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Winners of 48 Hour Film Fest to be announced

April 17, 2014

The winners of the 48 hour Film Fest will be announced Friday, April 18, at the Falcon Film Festival at 7 p.m. in the Falcons Nest of the University Center.

There were 12 groups comprised of as little as four people and up to 12, which participated in the 48 hour film festival that took place March 7, and had to be submitted or uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo by 6 p.m. Sunday, March 9. With eight short films submitted to the Falcon Film Festival, there are two ways of winning. There is a panel of judges made up of former University of Wisconsin- River Falls graduates that are now working in the TV and film business. There are certain criteria to be met and each judge grades separately based on creativity, technical and directing; each one evaluates separately so the others do not know how the others voted. It is then determined based upon their feedback in three categories: best director, best technical, and best acting.

The other award being given out is the People’s Choice award. Videos that were submitted were uploaded to the activities and events web page through the UWRF website, and for the last month a link to vote through OrgSync was accessible for a month, giving students, faculty and staff a chance to vote for their favorite film. Whichever film receives the most votes, wins the award.

“This is the second year that we have used an online forum (OrgSync) for posting videos and it’s worked out well because everyone pretty much has access to YouTube these days and DVD’s are becoming a thing of the past now,” said Erik Johnson, assistant professor of digital film and television.

Johnson said that every year this activity seems to grow in popularity and the quality of work seems to grow exponentially. He said that one year there was a group of students that traveled to Belize with the University on the day the 48 hour Film Fest started, and a group of students shot, produced, edited and uploaded a video in time while on vacation there. Participants do not have to be digital film and television majors; it can be anyone on campus who has an interest in making a video whether it is producing, filming, acting or editing.

Choosing a genre, prop and a character with a name and occupation, had to be decided first in order for applicants to determine what type of film they would produce in five minutes or less. This is the sixth year of the Falcon Film Fest, which originally started as an exhibition for student films and a way to showcase films without awards. Separate from the 48 Hour Film Competition, which has been around for five years. There is also a separate part of the Film Fest that has three categories of films that will be screened made by students: documentary, music video and narrative short film.

“Giving an opportunity to present shared work, and with the 48 hour Film Competition, it’s gratifying to see what can be produced in a shorter period of time,” Johnson said. “there’s no greater gratification then sharing your work with your peers and the public, it’s also a way to get your work out there.”

Ben Porten is a digital film and television major on campus who submitted a music video about pizza to the Falcon Film Festival. As a goofy video he produced he also stared in it as well he said.

“Telling a story and using different film techniques to show things and inventing new ways to show the viewer what’s going on, being able to see the video in my head as I’m making it is really fun,” Porten said. “The best part is sitting down and editing, trying to piece together everything to make it appealing for the audience, figuring out what you have or what you need to change to make the scene better is one of my favorite things to do, it’s kind of like a puzzle.”

Sam Azazu is also a digital film and television major, but he submitted two videos into the Falcon Film Festival. A short film titled “Package” and a music video called “Medicine.” As well as a video for the 48 hour Film Competition, “Wanted: Game Points,” that fell under the genre of adventure. Recently nominated for the Regional Midwest Student Emmy Award for his music video, by the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, Azazu seems humble and modest about the nomination.

“Personally I like films, so every time I see one, I see something done where I want to go out and do something like that too,” Azazu said. “I watch a lot of films.”

Something new this year as part of the festival is the presence of sponsors like Red Cinema and Nikon. All of the films will be screened and the winners will be announced and presented with prizes at the end on Friday the 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Falcons Nest and it is free and open to the public.