Student filmmakers prepare for SF State’s eighth annual Campus MovieFest

The world’s largest student film festival, Campus MovieFest (CMF), is returning for it’s eighth year at SF State. In a flurry of five-minute short videos,  the faces behind the cameras and the man running the show have gone unnoticed.

Ty Besh, the West Coast promotions manager and representative of the festival at SF State, graduated from University of Arizona last year where he participated with a “hardworking cast and crew” that ultimately led to his win and CMF sending him on a trip to Hollywood for the premiere.

“Once I experienced Hollywood and the amazing company that Campus Moviefest really is, I knew I had to work with them,” Besh said.

Besh is a former filmmaker who is passionate about CMF and has also implemented the program this year at San Jose State University, Sonoma State University, San Diego State University and the University of San Francisco.

Zach Ready, a 23-year-old cinema major, is also passionate about the film fest and is entering for his fifth time this year.

“It’s a great sort of structure to work in but you have like two days to film,” Ready said. “The hardest part of this film festival isn’t shooting it, but editing it.”

Ready won best comedy his first year and was invited to attend the Cannes Film Festival in France to see his film run in a series of shorts made by students across the world. “I’ve made so many contacts and so many good friends from CMF that I couldn’t be more grateful for,” he said.

CMF provides student filmmakers with a laptop, an HD camera, a brand new hard drive, sound equipment and other accessories. Students are encouraged to create teams within their community to collaborate and create short films of their choice to enter into the competition, with only a week to make their vision come alive.

Andrew Wong, a junior in the cinema department took home a the award for best picture and best director during the 2013 finals and ventured to Hollywood to premiere his film with other schools across the nation.

“I continue (to compete) because it’s the perfect way to top myself, make a better film than last year and to see how much I can improve and continue to improve,” Wong said. “If we were to lose this year, I would not be disappointed. Nothing fuels growth more than healthy competition.”

For students, the rules are simple to enter the film festival, as they can register from 12 – 5 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Cesar Chavez Student Center Lobby. The entire process is free and participants can view the rules on Campus MovieFest’s website.

Opportunities for the arts are plentiful here at SF State and students may want to take Ready’s advice: “Just go out and make a film, make friends, get some connections and the first time you finish a film, I promise you it’s an addiction and you’re never going to want to stop.”

The finale of all the completed films in Campus MovieFest will premiere Oct. 9 in Jack Adams Hall.