In which we see stars

Last night Maren and I attended the Campus MovieFest International Grand Finale at the Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood as VIP guests. One of my labmates is engaged to one of the Campus MovieFest founders and got us VIP tickets. CMF stages events at a number of college campuses around the country. They along with their corporate sponsors provide a laptop and a video camera and the students have a week to make a short (~5 min) film. The end products were amazing. These students are really talented. There are a number of regional festivals and the best from the regionals were in the competition this weekend.

The whole night was pretty surreal. The kids stayed with some friends and we drove up to LA to the Paramount Studios lot. It was pretty fun telling the security guard that we were on the VIP list. We got to go to the VIP cocktail reception, where we were in the same room as Oded Fehr and Nora Zehetner (don’t feel bad, we didn’t know where we knew them from either). We were sort of expecting the rest of the presenters to be folks that you feel like you should know, but weren’t quite sure where you had seen them before until someone told you. We were mistaken. The emcee was Scott Adsit (the guy from 30 Rock). The first presenter was CHRISTIAN SLATER (Maren was beside herself). He was followed by Patton Oswalt (the voice of Remy from Ratatouille), who was hilarious and forgot the envelope for the award he was supposed to be presenting, James Cromwell (the farmer from Babe), who presented the award for Most Socially Conscious (or something like that) film and seemed like a genuinely nice guy, Don Johnson (best line of the night was from one of the guys accepting the award from Don Johnson: “I used to watch Nash Bridges with my mom.”), and John Cho (freaking Sulu from Star Trek).

If that wasn’t cool enough, the actual movies were great. During the course of the awards ceremony, they showed the 16 shorts that were in contention for best movie. They were great. We were so happy, though, that our hands-down favorite won the best movie award. It was clean, fun, and really well done. You can watch it below and all of the other movies are posted here. Enjoy!

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