ResLife film competition to resume next semester
Published: Friday, November 2, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 08:11
Following a brief hiatus, the Office of Residential Life and Learning’s (ResLife) Shorts Film Competition will return for the third time this spring due to the appointment of a new contest administrator.
Programming Coordinator of ResLife Elizabeth Hartford was selected to take over and revamp the competition starting in April, Director of ResLife Yolanda King said. The search process lasted for several months after former Programming Coordinator Keiko Zoll left the university in the middle of the 2011−2012 academic year.
According to King, former Assistant Professor of English Radiclani Clytus initiated the competition in 2010 so that students could capture where they live and what their community means to them through film. Students could enter the contest individually or in a group, with the film no longer than two minutes in length and conforming to a theme put forth by ResLife. ResLife staff members judged the contest, which culminated in a showcase of all the entries. Cash prizes sponsored by Tufts’ Toupin−Bolwell Fund for the Arts were given out to the top three films.
Hartford said that she has been looking at how the competition has run previously in order to decide what changes need to be made.
“The competition will run more quickly this year, start to finish between January and March, as opposed to happening throughout the first semester,” she said. “We will continue to maintain cash−level prizes as we have done in the past.”
The competition ran smoothly in its second year, according to Luke Boelitz (LA ’12), who submitted a video about the Tufts Quidditch Team’s experience at the Quidditch World Cup last year in response to the “Pride in Our Community” theme.
When Zoll left, however, communication between ResLife and those who had entered the contest ceased.
King said that Zoll’s absence meant the contest could not be organized effectively, as there were no judges or prizes to be distributed for winning submissions. ResLife immediately began its search for a new competition administrator, but it was not until late in the 2012 spring semester that Hartford was chosen.
“By the time I was hired, it was too late,” Hartford said.
Many students had already been working on or had submitted their short films, King said.
“We only had a few submissions at the time Zoll left,” she said. “We explained to those students who had submitted that the competition could not happen, sent them movie passes and encouraged them to resubmit this year.”
Senior Lynne Koester, a film studies minor who won the contest in its inaugural year and helped Boelitz edit his submission for last year’s competition, said she was frustrated with ResLife’s lack of communication with contestants early on.
“People who submitted videos never heard anything, which can be extremely discouraging,” she said.
Koester added, however, that she received a $500 cash prize and a Flip camera for her first−place submission. She believes that her participation in the competition encouraged her to pursue film at Tufts.
“I entered the competition my freshman year when I was still figuring out what I wanted to do academically,” she said. “I was taking an Introduction to Film class at the time and thought the contest would give me the opportunity to try out different forms of filming.”
Boelitz said he is glad to hear that the competition will be revived.
“As originally conceived, it is a wonderful idea,” he said. “There’s a clear emphasis that you don’t need a fancy camera to do well in the competition. I think it will continue to be a fun contest for Tufts students interested in film making.”