Student film festival MovingMedia is gearing up for their second year in partnership with the annual Detroit Windsor International Film Festival. The festival’s events and screenings are held at various locations throughout Wayne State's campus and feature many well-known names in the industry.
The DWIFF begins on June 22 at 6 p.m. in WSU’s Community Arts Auditorium. Richard Chew, well-known film editor and Lecturer-in-Residence at WSU, will be featured alongside Wayne County executive Robert Ficano. DWIFF's founder John Kelly will address the attendees.
Sponsored by Wayne County and the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State, the DWIFF is open to both students and independent filmmakers. Entries submitted to the MovingMedia student film competition are separated into five categories: narrative, experimental, music video, documentary and animation. Some of the short films submitted will be shown during the festival.
“We are pleased to have so many entries from nearby schools,” said Kelly Gottesman of WSU Communications. “That is part of the mission statement, to hopefully develop young filmmakers.”
One of the DWIFF’s most anticipated events is the Tech Fair being held on June 25. Frank Collins of WSU-TV helped to organize the day’s events. Tech Fair offers workshops on many of the topics, tools and skills needed for film and video production, game development, animation and more. One of the workshops will feature the use of Final Cut Pro, a favorite tool among those in the industry.
“The Tech Fair features a wide spectrum of educational and professional development activities targeted to both seasoned professionals and aspiring students alike,” Collins said.
Also showcased in workshops are Emmy award-winning producer Chuck Cirgenski and visual effects guru Nic Izzi. Cirgenski will focus on the fundamentals of being a producer, outlining both the creative and business portions of the job and giving the basic dos and don’ts of attracting funding. Izzi will lead a discussion on 3D techniques, drawing from his experience with movies like Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Superman Returns.
Mark Adler, Dan Belleville and Wayne McLean will be hosting the afternoon sessions; Adler, head of the Michigan Production Alliance, will host ‘Boot Camp – How to Get Involved in the Industry'; Belleville will focus on different ways to incorporate music with a project as well as 3D stereoscopic filmmaking; McLean, one of Canada's premier script-supervisors and active member of The American Film Institute, will give a presentation entitled ‘Building Blocks of a Successful Screenplay.'
“The creative community is invited to be an integral part of this unique event that celebrates the art of cinema from both sides of the screen and camera,” Collins said.
The DWIFF holds a 48-Hour Film Challenge prior to the festival. In this challenge, filmmakers are given a character, genre, prop, line of dialogue and a location; they then have 48 hours to write, shoot, edit and score a short film no longer than seven minutes. All of the shorts created in the challenge are shown on the last day of the festival followed by an award ceremony and sponsored prizes for the winners.
Some of the past winners of the DWIFF have been recognized nationally. Sultan Sharrief, winner of Best Feature in 2010 for his film “Bilal’s Stand” was recognized by Sundance as an up-and-coming filmmaker. A winner from the first year of the DWIFF has also moved up in the independent film industry. Honored for his short in 2008, Sam Kadi is currently filming a full-length feature film in Michigan called “The Citizen.”
One of the most highly anticipated films being shown this year comes to Detroit from Maui, Hawaii. Director Brian Kohne brings his comedic romp “Get A Job” to the DWIFF. Kohne put together an award-winning production team and cast many Hawaiian locals as actors, with special appearances by many internationally-known Hawaiian citizens including singer Willie Nelson. Kohne will be in attendance at the screening on June 25 at 5 p.m. to answer any questions viewers may have.
The DWIFF gives student and independent filmmakers a chance to showcase their hard work, and get recognition. Spokesperson Suzanne Janik hopes the DWIFF will “introduce people to the magic of filmmakers.” With online registration, admission to the June 23 festival and to Tech Fair are free.