a single auditorium at the Gateway — a venue provided for free by Gateway Film Center, said Diane Kollman, editor-in-chief of Mosaic Magazine and a third-year in English and psychology.
“Students who make a film don’t really have the opportunity to showcase it anywhere,” Kollman said. “So we really wanted to have a larger venue to do that, so they can actually get recognition for the work and the chance to see what other people are doing.”
Skov said he noticed only a few open seats in theater and felt the event went well, after receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from audience members and directors.
“My main hope was just that people would come and have a good time watching other people’s films,” he said. “And get a chance to see something you wouldn’t normally see at the Gateway.”
Stephen Belden, director of “The Interrogation” and third-year in film studies, said the festival was a great opportunity for OSU students and filmmakers.
“The event is awesome,” he said. “We make these videos for our classes and for fun all the time, and we never get to see them on a giant screen. That’s what every person wants to see: their movie up on the big screen.”
The event culminated with the awards ceremony, in which director David Johnson’s “Still City” won third prize, Belden’s “The Interrogation” was runner-up and “Mourning in Red” took home not only first prize, but also the audience award.
“Mourning in Red,” a short about love lost, was written and directed by Emmanuel Ocbazghi, who also goes by Manny Fidel, a fourth-year in film studies. He was awarded $125 in Amazon.com gift cards for his creative work.
“I’m just blown away,” he said. “The audience award, honestly, is more important to me than the first place (award) because I want the audience to enjoy themselves.”
Fidel said he found out about the festival just before the submission deadline, and had less than two weeks to shoot and edit his short. He said he barely made the midnight deadline, uploading his submission at 11:47 p.m.
Skov said he hopes the presenters can continue Student Film Fest @ OSU next year and that the festival becomes an annual event.