June 29, 2011

Student wins Best Picture, Best Director at International Campus Moviefest

Ien Chi '11Ox, a rising junior at Emory College, was selected to receive the award for both Best Picture and Best Director at the 2011 International Campus Moviefest, held June 26 at Warner Brothers Studios in Hollywood, Calif.  In attendance were student filmmakers from across the country, representatives and sponsors of Campus MovieFest as well as celebrities including Jeff Goldblum, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Parnell and Jack McBrayer.

Chi won for "Tick Tock," a film that he wrote, directed and edited.  The film previously won the Grand Prize in Emory's Campus MovieFest, qualifying the film for the international competition.

Of the creation of "Tick Tock," Chi says:

"I got the idea exactly almost a year ago after we won Best Drama [in last year's CMF competition]. I thought, 'What if somebody did a CMF film all in one take?' During Thanksgiving, I got another idea: ‘What if somebody did a CMF film all in one take, all reversed?' I brainstormed about what could possibly work story-wise with those ideas. And the ‘what if you were going to die in five minutes?' question came up.

"After I wrote the screenplay, out of a rush of excitement, I started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money. I ended up raising a bit over $2,000 from 33 backers. This film was the first time I ever did legitimate professional casting. Luckily, we found the perfect actors and we all pretty much ran with it... The final film is one that we're all proud of. It's a film really packed with information -- and I don't think anybody can fully understand it in a first viewing."

Chi is no stranger to awards; as a first-year student at Oxford College, he won the Best Drama category in Emory's 2010 Campus Movie Fest and was declared the overall winner in the visual arts division of the 2010 Emory Art Competition.

Earlier this year Chi gave a video interview about filmmaking and the liberal-arts experience at Oxford College.

Campus Movie Fest is the world's largest student film festival and a premier outlet for the next generation of filmmakers.  The now-national competition began on the Emory campus in 2001, when four students provided fellow students with everything they needed—including camcorders and Apple laptops—to make movies in one week. Since then, more than 500,000 students have told their stories on the big screen, receiving all the necessary technology and training for free, thanks to corporate partners and schools.

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