Mar 072011
Authors: Colleen McSweeney

Sophomore Nyall James spent the last week playing with fire.

As part of Campus MovieFest (CMF), a world touring student movie festival that is currently at CSU, James created a five-minute-film called “Playing with Fire” which depicts fire artists twirling balls of flame.

James’s movie, should it make it into the final 16, will be shown at the CMF red carpet finale in the Lory Student Center Theatre tonight at 7:30 p.m.

“I myself am a fire performer, and I wanted to share my love of the fire arts with the world, as well as to share the beauty of the performances put on by the larger fire community in Fort Collins,” James said in an e-mail to the Collegian.

Beginning on Feb. 24, the 37 participating teams in CMF had exactly one week to complete a five-minute-film of any genre. A judging panel comprised of CSU students and faculty reviewed each film, and the top 16 films and the three winners will be announced at tonight’s finale.

The movies are filled with poignant social messages, original music and dogs with moustaches, to name a few.

But one week wasn’t a lot of time to create a short film, and many of the teams struggled to finish.

“Although I didn’t have enough time to make it absolutely perfect, I’m really proud of what I accomplished in such a short time,” James said.

Freshmen Kurt Thomas, the team captain of the group who created the comedy “For More Laughs,” agrees with the problem of being crunched for time.

“We had to spend tons of time, including an all-nighter, adding the final touches to everything with music, and clipping scenes and all that stuff,” Thomas said.

As many filmmakers would probably reiterate, the many trying hours spent filming and editing all pay off when an audience gets to view the final product.

“It was really cool to know we brought laughter to so many people,” Thomas said, referring to the number of views his movie has already received on the CMF website.

The winners of Best Drama, Best Comedy and Best Picture will all receive an iPod and a copy of Final Cut Studio.

The winning filmmakers will also receive an invitation to the Campus MovieFest International Grand Finale in Hollywood, which will showcase winners from other schools around the nation.

The red carpet finale tonight will live up to its name’s reputation, black ties and all.

“Prior to the finale we are hosting a VIP film maker reception for each team captain and two guests of their choice. This is going to be a red carpet, black-tie affair, and we are excited to see students dressed their best, said Association for Student Activity Programming (ASAP) Film Assistant Coordinator Tonya Tooley.  

All CSU students are invited to attend the finale tonight, and everyone who attends will have the chance to have their photo taken on the red carpet and be entered to win door prizes, Tooley said.  
“This is exciting. It’s great for CSU to be represented in such a spectacular event,” said senior business major Dana Czarnota.

Attendance tonight is free, and tuxes and designer dresses aren’t required for non-filmmakers.

Staff writer Colleen McSweeney can be reached at

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