The world’s largest student film festival, Campus Moviefest, offered Tulane University students one week to create 5-minute short films. The three top winners have qualified to compete at the next level.
Recent graduate Alexis Clark and rising seniors Malcolm Johnson and Ameer Thabata worked as a team to produce three of the highest-scoring films in the competition. Each spearheaded their own film while the others worked various jobs on crew. They all received Silver Tripod awards, category-based accolades chosen by the Campus Moviefest staff.
Clark’s film We Are Human and Thabata’s film Hear Me Out each won a Jury Award, which is chosen by an anonymous panel to be among the top four movies in the competition. All three films qualified to compete at the Terminus Conference and Festival in Atlanta, June 22-25.
“I am very excited for Terminus and to have the opportunity to have three of our films compete nationally,” Johnson said. “I’m very interested in meeting people my age who are also interested in pursuing careers in film and gaming and also making lasting connections in the film industry.” His film, Office Hours, was a comment on how slacking students try to improve their grades.
Clark’s and Thabata’s films both focused on social justice. We Are Human told an abstract story about the struggles of black women, while Hear Me Out centered around a flawed education system.
“The lack of communication and understanding of cultural competence within the public education system is a huge problem in today's society, especially in high-risk areas such as New Orleans,” Thabata said of Hear Me Out. “It's an issue that needs to be addressed more often.”
Clark learned about the Campus Moviefest competition when her mentor, Tulane professor Red Tremmel, forwarded her an email about it. Clark joined with her two friends, and during the week of the competition, they wrote, filmed, and edited all three films. Clark earned a degree in psychology, while Johnson currently majors in digital design with a minor in marketing and Thabata majors in economics with a minor in film studies. The group had varying levels of film knowledge.
“[Campus Moviefest] was definitely a great experience, and I’m really glad I did it,” Clark said. “It was very challenging and pushed us creatively. The deadline was stressful but totally worth it.”
All films are available for viewing here.