College of Liberal Arts

- University of Mississippi

UM Cinema Festival

by Anna McCollum, courtesy of The Daily Mississippian
April 24, 2014

Cinema Festival posterThis year’s University of Mississippi Cinema Festival, presented by the University of Mississippi Department of Theatre Arts, will be held April 24-26 in the Overby Center Auditorium.

The annual festival is in conjunction with the UM Cinema Competition that was held during the fall. All UM students were eligible to enter the competition by turning in a screenplay and pre-production materials by early November. A jury then selected winners from three categories: narrative, experimental and documentary.

In the narrative category, the winner of the 30 minutes or less subcategory was T.S. Cooper’s “Know.” Hailey Knight’s “The Fierce, the Famed and the Hamster” won in the 15 minutes or less subcategory, with Alex Thiel’s “One Big Joke” and Logan Little’s “Pals” as runners-up. The experimental category was won by “Animal Farm, Veins and Earth” by Dana Echt, and the documentary category prize went to Olivia Rearick’s “Untitled.”

As well as being invited to screen their completed projects at the UM Cinema Competition, winners received $750, $500 or $250 depending on category and length of production. The prize money is awarded to the student filmmakers as an incentive and aid to follow through with their projects.

“They are able to use the department credit card or be reimbursed to buy crucial elements for their productions.” said Alan Arrivée, director of cinema for the department of theater arts.

Competitors were also advised by Arrivée, Brooke White, associate professor of art, and Andy Harper, director of the Southern Documentary Project and Instructional Assistant Professor of Southern Studies and Journalism, through the production process.

“I don’t like to hold the students hands too much as they go through (the production process),” Arrivée said. “For one, they may have better ideas than I have for their particular project.”

Once completed, the films are shown at the UM Cinema Festival along with films submitted by professors. In addition, other non-winning students are encouraged to submit.

Arrivée said extra submissions are welcome because students can still learn a lot from independently making films.

Christina Huff, a sophomore art major, is a prime example. She and her crew, who were not winners of the competition, submitted “Clowns,” a tragic drama short film.

“The main thing that I learned is just how to be patient with the people that you are working with,” Huff said. “We spent about three or four weeks just filming everything alone, and I spent more than five or six hours every day just editing. It was a very long process for us but very worth it.”

Freshman Kelly Loggins said she is excited about attending the festival.

“I am a cinema minor and broadcast journalism major; therefore, I have always been very interested in the production that goes into these films,” Loggins said. “I know how much work it takes to put something like this together, so I feel like I can appreciate all of the films regardless of which ones won in the UM Cinema Competition and which ones didn’t.”

The films will be shown Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. as well as Saturday at 2 p.m. Question and answer sessions will be held afterward with members of the film crews. Tickets are free to cinema minors and theater majors but $9 for other students, $12.50 for adults and $8 for seniors and children. Tickets are available at the UM Box Office.