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First student-run film festival for North Carolina college students starts tonight

Cue the lights, zoom in, and focus on the first ever Triangle Campus Film Festival tonight.

The event, hosted by N.C. State’s Video Production Society, will show 16 films and take place on N.C. State’s campus in the James B. Hunt Library Auditorium from 7-9 p.m. tonight.

What started as a work in talks became a plan in motion around January for the Video Production Society — formerly the N.C. State Film Club — to form their own festival that would embrace the opportunity for all students to show off their productions.

N.C. State senior Sam Mazany, the president of the Video Production Society, wanted to his share his love of film beyond N.C. State. The film festival includes submissions from a variety of North Carolina universities and colleges. 

And the number of submissions Mazany received surpassed his expectations.

“We got such a huge turnout from different schools throughout the state. We’ve got a really good mix of content from a bunch of different schools,” he said.

After the submissions came the process of selecting which films would be shown during the two-hour time slot, with 10 minutes in between each film to allow for a small Q&A session with the filmmakers.

N.C. State mechanical engineering major Robert Russell acted as a judge for the submissions. With over 50 submissions, two judges from each N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Duke University – totaling six judges — went through all of the films taking note and commenting on why it should be screened or what was lacking.

To submit to the festival, the film had to be student-created and could not exceed 10 minutes. The genres included everything from music videos to stop motions and from animated films to documentaries. 

“While there were so many good films, it was really hard to pick the best ones because we ended up getting a lot of submissions that blew us away or that had a lot of talent,” Russell said.

Fellow organizer and N.C. State senior Ayanna Seals said a lot of hard work goes into creating and starting up a film festival, from finding the perfect location to recruiting appropriate judges. 

"North Carolina has very talented, emerging filmmakers,” Seals said, noting that students from N.C. State a couple years ago went to international film festivals and won awards. “We definitely have the talent here.”

Mazany said this film festival is not just for audience members, but also for all of the filmmakers in the state. 

“There’s not a particularly large amount of filmmakers in North Carolina, and it’s weird that we don’t all know each other or at least communicate," Mazany said. 

"So, one of the goals of the film festival is to get us all in touch with one another.”

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