Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Faultline Film Festival brings opportunity to young Midwest film makers

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Faultline Film Festival is back with another showcase.

The prizes of the festival include $1,000 for best of show and $250 for the winner of each genre category, in addition to trophies for honorable mentions. Fred Jones, founder of the festival, said the festival gives away about $3,000 in cash prizes along with a dozen awards.

Every year the festival invites keynote speakers from the film industry, many of whom are regionally significant while other are noted nationally.

Founder of the festival and Southeast film professor, Jones said the Faultline Film Festival began in 2010 and originally was only open to Southeast students. Over the years the closed policy changed, and is now open to all of the Midwest and high school students.

Jones notes that the festival was confined to the Midwest because of a lack of such opportunities in comparison cities like Los Angeles and New York.

“We wanted to give filmmakers from the Midwest an outlet for their work,” Jones said. “We want to give a voice to the Midwestern filmmakers.”

Kansas Film commissioner Stephane Scupham will be the keynote speaker this year.

Jones said anyone attending the film festival will be “surprised” at how good the entries are.

“It’s amazing the work students are doing,” Jones said. “You’re immersed in these different worlds. It’s a really unique experience to see stories from different people and different voices.”

The Faultline Film Festival is Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Rose Theater in the Grauel building and is free for the public. The festival will also be holding a screening of local filmmakers Saturday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. at Rose Theater.

Jones said the festival had a “strange start.”

It started as an idea with another professor who teaches entrepreneurship at the innovation center.

“He wanted to do something for artists that tied into this thing called Global Entrepreneurship Week,” Jones said.

Jones said that during the beginning stages, the festival was more business oriented.

“Now it’s more of a Holland College of arts and media kind of entity,” Jones said.

Theatre majors can showcase their ability on screen, graphic design majors get to work on animations for the films, artist and musicians were able to contribute in some forms as well, he said. Jones said the festival has received submissions from individuals that are not majoring in a film, or "non-traditional filmmakers" as he puts it.

On average, the festival gets around 30 submissions a year, but Jones said this year the number climbed. This year there are 45 submissions which is not quite as high as last year where 59 submissions were received, Jones said. Jones noted that the popularity of the festival is growing along with the number of entries.

The categories the festival include: drama, comedy, mystery/suspense, animation, high school or other. The website defines the “other” category as an “encompasses narrative films that are difficult to categorize, such as music videos or experimental narratives”.

Past winner Noah Canavan will be in the competition for the ninth annual event. Canavan, a Southeast alum, previously entered the competition in 2010 to 2013, and won Best of Show with his film "Putting Out the Fire with Gasoline" in 2013.

“Before Fault Line, I loved watching movies and followed filmmakers closely. I never really thought of it being a career path until Fred Jones’ classes. He really inspired me to pursue this path,” Canavan said. “The biggest opportunity I got from the festival, was using the winning credits in my resume and applying to grad schools. I applied to the elite schools, hoping for a bite.”

Canavan gives credit to the festival for his graduate degree.

“This film and the award is what I really believe got me into Emerson College,” Canavan said.