Evan Moore had a huge smile on his face the moment he realized he would have the opportunity to go to Hollywood.
Moore’s five-minute film, “The Confession” — about a man explaining to a priest how he killed his wife for inaccurately believing she had an affair — won Best Picture at the Student University Programmers-sponsored Campus MovieFest finale in the Eynon Ballroom on March 26.
“It’s an honor,” said Moore, a junior public relations major. “I’m absolutely ecstatic. I’m so excited. I’m so proud. I have all of these emotions at once. It’s crazy and I’m just really happy. I haven’t stopped smiling since they called the name of the film.”
This film was among the top 16 shown at the culmination of the Rowan’s Campus MovieFest competition, where students had one week to make a short film with an Apple laptop and a Panasonic HD camera provided by the MovieFest staff. This year, the competition had more participants than previous years, with 114 teams entering, some making multiple films.
The Rowan winners for Best Comedy, Best Drama and Best Picture will be screened June 19-22 at the 13th annual Campus MovieFest Hollywood where the filmmakers will participate in workshops, network with industry professionals and have the opportunity to win the national grand prize for their respective categories.
“It’s pretty exciting to know that a lot of people are gonna be able to see something that I made,” said junior radio, television and film major Nick Straus.
Straus and senior RTF major Brandon Wiltbank created the Best Drama winner “Left To Do.” The film starred Wiltbank as a college student struggling with depression.
“Sometimes, people are just depressed,” Wiltbank said. “They feel like they don’t belong and it inspired us to write and direct this.”
Other films screened at the finale took a more comedic approach. Sophomore dual RTF and computer science major Joe Savin’s film, “Sean Goes To College,” won the honor of Best Comedy. Savin participated in Campus MovieFest last year but his film did not make the top 16.
“I was even scared that [my film] wasn’t going to play this year,” Savin said. “So I’m just really excited that I won anything and that it got played in general.”
The mockumentary follows a zombie named Sean, played by sophomore dual communication studies and sociology major Michael Brein, as he travels to college to become an actor.
Brein won the award for Best Actor and said the experience was fun to be a part of regardless of the long shooting schedule that lasted between 9 a.m. and 12 a.m.
“I didn’t even know it was going to get played tonight so it’s pretty shocking to have won something,” Brein said. “This is really awesome.”
Senior marketing major Kyesha Moultrie won Best Actress for her role in the film “Acute Feelings,” about a woman whose sanity is questioned after her boyfriend looks at another woman. Moultrie said she always wanted to participate in Campus MovieFest and decided to finally go for it in her senior year. She said she enjoyed being able to delve into acting, a field that she had never participated in before.
“I made some new friends and I was just able to expose myself more,” Moultrie said. “I never really thought about acting and now I’m thinking about pursuing acting as a hobby.”
Chris Dumas, the promotions manager for Campus MovieFest, said that although he could not choose a favorite film at this year’s event, he enjoyed the hard work done by the student participants.
“These students came together and made a movie in a week,” Dumas said. “That’s something that is difficult for anyone to do, and for them to do that while they’re probably working and taking classes and doing everything else that they’re doing with their lives, to not only attempt to make it but to complete it, is awesome.”
All of the Campus MovieFest finalists can be viewed at CampusMovieFest.com/Rowan.
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