CineFest - Fairfield 2008 - Fairfield University's student film festival stops traffic at Community Theatre of Fairfield


CineFest - Fairfield 2008, Fairfield University's 4th annual student film festival, complete with red carpet arrivals reminiscent of the Oscars, takes place May 1, beginning at 7:30 p.m., at the Community Theatre of Fairfield, located at the corner of Post Road and Unquowa Road. Awards will be presented for best film, best direction, best screenwriting, best cinematography, best editing, and favorite audience film.

The film festival is free and open to the public. It is presented by the University's New Media: Film, Television and Radio Program and the Community Theatre, and showcases the work of innovative New Media majors. It is an opportunity to view short independent films by students and faculty, and serves as an avenue for recognizing the influence media has on society.

Rev. James Mayzik, S.J., director of the program and The Media Center, said that the films considered for entry into the festival are quite diverse this year - from documentaries to sitcoms to character-driven dramas. "In its fourth year, the films and videos of CineFest have become impressively sophisticated in their technique, storylines, and performance... Our students have some important things to say. Our program asks them to speak the truth that matters to them through the work they produce, and this year's CineFest prospectives are great examples."

Rev. Mark Scalese, S.J., assistant professor of New Media, said, "This year, we'll be covering the event as if it's the Academy Awards. We'll have a red carpet and a velvet rope."

A red carpet pre-show begins at 6:45 p.m., and it will be broadcast live inside the theater. Fairfield New Media students Brian Puntes '09, Stephanie Zambrano '09, and Lynley Reilly, '10 will host the pre-show, and interview filmmakers as they arrive.

Senior John Daly, a New Media major, will be producing the red carpet arrivals from the University's mobile satellite uplink truck. "CineFest is like Fairfield University's Oscars, and the 2008 films are especially good. Some of the students have been part of the New Media program the entire four years they've been studying at Fairfield and it shows in their films - they have a lot of technical skill and imagination."

Andrew Simone '08, and Frank Romano '10, will host the screening and awards presentation that follows at 7:30 p.m. Both events will be recorded and broadcast on the University's Ham Channel on a date to be announced.

Fr. Scalese pointed out that this year's graduating seniors were the first group to major in New Media at Fairfield. Students could first declare New Media as their major during the 2004-05 school year. The New Media: Film, Television and Radio major and minor curricula teach students the theory and collaborative practice of all aspects of visual and audio storytelling: writing, design, producing, directing, cinematography, sound design, digital imaging, and editing.

Fr. Mayzik said that he's been impressed with the growth of the program, noting that there are some sophomore and junior independent projects that are on the level of graduate work.

Students are encouraged to experiment with their own creative voices, engaging their imagination and intellect with the tools of these crafts. Fairfield students are encouraged as early as freshman year to pick up cameras and learn all aspects of filmmaking and production by working with The Media Center's sophisticated equipment - a situation not typical at other universities. The mobile studio/satellite uplink truck further offers students the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology rarely seen on university campuses. Other opportunities include working on soundstages, with top-notch cameras, audio suites, and recording systems. Many of the program's faculty members come from the ranks of working professionals, ensuring that information transmitted in the classroom is at the cutting edge of the field.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 25, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 256