Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Club hosts contest

Madonna and Justin Timberlake had four minutes to save the world. Participants in the 72 hour cell phone film contest have 72 hours to create a four minute film.

Films will be screened at 7 p.m. Sunday Oct. 30 at the Strand Theatre, located on 23 Brinkerhoff St. Plattsburgh,and the winners of the contest will have their film shown at the Lake Champlain International Film Festival Nov. 16 to 20.

The Plattsburgh State Film Club and the English department on campus will host the contest. The club is new to campus this semester and has around 20 members.

One popular department store took initiative in the wake of these recurring President of the club and sophomore TV-video production major Anthony Scalzo and sophomore TV video production major Joe Lewis started the club this semester in hopes of having a film presence on campus.

Lewis is the vice president of the club and an intern for the Lake Champlain International film festival with Scalzo. The pair were heavily involved in planning the event, alongside English professor Michael Devine.

Devine said he dreamt up the idea and thought because Scalzo and Lewis were taking a class that is film festival related, they would benefit from the experience.

“They’ve been doing a lot of filming for little shorts and kind of contributing to local documentaries and interviewing directors that are coming,” Devine said. “So we figured this could serve as advertising for the festival.”

Teams consisting of three to five members will compete on Sunday to have their film shown at this year’s festival.

Participants have 72 hours to create a film of four minutes or less.

Scalzo said the organizers didn’t want to interfere with participants plans for Halloween weekend so they the extended the deadline from 48 hours to 72 hours.

Participants are required to use only a cell phone camera to record their film.

Scalzo and Lewis said because participants have to create their film using a cell phone camera, students who might not have access to other equipment will have the opportunity to participate.
“We came up with the idea to use a cell phone so that everyone was on equal playing fields,” Lewis said.

Participation in the contest wasn’t limited to PSUC students, as the contest was open to all members of the Plattsburgh community. Contenders signed up on the Champlain International Film Festival website,www.lcifilmfest.com.

In addition to the cell phone rule, participants were emailed a prompt on Wednesday that they would need to incorporate into their films. A prompt is a list of requirements or guidelines that participants must follow.

Scalzo said the prompt would most likely include a one-line dialogue, a prop and an actors name.

Lewis and Scalzo were not involved in creating the prompt because they will be participating in the contest themselves.

As of Oct. 24, 10 teams registered for the contest.

“I’m hoping for 10 to 20 teams,” Devine said. “Anything more than that would be a lot of film.”

Participants will be judged by a panel of three judges. Devine said a community member and faculty member will be on the panel.

Submissions will be judged on originality, creativity and interesting use of the prompt Devine said.

Devine is a co-programmer for the Champlain International Film Festival. Devine hopes the contest will increase student awareness of the Strand and the film festival as well.

The Strand Theater, now called the Strand Theatre was built in 1924 and has seating for 950 people.

The Strand provides venue services for concerts, film screenings, plays and will also host the Lake Champlain Film Festival.

The annual film festival features more than 50 films from more than 13 different countries.

There will be a special screening of Frozen River, an Academy Award-winning film that was shot in the North Country.

“The festival will also showcase female filmmakers and shine the light on drug abuse. We have new documentaries from fest alums Aaron Woolf and Ben Stechshulte,” according to the festival’s Facebook page.

“The strand is a great place to see movies, it’s part of the community here,” Devine said.

Viewing the films on Oct. 30 at the Strand will be free to the public.

Email Madison Winters at madison.winters@cardinalpointsonline.com

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