Students share cinema at Stompers Film Festival

Ever heard of the Cannes Film Festival? How about the Sundance Film Festival?

Now get ready for the Minnesota State’s very own Stompers Film Festival. 

The Student Events Team announced a film festival in early February, inviting MSU’s filmmaking students to submit short film projects. On Tuesday night, all films were shown in front of an audience at the film festival held in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. 

The festival was open to all MSU students; In addition to the showings, there was also a panel of judges consisting of four students and staff. The panel conducted the preliminary and final reviews and selected the films that were presented at the event. All films were reviewed and scored by content, technical and overall quality

The first-place winner received a $200 prize and will be included in the pre-show presentation week following the film festival. The second-place prize film was awarded a $50 Best Buy gift card and the Audience Choice award winner received a $25 Visa card, thanks to the votes of the student body. 

At the end of the night, freshman Emmett Johnson won both first and third place. 

Known as ECO The Kid through social media and his work, Johnson has done cinematography work for Minnesota State and has done promotional ads for businesses around Minnesota. 

His short film “Full Circle” was previously a Best in Fest winner at the EDU Film Festival in 2023 and was shown at the Stomper Film Festival. 

The film follows the story of a young man named Michael, showing off his day from the beginning to the end. The film depicts the cycle of drug addiction & abuse along with elements of generational trauma being touched. 

Johnson directed and produced his film along with writing and brainstorming the project material. 

“It was about two months worth of filmmaking. So it was storyboarding, and then writing the script and editing and shooting all took about two months and the story is about drug addiction. The cycle of drug abuse,” he said. “Kids do a lot of drugs and I hope somebody might take away a good piece of advice from it. 

After the showing of his film, Johnson discussed his filmmaking process, including overcoming certain obstacles such as facing conflict in filming locations. He hopes to share the message of the film with others. 

Despite having no further plans for his award-winning short film, Johnson said he plans to continue his work in cinematography through other aspects of art. 

“I like filmmaking. I like seeing films. I’m a cinematographer. That’s what I do as work so I work with companies all the time and artists and musicians all the time. I’m recording all the time,” he said. 

Write to Anahi Zuniga at anahi.zuniga@mnsu.edu

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