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CMI students and alumnus take home film festival awards

Two films created by students from New Mexico State University's Creative Media Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences received awards in New Mexico film festivals this fall.

New Mexico State University Creative Media Institute students Victor Zeppelin (left) and Oscar Zamora took home the "Best Mini Film" award at the 2010 Halloween and Day of the Dead Film Festival for their horror short "Angler.' (NMSU photo by Donyelle Kesler)

Junior Oscar Zamora and sophomore Victor Zeppelin teamed up to create the horror short "Angler," that gave the pair the award for "Best Mini Film" at the 2010 Halloween and Day of the Dead Film Festival.

The film, which follows a young girl with a fear of something intangible, was made on a whim after the two decided NMSU's Rhodes-Garrett-Hamiel Residence Center would make the perfect backdrop for a horror film.

"We had a camera so we brainstormed for about half an hour and thought let's just go for it," Zeppelin said.

With no script, the two called upon student actors Austin Dennis and Jordan Kelly to create the four-minute movie that took only two hours to film. They spent all night editing the piece.

"Our actors were really good and we were able to do the movie in five or six takes," Zamora said, "After we shot, we went to Milton and edited until the sun came."

When CMI Department Head Phillip Lewis suggested that the students submit a film to the festival, Zamora and Zeppelin decided to send "Angler."

"We never expected anything to come of it," Zamora said. "We sent the film because it was one that was already finished. I sent it in the last day entries would be taken, so we were very surprised we had won."

This was not only the first win for both Zamora and Zeppelin but their first festival entry as well. To view "Angler," visit http://www.youtube.com/user/SODAshorts.

The second winning film came out of the mind of recent NMSU graduate Jacob Ovrick. After graduating in May 2010 with a bachelor's in creative media in animation and visual effects, Ovrick decided to submit his senior project, the short animated film "Dark Space," to Capitan, N.M.'s first short-film festival, "15 Minutes of Fame."

The festival, held throughout the month of August, featured submitted short films every Wednesday. Ovrick's film was selected as the overall best short and received the Golden Bear Award.

"Dark Space" takes place on a spaceship in outer space, where an alien, robot and yellow blob form an unlikely friendship.

"What I'm proud of in my film is how quickly established the characters are," Ovrick said. "It's a simple story and there is no dialogue, but people relate to the characters."

This was the first festival Ovrick has submitted the film to and he is looking for other festivals in which "Dark Space" can compete. To view the film, visit http://vimeo.com/14507759.