Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Fault Line Film Festival rolls out the red carpet at Southeast

Monday, November 6, 2017
The Fault Line Film Festival red carpet ceremony during last year's event.
Submitted photo

Southeast’s eighth annual Fault Line Film Festival will start strong with a record number of entries this year — about double the amount as previous years.

The festival will begin Wednesday, Nov. 8 and run until Saturday, Nov. 11. Events will kick off with guest lectures from actress and Southeast alumna Shelby Leverington at noon and 3 p.m. Nov. 8 in Rose Theatre and at 2 p.m. Nov. 9 in Dobbins River Campus Center.

An awards ceremony and gala for festival participants will begin at 7 p.m. in Rose Theatre on Nov. 10. During this time, a special screening of award-winning films will be shown, awards will be distributed and a formal reception will be held immediately after the ceremony. Additionally, audience members will be invited to vote for their favorite film presented to help determine the people’s choice award.

Saturday, Nov. 11, a local film showcase will take place at 7 p.m. in Rose Theatre

The Fault Line Film Festival is a unique local contest open for filmmakers in surrounding-area colleges and high schools. Entries are typically short scripted films covering categories such as drama, mystery/suspense, comedy and animation. This year, the festival has expanded to include high-school students.

Participants have the opportunity to win cash prizes and trophies for their films; each of the seven categories has a $250 prize, and there is a $250 people’s choice award and a $1,000 best of festival award. Additionally, honorable mentions will receive trophies.

Professor of mass media, video and film production, screenwriting, film directing and film history Fred Jones said the festival is a good opportunity for students of all backgrounds and fields of study to unleash their creative sides and tell a unique story.

“The festival really encourages a lot of people, not just film students,” he said. “There’s just a lot of opportunities for artistic expression in this festival, and I think the festival is such a unique, fun event for students.”

The festival is known for bringing in faculty and students from various disciplines to put on the event and participate in creating films.

“We have people from [the Conservatory of] Theatre and Dance on the committee, polytech, from the art museum; it’s interdisciplinary as far as the committee is concerned,” he said.

Students are also known to come from various departments to act, create costumes, write scripts and produce films.

Jones also said the festival can be a good stepping stone for aspiring filmmakers to pursue a professional career in the industry.

“We’ve had students who have gone on to work in the industry, or we’ve had several students go on to graduate film school,” he said.

The festival has progressively grown since its start in 2009, when it was confined exclusively to Southeast students. Jones said it had an unusual beginning, as it got its start through Southeast’s Innovation Center as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

“They wanted something during that week related to the arts, so that’s where the idea for a film festival came in,” he said. “We got amazing responses that very first year. … Every year it just kind of grows more and more.”

According to Jones, the process of putting on the Fault Line Film Festival typically takes about a year. The festival’s website must be updated and maintained with current information, guest speakers must be procured, the gala and awards ceremony must be set up and entries must be screened and winners chosen. “It takes a lot of people to put this together,” he said.

Regardless, Jones feels the festival is an important creative outlet for young artists and creators.

“I think there is a storyteller in all of us, and the festival gives an outlet for student filmmakers to get their stories out there,” he said. “For a lot of people, it’s a chance to have their voice heard.”

The festival is sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport and Legends Cape Girardeau. For more information on the Fault Line Film Festival, visit