Illinifest 2019

By: Jessica Hudon

Illinifest is a film festival that has taken place at the University of Illinois every spring since 2010. The festival is run by students in the MACS 464 class, a class created to teach students about the history and significance of film festivals. The event began under the title “Movies to the MACS!” but was later changed to its current name, Illinifest, in 2012. The festival features content from Phonon Pictures, Illini Film and Video, The C-U Cinefiles, College of Media video production classes, and independent student film-makers.  

The festival takes place on April 27th in the Gregory Hall theater, and anyone is welcome to enter their film before the April 14th deadline. In order to be considered for the $100 prize, the short film must be longer than one minute and should not exceed 20 minutes.

If you don’t fancy yourself as a filmmaker, you can also attend the event as a viewer! It’s completely free and open to everyone.  Last year, when the doors opened at 10:30 am, the first competition (Midwest Student Competition) was the only one that was deemed family-friendly.

The next two competitions were “World Competitions,” split into two sections with 5 films each. After those three competitions there was an hour-long panel discussion about the topic “Moving Past Scandal: What’s Next in Combating Sexual Harassment in the Film and Media Industries.” Following that panel came the Documentary Competition with another hour-long panel afterward. In sum, the festival consisted of 6 different competitions with a whopping 31 entries.

A majority of the judges, according to the Illinifest website, are either professors at well-known universities or filmmakers themselves. Overall, Illinifest is an incredible opportunity for fellow cinephiles to come together and appreciate art created locally on the U of I campus.