MovieFest finale hits off with impressive screening

Campus MovieFest is always a refreshing event. It’s nice to see Tech kids breaking the inaccurate “we-only-like-math-and-science“ stereotype and doing something creative. When we Techies aren’t crunching numbers, splitting atoms, building machines or adjusting the glasses on our faces, we apparently aren’t too shabby at filming stuff. Are all of these movies perfect? No, but most are pleasantly surprising.

Before continuing on to brag about our classmates, a little history is in order. Created in 2000 by students from Emory, Campus MovieFest has grown into a national student film festival where teams get one week to film and edit a five-minute movie with a camera and laptop that is loaned out for free. A few weeks after the films are finished, the top 16 are shown at the school’s finale, where the best will move on to the city’s finale and possibly the national grand finale, where the winners will be showered with money and prizes.

Now back to bragging: a group of Tech students took home the national grand prize last year. In fact, the winner from last year won at Tech again this year, and by the looks of things, they have a great shot at going all the way again. Their new absurdly well-produced film, All That is Human, takes place in a future where human intimacy has become a commodity.

Team leader Michael Gluzman said they were “inspired by classic science fiction“ and that the film is about the movement towards “destroying visceral relationships.“

Although All That is Human won the Best Picture category, it wasn’t the only award-winner of the night.

The Art of Overcoming Poverty took an intense look at Atlanta’s homeless problem and won for Best Documentary. Any Ideas? proved to be an entertaining brainstorming session and took Best Use of Mobile for their videophone ending. The Price of Hope won for Best Comedy, showcasing a car chase that will surely be discussed for centuries. Baby Talk walked away with Best Drama for its humorous spy-action and slick stunts.

But just because a film didn’t win any awards doesn’t mean that it’s not any good. Nick Nova: And the Battle for the Universe was loaded with some Flash Gordon-esque creativity, and 40 oz. Drunken Immortal drew laughs aplenty with what are likely the best kung-fu hobo action sequences you’ll see all year.

The event itself went smoothly. Conveniently located at the Ferst Center, Campus MovieFest kicked off on Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. The two hosts did a fine job keeping things together, even if some of their jokes didn’t always hit home.

Grouped into four sets, the movies were shown in random order. In between each set of shorts, the hosts would reappear to award the audience’s attendance with door prizes. Not a bad evening out, especially when it’s all free.

Campus MovieFest is a great event that hopefully will continue in subsequent years. Sure, not everything you see will be a winner, but giving students an opportunity to be creative when they otherwise might not have the chance is something worth keeping.

If you missed the finale on campus this year, check out the website, www.campusmoviefest.com, to see the movies for yourself. The Atlanta grand finalé will be hosted at the Atlanta Symphony Hall on Saturday, Feb. 23