Southeast’s Fault Line Film Festival Celebrates 10 Years with New Virtual Format

Fault LIne film festival logoSoutheast Missouri State University’s Fault Line Film Festival will celebrate 10 years of showcasing the creative talents of filmmaking students from the University, area high schools and other institutions across the Midwest during an entirely online version of the Fault Line Film Festival April 10-18.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers have shifted the normal week-long festival and red carpet event into a virtual display of creativity.

 “We will be entirely online this year, having screenings and awards over a nine-day period from Friday, April 10, to Saturday, April 18,” said Fred Jones, professor of mass media and coordinator of the Festival. “Each night will feature official selections and award winners in a different category. Screenings will be pre-recorded and uploaded to YouTube at 7 p.m. each night. Each online event will be approximately one hour in length.”

Jones says this year’s virtual festival, while not originally planned in this format, gives students the opportunity to share their hard work and hours of effort, despite the current circumstances.  “This festival provides an opportunity for students to have their work recognized by their peers and the community,” says Fred Jones. “The creative freedom allowed by these projects help students explore new cinematic techniques, while also providing artistic collaboration with the talented actors and crew members on campus.”

The films can be viewed on the 10th Annual Faultline Film Festival’s You Tube Channel. The online viewing schedule will be as follows:

- Friday, April 10- Best Comedy Award
 - Saturday, April 11- Best Long Form Award
 - Sunday, April 12- Best Animation and Best High School Award
 - Monday, April 3- Southeast Showcase #1
 - Tuesday, April 14- Southeast Showcase #2
 - Wednesday, April 15- Best Alternative Award
 - Thursday, April 16- Best Mystery/Suspense Award
 - Friday- April 17- Best Drama Award
 - Saturday, April 18- Best of Festival Award

The Festival, which began in 2009, has grown from a small campus festival into one of the largest student film festivals in the Midwest.

Jasmine Jones, a sophomore international business major with a marketing minor from Jackson, Missouri, has entered her film, “Missing,” about cases of missing persons, into this year’s festival.  “I chose this subject because I thought it would be interesting to include aspects of missing persons cases into a short film. I wondered what it would be like to see someone that you recognize from a missing persons poster,” she said. “I believe it’s important to enter films into festivals to get an audience. Without an audience, there wouldn’t be any films. There are a lot of themes in my film and other students’ films that can be applied to anyone’s life and expand the way they think about the world.”  Jasmine Jones says that after completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to continue her education at the graduate level. “I plan on attending film school to get my master’s degree and hopefully go on to make more films,” she said.

Each film submitted by students is entered into one of seven categories: animation, comedy, drama, high school, long form, mystery/suspense or alternative, which is for films that do not fall into one of the other categories. An award for best film is given within each category, as well as an award for Best of Festival. In addition, an award is given to a film that showcases outstanding technical achievement, and another is given to a film the audience deems worthy. The awards are $250 per category and the Best of Festival winner will receive a $1,000 prize.

Jake McGruder, a junior mass communication major, TV and film option, from East Prairie, Missouri, sourced the talent for his film, “The Big Day,” from the Cape Girardeau area. “I found two incredible people in Cape through the River City Players and the River Campus who have been receptive and delightful to work with,” says McGruder. “Thankfully, we had about four or five months of pure post-production, which gave a lot of time to work out the kinks of the script until it felt natural. Then, once we had a cast and crew, and locations were in place, really it’s just been sitting back and letting the talented people do their work.”

McGruder says his fascination with filmmaking began as a child.  “My interest in production really comes from making movies with my brother as we grew up,” he said. “I didn’t realize it then, but that was the foundation of establishing a love for that process.” McGruder, who plans to graduate in May 2020, hopes to move to Los Angeles, one day, and continue writing scripts and making films.

The festival has been such a success for 10 years because of the support from the University and local community, Fred Jones said. Sponsors of this year's festival are Cape Girardeau Regional Airport/Sky West Airlines, Red Letter Communications, the Office of the Provost, the Holland College of Arts and Media,  the Harrison College of Business and Computing, The Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance and the Department of Mass Media.  “Faultline has survived this long due to the hard work of the faculty committee, the tremendous financial support of the campus and community, and mostly because of the passion of the student filmmakers on our campus and throughout the region,” he said. “As long as there are students with a story to tell, we’ll be here.”

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