Submissions open for annual Valentine’s Day Film Fest

MU Film Production club prepares for upcoming festival.

Come Feb. 16, MU will be hosting the Valentine’s Day Film Festival Short Film and Script Competition, a competition organized by the MU Film Production Club.

In its fourth year, the competition incorporates the creativity, drive and cinematic skills of some of mid-Missouri’s brightest film students.

Executive members of the MUFPC support any student interested in entering and leave the competition open to nearly anyone whose pulse accelerates at the thought of film.

“We encourage all students from the mid-Missouri area to participate,” club president Charley Field says. “MU, Stephens, Columbia College, Westminster, high schools, private schools, everyone.”

Since its conception in 2011, the festival has been promoting an opportunity for MU students to present their work with the possibility of being awarded prizes ranging from software packages, gift certificates, a script consultation with a local screenwriter and professional gear. These extravagant winnings come from outstanding performance in various categories including Best Director, Best Ensemble Cast and, the pinnacle prize, Best in Fest.

The festival has gone through an extensive process of modifications since its birth. With changes in themes displayed in films and further opportunities for students to present their work, the club worked toward offering a multitude of new opportunities for the festival and the work shown in it. In addition, films entered can be anywhere between one and 20 minutes long.

In preparation for the festival, the MUFPC is working toward ensuring the utmost organization of an event they pride themselves in presenting. From finding judges to screen films to setting the rules of the festival, the executive board navigates through putting on a festival with little funding available.

“This all becomes way more difficult when we don't have any funding, and anything we can't get through donations has to be paid for ourselves,” Field says.

MUFPC Secretary Sam Roth said the club works hard to put on the festival.

“The MU Film Production Club has been hard at work to make sure that the festival runs as smoothly as possible,” Roth says. “We've been contacting local businesses seeking sponsorship in order to create a relationship between the community and us to facilitate the running of the festival.”

As club president, Fields wishes for others to find gratification with the Valentines Day Film Festival. For Field, film helps define who he is as not just a student, but also a person, and his participation in the fest has given him an idea of how perseverance pays off.

“The experience I had making a film for the festival, just pushing myself to get it done when I thought I couldn't, really changed the way I thought about college,” Field says. “The only person I was accountable to in getting it done was myself. By the end of what was an incredibly stressful yet even more rewarding experience, I was left with a film that I was proud of, even though it wasn't really that amazing.”

Films and screenplay entries for the fest are due via email to MUFilmProduction@gmail.com by 7 p.m. Jan. 31.

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