Preview: CMU goes 'Shot for Shot' with intercollegiate film fest
April 18, 2013 8:00 AM
By Noel Um Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Despite the abundance of both filmmakers and college students in Pittsburgh, the city has never seen an intercollegiate film festival until now.
Carnegie Mellon University has banded together with Point Park University, University of Pittsburgh, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Filmmakers to cull the top 15 short films of the year. The chosen shorts will be presented during "Shot for Shot: Student Film Festival," Saturday at CMU's Tennis Court Amphitheater, as part of the university's Carnival Weekend.
Nicolas Hurt and Stephen Tonti, co-presidents of Carnegie Mellon's Filmmaking Club, developed "Shot for Shot" in order to satisfy the frustration caused by the low turnout of previous university-contained festivals. The two CMU seniors also wanted to bring together college-level artists around the area.
"I was surprised that there wasn't a pre-existing intercollegiate film festival. All these schools a mile apart were doing their own separate festivals and you couldn't connect the dots," Mr. Tonti said. "Right now, Carnegie is taking this leap of faith. We would love a future in which all Pittsburgh universities really band together through film."
The festival, which received three dozen submissions, will showcase a medley of film shorts, up to 20 minutes in length. Selections range from animations to music videos to dramas. Prizes include a Grand Jury Prize of $300, a Special Jury Prize of $200, and an Audience Award of $100. One of the three judges is Pittsburgh native actor and award-winning special effects artist Tom Savini.
CMU's Film Club financed the entire festival, with costs totaling $3,000. "It was either go big or go home -- we are scrounging out every penny our club has," Mr. Hurt said. "We're creating the most blue-collar intercollegiate film festival possible."
The event will be sponsored by Pittsburgh Popcorn Company, Eat'n Park and Redbull. Mr. Hurt and Mr. Tonti expect an audience of around 400.