By Cassandra James
While most students used the three-day MLK weekend to catch up on sleep or get ahead on homework, some members of Catawba’s Theatre Club teamed up to script, film, and edit a ten-minute film in under 48 hours. Film Fest is an annual event hosted by the Blue Masque. Even those who don’t participate in creating the films are invited to a viewing party at the end of the weekend where three judges select the year’s best picture.
This year, the films were judged by Theatre Arts professor Dr. Bradley Stephenson, English professor Dr. David Schroder, and Rod Oden of Salisbury’s Lee St. Theatre. In making their decision, the judges had plenty of cinematic elements to consider. On top of the 48 hour time limit, each team also had to incorporate distinct challenges and props into their film. Some of the most notable challenges this year were a 28-second dance party, a minute of complete silence, and an interview with the Blue Masque President, Amy Kimbrough, about the slug in her apartment. Some props that made an appearance were a magic wand, a lobster, and a bike horn.
In the end four films were presented, with two of them eligible to win the coveted Best Film award. What a Drag featured an inside look at a reality show about drag queens and Peer Pressure related a tale of misfit superheroes. While both films had their strengths, Peer Pressure came out on top. Other awards, such as “best use of props” and “best cameo,” were divided among the two.
While the main awards were only granted to the technically eligible films, no one went home empty handed. Birch Box and Jump Scares with Jameson, the two films ineligible for overall best picture, won “Best Parody of a Full-Length Film” and the “I Can’t Believe it’s not Ranch” award, respectively.
The 48 Hour Film Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events hosted annually by the Blue Masque. This year’s was one for the books; here’s to more cinematic masterpieces in the years to come!