Cameras are rolling today at the University of Central Florida as students scramble to produce cinematic masterpieces for the annual Campus MovieFest, where teams are given only a week to produce a five-minute short film.
Campus MovieFest is the world's largest student film festival, which started back in 2001 and has since grown to allow over 1 million students to share their stories on screens both big and small. The festival travels to universities across the country every year looking for the best and brightest student filmmakers. This year it will visit 35 campuses, visiting UCF for its 10th year in a row.
The event launched on Tuesday, Jan. 19, when students gathered in UCF's Student Union and received everything they would need to make a five-minute movie — including a laptop loaded Adobe Creative Cloud, Sennheiser sound gear, a Panasonic or LUMIX HD camera and an offer for 24-hour tech support — all for free.
Every team has only a week to shoot and edit their films, which can cover any topic and any genre they desire, from romantic comedies to psychological thrillers.
After the movies are turned in on Jan. 25, they will be judged by a jury of UCF students, faculty and staff. Then, on Feb. 18, the top 16 films will be shown in a red-carpet screening in the Student Union Pegasus Ballroom at 7 p.m.
The top four films will advance to the CMF grand finale and competition this summer, where students undergo four days of workshops, screenings and awards presented by stars of the industry. At last year's event at Universal Studios in Hollywood, Calif., actors Michael Goi, Victoria Justice and JB Smooth were just some of the event's special guests.
Besides the chance to knock elbows with Hollywood's elite, students who win the top four spots are also awarded a 12-month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud and the chance to have their films showcased at the Cannes Film Festival in France and inflight on Virgin America airplanes.
The organization will also be handing out over $100,000 in cash and prizes.
If you can't wait for the UCF films' February release date, pop some popcorn and check out the university's past entries here.