The fourth annual UCA Film Festival will begin tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. in Stanley Russ Hall room 103 on the UCA campus.
The festival, which is free to the public, is jointly sponsored by UCA’s Department of Mass Communication and Theatre and the UCA Film Club, and it includes three categories: Music Video, Documentary and Narrative.
“This year is looking to be one of the best years for our festival,” said Joe Dull, assistant professor of digital filmmaking and co-coordinator with Bruce Hutchinson of this year’s festival. “We’ve got a very talented group of students with a creative drive that is an inspiration to see.”UCA faculty members will narrow the expected 30-40 entries to those chosen for the festival. Those films will range from two-to-four-minute music videos to 20-minute documentaries and narratives. The festival, which will last about 90 minutes, will feature up to five films in each of the three categories.
“The hardest part will be choosing the films that get shown, because the films keep getting better and better every year,” Dull said. “The competition is pretty intense, because the students see the festival as a chance to showcase their films to the campus and community before sending them out to festivals across the nation.”
Dull said most films for the festival would range from five to ten minutes.
Judges from the local film and television industries will score the films during the festival, and awards for Best Narrative Short, Best Documentary, Best Music Video, Best Direction, Best Sound Design, Best Producing, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay or story will be announced at an after-party for film students and faculty.
UCA’s digital filmmaking program is the only one in the state and includes a Master of Fine Arts degree.
Hutchinson, director of the MFA program, said past festivals had drawn about 30 entries from the UCA community. Most of those come from film students, he said, but not all.
In its fourth year, the UCA digital filmmaking program has grown to 200 students. The curriculum includes the technical aspects of digital production, including digital cinematography, non-linear editing, lighting, and computer-based audio design, as well as storytelling. The goal of the program is to give students the technical skills and artistic competence to pursue work in the motion picture industry as well as in corporate applications.
The graduate program was added three years ago. The first class of graduate students will receive MFA degrees at UCA’s May 3 commencement.