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Hollywood Calling: Students go to LA for Campus MovieFest 

Move over lectures and lab work — make way for writing and acting. Every fall, Georgia Tech students participate in the world’s largest student film festival, Campus MovieFest. For 2012, twenty-one teams from Tech entered the competition, with "Take Care" (Best Drama), "The Therapist" (Best Picture) and "Paper Airplane" (Best Comedy) being selected to represent the Institute at the Campus MovieFest Hollywood gala.

The finalists were announced at a red carpet campus event. “Walking down to the stage and realizing that what we made was going to be screened in Hollywood in front of dozens of actors, directors and producers was overwhelming,” says second-year computational media major Cody Turner, who played the lead male role in “Take Care.”

The campus finalists were flown to Los Angeles in June, where their movies were screened at a festival that brought together some 1,000 student filmmakers from 100 campuses and included special guests such as Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) and Horatio Sanz (SNL). Tech’s entries did not win any awards in Los Angeles, but that was okay with filmmaker Jonathan Walker (“Take Care”). For the aerospace engineering major, Campus MovieFest is more about the process and the product.

“We worked like madmen every day during the competition. We would shoot until late in the evening, eat dinner, watch the raw footage, sleep (maybe), and wake up early in the morning, only to repeat,” he recalls. “At the end of all this effort, I can really say that we made something special.”

Campus MovieFest engages more than 500,000 college students around the globe, providing participants with laptops, camcorders, training and one week to create a five-minute film at no cost.