CLEMSON — Students at Clemson University have until Feb. 13 to sign up for Campus Movie Fest, a national competition that gives students equipment, training and opportunity to share their stories on film and a chance to show their films at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

Madison Williams squints her eye as she looks through her camera lens, pointing frame left

Clemson University senior Madison Williams, a graphic communications major who won a Jury Award at the 2017 Clemson Campus Movie Fest, looks through her camera lens in Sirrine Hall.

Participation is free for students. The Campus Movie Fest tour staff provides training, support and equipment, including a laptop loaded with Adobe Creative Cloud, a Panasonic LUMIX HD camera and Sennheiser sound gear. Participants have one week to produce a five-minute video.

“We’re a student film festival that’s looking to give people the ability to tell their stories and have fun doing it,” said Danielle Cooke, Campus Movie Fest promotions manager. “We provide students with the equipment and the opportunity to make a short film in a week about anything at all. The films must be under five minutes long, but students can utilize this short time to tell amazing stories — stories that make people laugh, create suspense or even inspire hope. This year the filmmaking week will take place between February 13th and February 19th.”

Judges rate the submissions, and the top 16 movies screen at a red-carpet premier Feb. 21 at Littlejohn Coliseum. The top four films from Clemson receive the Jury Award and move on to the national competition in Atlanta. Jury Award-winners also receive a one-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud and the chance to apply for the Campus Movie Fest at Cannes program, where accepted films are screened at the Cannes Film Festival in France, the largest film festival in the world.

One of last year’s winning films from Clemson, “136” — produced by senior graphic communications major Madison Williams — was accepted to the 2018 Campus Movie Fest Cannes program. Williams will travel to France for two weeks in May to attend the screening and workshops with some of the most successful moviemakers in the world.

“Clemson doesn’t have a film school, but we have a lot of people here that love to tell stories,” said Williams. She stressed that it isn’t important to have a technical background, because the focus of the competition is on storytelling. Anyone even remotely interested in filmmaking is encouraged to give it a shot.

Two women stand in Littlejohn arena with the scoreboard directly behind them.

Madison Williams and friend Tara Stone in Littlejohn coliseum after her film “136” won a Jury Award at the 2017 Campus Movie Fest.
Image Credit: Danielle Cook, Campus Movie Fest

“If you don’t think you can make a movie, you can,” Williams said. “Campus Movie Fest has all the equipment if you want to use it, or you can make a film that’s 20 seconds long and that’s shot on your iPhone — everyone has the capability. I can’t emphasize that enough. If I hadn’t picked up a camera and shot my documentary I wouldn’t be headed to Cannes. Campus Movie Fest opened that door for me.”

Students can also compete in the Elfenworks Social Justice category, which calls for films that highlight injustice and inspire change and offers a $10,000 prize for the winner. There is also the Tribeca Campus Docs category for documentary films where the winner will screen at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

This year’s Clemson Campus Movie Fest launches at noon Feb. 13 in the team room in the McFadden Building, 220 Perimeter Road, where the equipment will be handed out.

Students interested in participating can click this link to sign up.